A dig at the patriotism.
Oscar Wilde’s well known eponymous quote creates dissent and argument amongst the cynics and the thinkers.
In India, particularly, we are very much boastful and feel pride in calling ourselves as Indians.
I too feel proud to be an Indian!
But, problem arises, when we are confronted with a scenario, where our country lies on the shady side; on the wrong side of the moral-balance.
Wherever there’s an insurgency, be it the one in the North-East, the secessionist movement in Kashmir, or the Naxalite trouble, we blame it on our foreign neighbours for indirectly/directly incentivizing the rebels.
So far, so good.
But what about our own track record?
Circa 1971. There’s separatist movement in the then East Pakistan. India sees it as an opportunity to prove its hegemony, playing a “big daddy” role; trains the “Mukti Bahini”- the rebellion. Native people get arms, training and supplies from the army, which they use against the ruling Pakistani regime.
To divert the attention from its eastern front, Pakistan opens skirmishes in the western sector.
India wins the war, creating a new nation state, Bangladesh, in little less than twenty days.
The people rejoice over the thumping victory, a consecutive second over the same enemy after about six years, and the sourness of 1962 eases out.
India goes nuclear in 1974, only the sixth country to flirt with the bomb.
The Buddha continues to smile!
Meanwhile, Pakistan feels infuriated, having lost to India for the second time, and seceding a province, without doing much in Kashmir as a barter. The citizens pledge to live and die for Kashmir, and never end the struggle for the holy cause. The people of Pakistan cut down on their diet and eventually with the help of China, went nuclear.
Kashmir continues to burn…
Circa 1987. The Tamil movement in Sri Lanka gains momentum after a Prabhakaran, somehow manages to create an army, Jaffna his bastion, and gets arms and supplies. According to authentic sources, in the Army, IB and other think tanks, I got to know, though it’s a stale news to tell that – “India was behind the Tamil aggression!”
What? You feeling aghast?
“What has he written?”, is this you thinking?
First, we train the Ceylonic Tamilians, give them weapons and aid, and eventually have to send the peace keeping forces, acquiescing to the pressure from the UN, to counter our own bred men! And women!
India pays the price by getting its another PM assassinated.
So you may see, patriotism is a sham. It gets manifested in the “Jawani ka Josh”… Hehe!
By seeing things in the micro, singular level of the country, we tend to act irrational. The need of the moment is to broaden our perspective, while taking into account the thought of people from other countries.
I wonder, had you been an American rational, what your reaction would have been in terms of Vietnam, Afghanistan and especially Iraq.
Even I cheer at the 1971 moment, wanna join the army. My dharma says to be with my home, country. (Please see the older post, “Dharma and the Perspectives”)
But, inside, I feel, patriotism remains a virtue of the vicious. Time to be a global citizen…