The debate on who is a patriot and who is not has re-surfaced once again. This is against the backdrop of some students in Jawaharlal Nehru University organizing a rally eulogizing Afzal Guru who is a convicted terrorist for attempting to bomb the symbol of Indian democracy i.e. Parliament, and calling for the destruction of India.
There is no dispute that JNU is a bastion of left, which stands for many ideas which Marx has professed like liberating masses from the opium called religion and fighting a great evil called nationalism which has crept deep in to the psyche of masses in the post-modern world.
Nation, nationalism and patriotism and other such terms are considered as irrational in the language of left. Hence, anyone who talks in favor of Nationalism is dubbed as fascist, anti-modern and anti-liberal.
What matters is universalism. All most all the time universalism in communist parlance is against the constitutionally defined national unity and integrity. Indian left should realize that Constitution was not drafted by Sangh Parivar or for that matter neither Judiciary nor the Indian legal system is under the control of Sangh Parivar.
Hence under the current circumstances left cannot openly call for the destruction of India, even that is what their ideological compulsions are, or support those who seek destruction. It is because of this reason you would find no difference between what they are saying and what Kashmir separatists and a Pakistani diplomat might say on some issues concerning Kashmir. After all Indian communists have worked with Muslim league shoulder to shoulder for partition of India and the creation of Pakistan.
They are forced to employ subtlety if not an outright deception. So, they try to couch these rallies and slogans as freedom of expression, knowing very well that it is not absolute but subject to reasonable restrictions. It is a double act. They have to accomplish their ideological goals at the same time evading a legal action. The media is a willing collaborator in cascading their positions.
As much as the left would want the destruction of Indian state at their sub-conscious level, it is still illegal according to the established legal order. Or if I may say that it is the Original Position which Rawls talks about in his theory of justice which was negotiated and agreed up on right after the political independence from British colonizers.
The popular culture in this country is to equate nationhood to mother, that is the kind of importance one attaches to Nation. Metaphorically speaking, If a mother has two children and if the elder one abuses his mother out of his newfound ideology that teaches him to abuse his mother, it is entirely possible that his younger brother might not have reached to that level of enlightenment and may take a serious offence for the abuse hurled at his mother and might just pat at his elder brother and say that what he is doing is wrong.
From the perspective of media reporting, both these aspects i.e., action and reaction should be projected evenly without favoring one side over the other. But the trend is to completely sideline the original action, i.e., the abuse but only focus on the reaction i.e., the pat. The unbiased Indian media should not fall for such temptations.
But I plead with the communists that they should reconcile their belief of achieving universalism through destroying India’s unity with more acceptable things which are constitutionally valid. If not anything else it amounts to intellectual impropriety to call those who are opposing pro-terrorist and anti-national voices as backward and fascist.