War on rise of legitimate nationalism

Nine inconsequential Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) of 751 have written to the EU to cancel agreements with India till the ‘urban Naxals’ are released.

Published: 23rd September 2018 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd September 2018 11:45 AM   |  A+A-

Nine inconsequential Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) of 751 have written to the EU to cancel agreements with India till the ‘urban Naxals’ are released. It would have perhaps been best to ignore their meaningless tirade but one must still make a counterpoint. Predominantly belonging to the left parties, it is strange that these MEPs instead of deliberating on the future of Europe, on the future and raison d’être of the EU and the challenges facing European countries by cyclic waves of immigrants, an ageing population and increasingly restless political climate, should bother themselves about individuals whose professed aim is the overthrow of the legitimate and constitutional Indian state and the elimination of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders who are today guiding the ship of the Indian state.

In fact, the MEPs should have been obsessed with Europe’s age of crisis, best articulated by the conservative political philosopher Roger Scruton, to whom I periodically go back to in order to understand the march of present-day Europe. Scruton’s description of Europe’s crisis is hard-hitting:
“Europe’s rapidly diminishing share of the world’s trade and wealth bespeaks a shift in power of a kind that is only seen every few centuries. Mass immigrations from Africa, Asia and the Middle East have created potentially disloyal, and in any case anti-national, minorities in the heart of France, Germany, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries and Britain. The Christian faith has receded from public life, leaving a vacuum into which nihilism, materialism and militant Islam have flowed unresisted. The population is getting older and sparser—except in Britain, which is the destination of choice for so many European migrants, and now in deep conflict as a result.”

Instead of trying to find ways out of this hydra-headed challenge, these confused MEPs are unnecessarily stretching themselves too thin by meddling into the affairs of far-off India, into a situation and episode of which they have little first-hand knowledge and experience. Such irresponsible, politically motivated and short-sighted behaviour must be condemned by those who have respect for India’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity.

This also reminded me of a sentence from the late Indian philosopher Ram Swarup, who writing sometime in the late 80s, had observed that “aggressive internationalism is often used to oppose and subvert legitimate nationalism”. The motley crowd of MEPs thus are displaying an aggressive and interventionist internationalism which is trying to oppose and subvert legitimate nationalism in India.

India since May 2014 has seen the rise of legitimate nationalism. This nationalism has worked and aspired to first, mainstream and empower the vast swathes of marginalised sections that lived neglected within Indian society; it undertook efforts, initiatives that have transformed lives; it has reached out to the grassroots with the message and hope of a new India. Second, it has challenged India’s adversaries within the country; it has put up a spirited resistance against the ‘break India lobby’ defined by separatists, insurgents, terrorists and Naxals. Third, it has exposed saboteurs who, from within the system, have pushed and facilitated the ‘break India lobby’ and worked to destabilise the Indian polity by adopting violent and anarchic methods. Fourth, it has persistently pushed and pursued India’s agenda and national interest on the world stage.

Naxals, urban Naxals, separatists, terrorists, insurgents and their intellectual sympathisers at home and abroad seek to subvert this legitimate nationalism because it threatens to dilute their agenda and to eventually annihilate them altogether.

Anirban Ganguly

Director, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation

anirbangan@gmail.com

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