CHANDIGARH: Setting the stage for discussions, during the first session ‘Jingoism and Hyper Nationalism - An Indian Perspective’ on the second day of Military Literature Festival (MLF), TMC MP Mahua Moitra categorically rejected the Centre’s idea of nationalism.
Moitra said, Indian ethos is all about moderation not given to excesses and will certainly endure the present onslaught by communal forces.
Invoking Rabindranath Tagore, she said, “Any nationalism which teaches me to treat my nation above God is not acceptable to me,” adding aggressive dependence on religion demonstrates abject failure of ruling class on all major fronts. RSS ideologue Desh Ratan Nigam stated the Constitution originally was not supposed to be secular and it was only with 42nd Amendment in 1976 the word ‘secular’ was inserted during the Emergency. “The Article on fundamental duties enjoins upon all of us to protect the national culture and heritage.”
Responding to a question, Nigam though accepted that concept of nationalism was being misused by some vested interests, who were using it for political gains. “I don’t subscribe to this term ‘nationalism’,” Nigam said, adding that Bhartiyata is what encompasses all dimensions of our cultural belief where none is superior and all are equal.”
Attacking anyone is not in our ethos and our no-first-use nuclear doctrine demonstrates this, Nigam added. Journalist Mark Tully, who moderated the session, said the world was witnessing rise of nationalism which has the potential of being misused for political gains.
‘Balakot strike was to send a message’
The message of the Balakot airstrike was to tell the Pakistani establishment and terrorist organisations that there will be a cost to pay for terror attacks in India which was effectively conveyed said former Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa. “The message of Balakot, therefore, was to tell Pakistani establishments and terror organisations that there will be a cost to pay for terror attacks in India which was effectively conveyed,” said Dhanoa. However, he said, “on our side.. (there were) stupid mistakes for which remedial measures were taken.”