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Chanakya’s View: Hyper nationalism can’t secure our borders

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30.06.2018

Frankly, I am stumped. It has become near impossible now to know what is the definition of patriotism, who is a nationalist, who is not, what qualifies one to be called a patriot, and what damns one to be labelled an anti-national. In the increasing shrillness — and ignorance — of political abuse, it has become futile to attempt to argue, debate, discuss, ask, listen, question, praise or critique. Each such attempt is immediately put in a slot, where the lid is shut on the message, and the entire focus becomes to vilify the messenger. This quality of national discourse is nothing short of a disaster for a civilisation-state like India. The foundations of our civilisation, going back to the dawn of time, were based on moulik soch, the power of original thought. Our freedom struggle too was founded on a highly cerebral basis, where even people on the same side had the freedom to differ, and the opportunity to interrogate and debate. What has happened over the years that, today, the bona fides of anybody who does not immediately conform to one or the other brittle polarities of political discourse are questioned? In fact, discourse itself is suspect. If you have any doubts in the matter just watch some of the “debates” on our leading TV channels.

I want to raise this issue especially in the context of national security. Undoubtedly, this is a sensitive subject. In a situation of war or a declared national crisis, the democratically elected government of the day is fully entitled to take such decisions as........

© Deccan Chronicle