Source: News Bharati English02 Mar 2016 13:23:50

Shamelessness of the socio-political activists grotesquely supported by the equally shameless intellectual community in India appears to touch the nadir level when they raise the question of explaining the meaning of nationalism and its definition. Is it not the gross abuse of the rule of law and a constitutional guarantee of the right to liberty?  Are we heading towards    ‘animalocrasy’, like the gregarious animals who live in a ‘free-for all’ ranch?

Opponents of all political shades to the present regime seem to be so disturbed by the fact that they no longer enjoy clandestine political support from the Executive power station for their meaningless and pervert activities. These satraps pretend to be the saviors of ‘democracy’, after the unexpected defeat in the General Elections which was handed down to them by the wise electorate in India. Moreover, most of these atheists have been suffering from a sort of acute heart-burning, that a Sangh nominee has been ruling the governance without reference to ‘their’ media based existence. 

It is interesting to note that these champions of liberty and freedom of all sorts reject the very existence of another school of thought of ‘nationalism’ or ‘Hindu thinking’. They pretend to be completely unaware of the hard reality and the fact that the progeny of theses freedom upholders were trounced hands down by the Hindu thinking of the electorates all over India very recently. The response of these lots has been as if the uneducated electorate has committed a political mistake and it is these upholders are entrusted with the responsibility of correcting the wrong done.

Will it be alright to describe these upholders as ‘intellectual errant’s’ or intellectual criminals? Let there not be any misunderstanding that I am an advocate of rescinding constitutional guarantee of liberty. I am a staunch practitioner of liberty, albeit with reasonable sense of being mindful of others too.

Nation is not a creation of intellectual exercise. It is the conclusion of linkage between past and present history. Classically, there is absolutely no necessity of redefining ‘nation theory’. Nation is not merely a conceptual articulation; it is also a basic need of the downtrodden and the poor for their very existence.  It is a promise of protection of their life, status and property. Nationalism emanates from out of a mutual inter-dependence. This is not a mere utilitarian view-point, there also exists a sort of spiritualism which binds several individuals with each other, on the one hand, and with the society on the other.

Recently, a senior University teacher is on record to have made a statement in a seminar, that ‘nationalism cannot be created at the point of gun....’, whether the teacher believed in the idea of ‘nationalism’ itself or not is a question, which needs to be addressed at the outset. “We do not believe in the concept of ‘nation”, was a firm contention of a well known communist politician. There are several pseudo-leftists who do not consider that India is or was a ‘nation’ at all. What a misfortune of India that while enjoying a constitutional guarantee of liberty of all sorts, a handful of few intellectuals reject the existence of Indian nation!  Late Professor  Bal raj  Macho once stated on the floor of the Lok Sabha House, that every citizen is an ‘insane’,  but ‘insaniyat  is  required to be imbibed in every citizen .This applies to ‘nationalism’ as well.

Those who are arguing against the idea of ‘nationalism’ basing their criticism on a different interpretative account, miss the point that there is nothing academic about it, but their outburst is sheer out of cynicism and personal malicious animosity against Hindutva ideology esp. Narendra Modi and the like. They are not genuinely believers in democratic practices.  Nor do these protesters have any academic foundation. Personal animosity is the factor. This school of thought would have blown the trumpets of high values of democracy if their followers had won in the last General elections, unfortunately, they were humiliated in the electoral test, and their embarrassment is that they cannot digest this humiliation which at times leads them to outbursts on every non-issue. Their outcry is heard on the floors of several legislatures, seminars, media, public addresses and several meaningless Modi-targeted movements. There is nothing academic or intellectual about it.

One has to take a note of that such a debate on ‘intolerance ‘and ‘forced nationalism’ is possible in a catholic land of total and absolute tolerance like in India. It is the poverty of understanding on the part of the pseudo-secularists and left-to-the center thinkers the Catholicism of the Indian society. They have neither proved themselves to be the global thinkers nor even Indians. In fact these confused half-hearted learned   vocal thinkers have made a laughing stalk of themselves. They are misleading the poor and the downtrodden.  It is time to realize that the menace to the Indian nation is from the pseudo-secularists and not from the ‘Hindutwa-wadi’ lot. Everybody knows that the ‘Hindutwa-wadi’ lot is in existence in India since immemorial past .Leftists are a recent phenomenon. The recent Macaulay entrants’ crowd is yet to acclimatize themselves with the ancient Indian ethos. These ‘liberty champions’ miserably fail to understand that Hindutwa advocates too have a well organized thought and it is a school of thought well entrenched in the Indian society since long. The Macaulay and crowd must understand that the Indian electorate recently has, though for the time being granted the central power station to rule the polity and the governance legitimately and the so duly elected Government is now in charge of the affairs of the nation. The Macaulay and crowd has very little role to direct the destiny. Macaulay and crowd should not create hurdles in their executive action programme. Politics and public administration cannot be confused with social stigmas which the Indian in general and Hindus in particular suffer from.  The stigmas need to be weeded out. However, that is the function of the rulers and not the opposition which has a limited role to play.

It is feared that whether the present political scenario suggests that we are leaping towards a sort of political anarchy. There is a tremendous pressure on the ‘Executive’ which is not allowed to discharge its constitutional duties in accordance with their party line (the party line which is responsible for their victory) in the name of democracy. Legislative functions are not allowed to be discharged. Parliament proceeding are  stalled, Bills are not allowed to be introduced and  pass, debates do not take place, every one shouts everybody resulting in incrementally increasing pandemonium in the House every day, Speaker’s Well  is  arrogantly pounded  upon and Speaker’s honor and his-her office is disrespected and the list of such  malpractices can be extended  much longer. The scenario narrated here does not confine to the Central legislature alone, similar scenes are witnessed in the legislatures at the State levels as well.

Parliamentary democracy in India is on the cross roads. All that is seen happening does not seem to be a good omen. Every walk of life and every field of activity in the society signals a sign of uneasiness, fear of impending breakage and unrest in the society and governance. The path for the nation ahead appears to be not without concern.

The need of the hour is rational thinking and attitude towards the political life. A rational introspection into the societal life will reveal the following:

  • Hypocrisy at every level of activity in the individual and social life,
  • Exaggeration of roles of public functionaries,
  • Mutual distrust and disrespect for rules and laws in its administration by all those concerned,
  • Exaggeration and misinterpretation of mandatory compliance for its willful evasion,
  • Weakening of hierarchy in the society and the polity,
  • Rampant ill conceived meaning of freedom and liberty at the cost of family institution along with its parental bondages,
  • Excessive impetus on misinterpreted humanitarian values thereby putting pressures on the Executive,
  • Destroying humanity at times by misinterpreting  socio-cultural traditions,
  • Denigrating culture of Indian society of the past.
  • Self centered attitudes of the individual at the cost of the nation.

The recent unrest amongst the students’ community in India emanating from the suicide of a University student, further continued with the agitational stance over a non-issue in another University campus is an instance as to how a non-issue could flare up the emotions of the immature people in an equally immature parliamentary democracy. Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was absolutely right when he observed that “it (i.e. student unrest) is an example of children without ‘samskar’ imbibed upon them “.

Despite  a welcome industrial revolution in the Indian society along with the  British colonial rule , the victim was  the solid  family institution in India  which had withstood every socio-cultural invasion on the Indian soil , since time immemorial .Although the newly introduced English education system in India was  differently  a better system, it created several hitherto unknown  insoluble questions such as division of joint family system,  modern approach of gender justice , segregation of family, co-education, administration of the concept of rule of law and individual centric family consideration. In fact, idea of patriotism or nationalism was either a reaction or a result of this situation in the Indian society. These ideas broadened the Indian mind, in other words, substantiated the ancient concept of ‘Vasudhaiv kutumbakam’. It was well exemplified when a theological State like Pakistan was carved out of the Indian mainland in the mid-century, leaving behind a land of tolerance and liberal thought-based ancient Indian nation. Acquiescence to the creation of theological Pakistan was an excellent example of liberal and tolerant Indian nation. Reference to the talk of ‘Hindu Rashtra’, is a mere reference to the extent of liberalism that exists in India , and it has in no way to do anything with the Hindu worshiping methods or any other Hindu religious traits. The reference is cultural and certainly not political by any stretch of imagination.

Discussion on nationalism is required to be held in the light of the above. One has to note that Indian nation i.e. Bharat has existed as a nation without the nationalism as   depicted in the present format. Those who oppose the idea of Indian nation are allowed to reside in the Indian nation with all their arguments. It is interesting to note that the Indian nationhood accords complete freedom to express any sort of ‘the other side’ to be presented without permitting any infringement of any rule in vogue. Bubbles are permitted.

Trifle debates on non-issues   like ‘intolerance’ or ‘nationalism’ in the society do more damage to the psychological stability of the society in general and the individual in particular. It is a habit of applying nettle for undesirable irritation and wasting discipline of national time table. It is sort of tactical diversion of the mindset of the development oriented governance. The cynics of these categories enjoy sterile debate on such issues at the cost of poor and the downtrodden. Those who talk of economic development make   themselves detrimental to the path of progress. The idle do their pastime with leisure the talk of such non-issues. Prof.Nitin Pai observes that ‘our sentiments were offended and not the security ’, (pl. see Prof. Nitin Pai-his article in “The Hindu- Patriotism without nationalism”, February 23 rd, 2016).

There is also another submission by the advocates of unfettered freedom of speech, sloganeering and public action, that it should not attract Section 124 A of the IPC 1860 on ‘sedition’.

Section 124-A of the IPC (45 of 1860) on sedition, needs a close examination. The Section reads as following:

Sedition—“-Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible         representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law in India, shall be punished with (imprisonment for life), to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.

Explanation   1.  The expression “disaffection “includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity.               

Explanation   2.  Comments expressing disapprobation of the measures of the Government with a view to obtain their alteration by lawful means, without exciting or attempting  to  excite hatred, contempt of disaffection, do not constitute an offence  under this Section.  

Explanation    3.   Comments expressing disapprobation of the administrative or other action of the Government without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this Section.

Classification of Offence—the offence under this section is cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable and triable by Court of Session.”

The unrest amongst the students and the slogans which they raised are required to be carefully examined and whether their slogans were a proposal of, or part thereof, any secret or clandestine plan of action or a design of intentions or whether these constituted a part of chain of action in further course of time.

 “After sedition was introduced in the code the first major case that was tried under it was Lokmanya Tilak’s case (Queen Empress v. Bal Gangadhar Tilak (1897) ILR 22BOM) in which the clearest exposition of the law was made by Strachy J. While stating the law before the jury he said “the offence consists in exciting or attempting to excite in others certain bad feelings towards the Government. It is not the exciting or attempting to excite mutiny or rebellion or any sort of actual disturbance great or small. Whether any disturbance or outbreak was caused by these articles is absolutely immaterial”. This statement of law was later approved by the Privy Council.

Another landmark case in which the scope and nature of sedition as defined in the Indian code was explained was Sadashiv Narain Bhalerao’s case (King Emperor v. Sadashiv Narain Bhalerao (1947) LR 74 IA 89). The Privy Council held “but even if he (accused) neither excited nor intended to excite any rebellion or outbreak or forcible resistance to the authority of the Government still if he tried to excite feelings of enmity to the Government that is sufficient to make him guilty under the Section”.

In 1962 the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of Sec 124A in the Kedarnath case (Kedarnath Singh v. State of Bihar AIR 1962 SC 955). During the colonial period sedition was considered a black law and was used extensively against the leaders of the freedom movement. Gandhi, Tilak and many other leaders were put behind bars for many years under this law. But the constitution bench of Supreme Court painted it white and presented it before the free Indians as a necessary law in the interest of the survival of republic.

The constitutional validity of sedition was upheld by the Supreme Court on the basis of an interpretation of Sec 124A in line with the decisions of the federal court in Niharendu’s case (Niharendu Dutt Majumdar v. King Emperor (1942) FCR 38) and certain English cases. In this case Sir Maurice Gwyer, CJ stated the law on sedition in the following words “public disorder or the reasonable anticipation or likelihood of public disorder is thus the gist of the offence. The acts or words complained of must either incite to disorder or must be such as to satisfy reasonable men that that is their intention or tendency”. In line with this statement of law by the federal court, the Supreme Court of India held that as public disorder and violence are the essential ingredients of sedition it is a law made in the interest of public order under Article 19 (2) and hence is a reasonable restriction on the fundamental right of freedom of speech.

In Kedar Nath Singh, the question before the Supreme Court was as to the constitutionality of s. 124A and s. 505 of the Indian Penal Code under Article 19(2) with particular reference to security of the State and public order, both of which find mention in that Article. 

In its analysis of Section 124A, the Supreme Court in Kedar Nath Singh first noted that the words “Government established by law" were not a reference to “the person's for the time being engaged in carrying on the administration" but referred to the Government as the visible symbol of the State. The Supreme Court clarified that the crime of sedition was a crime against the State and was intended to protect the very existence of the State. The purpose of the crime of sedition was to prevent the Government established by law from being subverted because “the continued existence of the Government established by law is an essential condition of the stability of the State”. (The references are drawn from ‘internet sources)

There are several judicial observations and rulings in this regard explaining the meaning and scope of ‘sedition’. Moreover, this is not the forum of discussing judicial pronouncements lest it could constitute contempt. But it need not be so because the Apex Court has very well explained the term ‘sedition’ and ruled accordingly.

Sedition erupts from any action/protest/ March plan which in turn emanates from speeches and sloganeering invoking emotional explosions of the disgruntled few. The very existence of the State would become vulnerable if extreme sloganeering and hate speeches are allowed; the emotions of the common people are bound to flare up leading to rebellion. One small spark may prove sufficient to rage an inferno. Sedition law is a sort of self protecting measure for a ‘State’ by the legislature.

Let me submit that in no way I am trying to belittle the prime role of the intellectuals in the making of a society and the nation. My submission is that the objective of such a debate is not genuine in intentions, it is rhetoric, and it smacks of a predetermined target. Modi and RSS is their target. Therefore all the criticism is vitiated by personal vendetta, as if it were.  

Dislike of the duly elected Modi Government by a few idle intellectuals raises a pertinent question whether such critics are believers in parliamentary democracy at all?  It becomes imperative to examine their credentials.