Political scientist and historian Benedict Anderson wrote a book on Nationalism in 1983 called ‘Imagined Communities’. In the book, Benedict writes,
“No one can be a true nationalist who is incapable of feeling ashamed of his or her state or government commits crimes including those against their fellow citizens.”
But the Indian nationalists seem to hold the exact opposite view of this. Their version of the same quote is, “No one can be a true nationalist who feels ashamed or worried if his/her state commits crimes.”
Take the recent and most perfect example of Naseeruddin Shah. Naseer said that he is afraid that people (including Govt) are committing crimes in the name of religion. Did he say something wrong or factually incorrect? Any person in his/her right mind won’t find Mr Naseer wrong. But, expectedly, Indian nationalists (or should I write Indian Jingoists) find this Unpatriotic/treasonous. A right-wing body’s head even booked Naseer a ticket to Pakistan. And the dust is not settling down. Naseer’s video was posted on December 17. It’s been 11 days since it was posted, and people are still talking about it. A man speaking his concerns over his country is the one and the only thing that these self-proclaimed nationalists are interested in?
A person criticising his country is enough for the “nationalists” to bash him/her. Finding that person to be a Muslim is like icing to the cake. If you notice carefully, the channel that published the video, Karwan-e-Mohabbat, has videos featuring other eminent names, talking their concerns. Professor Apoorvanand, Professor Jyoti Gosh too spoke their mind on the channel. But it is only Naseer who got all the attention.
More power to Naseeruddin Shah, as not only he spoke about things, but he stood firm on his words. After all the talks-debates on news channel, Naseeruddin Said he didn’t say anything wrong.
Another thing that needs to be noticed is the silence of Bollywood. Actresses like Swara Bhaskar, Kalki are the among the very few stars who have a spine and dare to speak against any wrongdoings. Otherwise, rest of the Bollywood is busy either in planning to remake a Tollywood film or planning on how to make another 100 crore club member movie that has everything but a spine.
With that said, let’s end this piece with a comment on Naseeruddin Shah’s Video by a person with name Narendra Kuma. Narendra writes, “Middle East Chale Jao...election ki aag lagi hai kya..kyu Kaat rahe ho cow. All crimes belong only from the peaceful community like you.”