About the Author

K Ramkumar, known to his friends as Ram, has an enduring passion for triggering a discussion and joining in with gusto on a range of themes. He believes that every person has an inalienable right to express his/her view no matter how different it is to anyone else. In his book no view is unworthy or big or small. Every view from everyone deserves a consideration without getting caught up with the tyranny of agreement or disagreement.
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The anti-national sentiment

To me anti-national is a sentiment, not a person and it should apply to any nation and not only India. Nationalistic sentiment can be comprehended only through the lens of anti-national sentiment. Any attempt at definition will result in articulation of one more dogma.

If I cast my mind to the last sixty-eight years of our nationhood and glean when we as a country have been anti national, it has been every time we have made our citizens experience one of the following twelve sentiments. There may be more but I have chosen to limit it to what to me are twelve most pre-eminent ones. Triggering or exhibiting anti-national sentiment has not been the exclusive preserve of any one government, political party, politician, institution or citizen. Shamefully at various times, one or the other constituent of our nation has acted in a manner, which has given rise to one or other of the following anti-national sentiments.

  1. Not only when someone shouts slogans asking for the dismemberment of my beloved country, but also when someone dismembers it on the odious plank of caste, religion, ethnicity, culture, class, sharing of river waters and crime.
  2. Not only when someone dis-respects the triranga, but when someone shows greater allegiance to flags which have Red, Green, Saffron, Blue, Black, Yellow or a combination of colours, over the tricolour with the Ashoka (Dharma) chakra in the middle.
  3. Whenever we seek homogeneity over plurality and impose majoritarian will or appease minority, as opposed to discharging our constitutional duty.
  4. Not only when someone burns my constitution, but when someone shows greater reverence to religious, ideological and cultural dogmas over our constitution.
  5. When someone dodges taxes using clever interpretation of the law, because he denies the nation the money that will build it.
  6. When someone buys patronage and privileges which is not due to him, by dubious means, because it sows the seeds of retributory anger, in otherwise peaceful people, who value nationalism, because it guarantees equity, fairness and justice for all.
  7. When rule of law is the casualty and when the temples of justice respond to the rich and mighty only, leaving the innocent common man as the under trial for decades.
  8. When the police become the private militia of the politicians, while they show apathy to the security and rights of an ordinary citizen; in fact, regularly aggress and extort them.
  9. When the bureaucrat and senior government official sells his soul for few pieces of silver and the protection and patronage of the political class.
  10. When our schools reserve the poorest quality of education to the poorest children of this country; why even discard them as child labour.
  11. When we condone popular violence, which exploits the right to assemble and protest, to threaten and intimidate the State and private institutions and terrorises ordinary citizens, to submit to blackmail and extortion.
  12. When we let even one person with criminal charge (taint), to make laws and govern us, till proven innocent; for Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.

To me every inhumane act directed at a fellow citizen breeds anti-national sentiment, for a nation is only an aggregation of its citizens and not just inanimate territorial ownership or jingoistic chest thumping.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

– Rabindranath Tagore

10 comments on “The anti-national sentiment
  1. Dhananjay Singh says:

    On one side, Nepotism, Corruption, Appeasement, McCarthyism, Unequal opportunity to citizens & regions of the country is anti national. On the other side, when the love for humanity compromise National Security (by mistake or by choice) is anti national. Equally knee jerk reaction by authorities is anti national. Pushing ideas, by using authority, not meritocracy is anti national.

  2. Certainly I agree with you that every inhumane act directed at a fellow citizen breeds anti-national sentiment, for a nation . Some other issues that I would want to highlight are:
    -When politicians for their petty selfish gains change parties without having any consideration for the diagonally opposite ideologies followed by these parties
    -When an honest citizen has to go through medical tests to prove his fitness even for the post of an office boy and the first citizen or for that matter any politician can enter parliament just by buying and Winning his votes. His physical and psychological fitness is taken for granted. If he has a disease condition, the national exchequer is there to bail him out.
    -When a politician who even once enters parliament, gets a lifelong pension and other perks but a farmer who feeds the nation is left to fend for himself & if he can not, the path leading to a DEAD END is always kept open for the poor man!
    -When our callous politicians go for the condolence visits to score brownie points over rivals in politically sensitive deaths without bothering to find out the TRUTH/National Interest. Seldom do we find these Political Hyenas (apologies for the harsh words- but when sentiments are aroused it does not matter to me) visiting a brave soldier- only son of a poor farmer’s family, laying down his life to save Nation’s honor.
    I can only quote Poet Maithilee Sharan Gupt’s Couplet here to express my sentiments
    “jo bhara nahi hai bhavo se, behti jisme rasdhaar nahi, woh hriday nahi hai patthar hai, jisme swadesh ka pyar nahi”
    The heart that does not have an overflowing nectarine love for one’s motherland cannot be called a heart at all…It is a LIFELESS STONE, if it is devoid of PASSIONATE LOVE for the HOMELAND.

  3. MANISH SHARMA says:

    Just to correct Readers

    To me Country is an ideology engulfed with blindness and madness towards Nationalism to an extent that no one can back off and should not.
    As we enchant Great Tagore poetry together – my meaning as a blind Nationalist is that my Head can remain high only if spirit of my Motherland borders are tied & united in front and when my countrymen is not broken into fragments and pieces over a piece of land owning as a Freedom of slated Land.
    Yes I am blind enough to tell that nothing prevails over anyone nationalist mind be it caste, culture, religion or any such driving force which can detach us from holding ‘Tringaa’.
    It is rather unfortunate for a country who had greats like Tagore & Gandhi and Martyrs like Shahid Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Ashfaqulla, Bismil, Azad, Bose and many more with endless thousands of lacs of people who threw their lives for freedom to only see a this phase of discussion over National Flag and people from all political or nonpolitical classes coming and standing in favour of youth sloganeering ’Azadi’ in year 2016. Any such misdoing act of provocation or courage to have the viral of video/ footage by de- identifying themselves from main stream is an act of disgrace and shameful for all.

    I do not want to be intellectual in presuming the sentiments in other way around encompassing or pinpointing the number of streams of failure of several classes of a citizen in these 68 years. This is catastrophe in the way when several classes do not impart their supreme moral duty towards Countrymen but can we not come together when anti-bilingual forces force us to showcase our UNITY IN DIVERSITY..

    With respect to Anti National sentiment prevailing in certain places or parts actually not as a whole in country like us, I may differ here as well or any countrymen may by hearing these ideologies of driving the distraction among country and thus questioning the very structure of nationalism along with constitution.
    People may say 68 years of country-hood with so many flaws of act as a responsible citizens & not to forget dogmatic approach of certain facets of society failing across areas in diligently follow up of rules of land. So this does not invite or allow anyone actually to malign the very basics and principle of any proud country by using a special para of constitution ‘freedom of expression’ as a matter of practice.

    As a countrymen and we all are , we understand the aforesaid 12 sentiments but will still go by the blindness of love and affection of performing my utmost duty when country require most. When Anti national sentiments are going like flyers then our foremost approach is to curtail the very existence of nail with naturally applying trial in court of justice with constitutional laws. There cannot be any discussion point over Nationalism that who is Nationalist or anti Nationalist, any such Anti sentiments has to be dealt with force and strict actions. Thereby totally unacceptable also in accepting that any authority action is treated as Knee Jerk making it in the class of Anti National.
    Overall This is obnoxious and sarcastic for the likes of dreams of Tagore who is heavenly abode and would rate as an crucify act thus denouncing his soul or any countrymen souls.
    You all may not treat as an judgement from my side rather absolute universal approach and blindness again towards anyone’s love for his or her country.

    To end with small poetry from my side for ‘ Bharat Bhagaya Vidhata’

    ‘Any wind which unwinds my Mother land, I or we stand up

    Any attraction which detracts us from cent of Motherland, I or we stand up

    Any sentiments which deprive us from Motherland, I or we stand up

    Beware May Lord I may not perform for you even , our spirit is for motherland

    Though you have made me but I or we of course will die for Motherland’

    JAI HIND

    Desh Mere Desh mere meri Jaan hai Desh mere

    • Great thoughts Manish – especially the poetry. The mention of Ashfaqulla Khan stirred up my Nationalistic Sentiments which I thought had gone into a deep slumber before the present day continuous barrage of Anti-India slogan shouting and other attention seeking, anti-national sentiment arousing acts gathered momentum.
      Before Ashfaqulla Khan was hanged by the British Sahibs, this brave son of Mother India was asked for his Aakhri Khwaeesh (Last Wish) before his supreme sacrifice. Ashfaqulla Khan replied-
      “Kuchh Khwaeesh nahi. Agar Khwaeesh hai to ye ki Laa kar jarasi rakhdo khake Vatan Kafanme.” meaning ” I have no final wish except that, please keep a pinch of the Soil of my Motherland with my mortal remains”
      It is high time our new generation learns to appreciate Why and How the Freedom was earned and What WE ALL will have to do to keep the Nation FREE – in Body, Mind and Spirit. Each and every atom of my body tells me that WE CAN & WE WILL DO at least this much for MOTHER INDIA. YES WE CAN. JAI HO!! JAI HIND!!!

    • K.Ramkumar says:

      Dear Manish

      If you carefully read my piece you will realise that neither I or most of us are condoning any depricatory reference or slogan at our country. The question is about the hysterical response. That is what happens when bilnd sentiment and no clear reason rules. I and you as xitizen can afford to be swept by blind sentiment not those who are given the responsibility to goven us. Response and derternt action yes but with clear mind. Because responses which are blind and disproportionate ends up making the offender look like a victim. Tagore advocates reason and clear mind and not anti-nationalism. Jingoism is no nationalism.

      Consider this when a child or a women is abused or feels abused in a family and then out of sheer desperation questions the institution of the family or its values how would you respond?

      Do you really mean that killing 20 people and destroying countries wealth by rioting for for caste or religion is not breaking up the country and a flaw?

      Do you really think that when state boundries and language is used to bar, beat up and abuse people from another state is not breaking up the countr and a flaw?

      Do you really think that when you prevent progressive laws to be passed in the parliament becuse you are opposed to a political party you are not breaking the country and it is a flaw?

      Think my friend. Saying Jai Hind a thousand times and wrapping yourself in tricolour alone does not make anyone nationalistic.

      Any sloganering which seeks to question my nation is not only condomenable but also deserves punishment. But not hysterical response and disproportionate retribution.

      Thanks for engaging in a responsible and dignified debate. We surely should debate this and your view is as vaild as any other on this topic

    • K.Ramkumar says:

      Dear Manish,

      I want to once again reiterate that I respect your arguments and also am moved by your passion. Mine is only a more nuanced position, because I worry about what the unintended consequences of shrillness will be for the well-being of our nation. I request you to consider the proposition that over flow of emptions and hysterical responses to anything leads to unintended excesses which eventually is bad for the country. All responses should be measured and achieve the intended result. Hysteria and emotional over reach causes huge collaterals damage which we do not want.

      Jai Hind my friend

  4. You are very clear in your communication Ramkumar. How I wish the thoughts expressed by readers in this healthy debate had a wider reach or even reach our law makers busy in spreading the culture of ‘monologue’- ‘speak don’t listen or better still don’t allow the other person to speak’….But then wishes are not horses!

  5. Colonel Naresh Sinha says:

    Hello Everyone,
    Diverse views and exceptional thoughts especially the so well articulated 12 by Ram; however would we want to just debate over them. Yes our patriotic songs / quotes bring goose pimples & a tear drop however it is an emotion.
    The floods in Chennai brought out humanness when people opened their homes to strangers for days. Uttaranchal floods had people from all over the country responding very silently but purposefully. The wars we have fought has always bound the country together.
    The anti-social however wait for such situations and take advantage be it hoarding & increasing the price of essential or displaying that all the help is being provided by them !!
    I remember during the floods in Mumbai the neighborinbit of g shopkeeper hiked the price of a bottle of water to Rs.25 and one had to explain to him with a some coercion that what he was doing was wrong. He was not only unhappy and angry but ready to threaten!!. However on 15 Aug he displayed the Tiranga and I asked him if he knew what it meant. Sheepish, he promised never to repeat what he had done & that too in front of his kids. I have seen him giving away food in the evenings to urchins.
    At the Siachen whenever we wrapped the body of one of my soldier in the Tiranga’ we felt very proud and sad. Very proud as he was not so very concerned in a debate on nationalism but just went ahead and displayed it, proud that he kept our fire alive to do it if one got a chance to do it for the country, proud that he was an example and did what he should. Sad that a mother had lost a child , a wife her husband and a child a father. Extreme nationalism !!.
    Each one of us is a patriot in his/her own way by our contributions. We however need to take charge and get into action mode; Get into his /her circle of control. We normally wait for an organisation /country and to do something and pontificate on the right and wrong. We are always wanting to launch it BIG with great fanfare. The flavour of the month/year.
    Respecting humanity could be a subset of being nationalistic. We should just pledge that wherever possible I shall feed a hungry when I see one, clothe a needy, provide some medical aid to the sick,some aid towards educating the poor, intervene when I see something going wrong or tempers are raised, ensure honesty and build values in people around us.
    This to me is being Nationalist

    • K.Ramkumar says:

      As always thought provoking and wise thoughts from Col. Sinha. Everytime we fail to act as a responsible citizen we are not being nationalistic. Unfortunately the politicians on both sides of the divide are acting in an irresponsible manner hence they are doing no favour to the citizens of this country. It is time we say that divisive slogans are bad and they deserve deterant action but not sedition charge or hyper-ventilation and move on to discharge our respective duties as citizens and show our nationalism. The parlimentarians should therefore move on and pass laws which the country needs and the government move on to govern. The police should also move on and make their advertisement on being non partisan and citizen friendly be credible. They should not not make a spectacle of themselves by saying jail for slogeneering but bail for violence directed at the citizens of this country, worse is our repeated capitulation to rioters.

  6. MANISH SHARMA says:

    My acknowledgement to both Ashok and Ram Sir and of course pleasure to have contrast views with compliments.
    You see Nationalism is not an aspiration for any nationalist, it is inbuilt in your nerves and blood cells as we imitate our Mother same way in all sense post birth.
    My point was to have consensus in halting these rhetoric views over Nationalism, a point of fraction which need to be fix before it blows out of control. Any such deterrent or dissent to Nation is always harmful be it in form, do we all or anyone advise or percolate for these sections to come out in round table discussion likewise to discuss
    “University is an autonomous body and does not accept National Flag to be hoisted or leave the cause of martyrs rather panel discussed about heroism of person booked for Parliament attack and what about Kashmiri Pandits who were thrown out of their home land, are youths sloganeering ‘azaadi’ have ever rose to the occasion for beleaguered Pandits”.
    There are lot many issues creep in a country like us with so many diversity in place, infact very difficult to inculcate satisfaction among them and sense of follow up of rules of land. Yes truly these sects lack in accepting our Country as a Nation to live with.
    I believe that Greats like Gandhi who led the moderate group and Shahid Stalwart Netaji Subhash Bose, Bhagat Singh/Azaad from extremist group remarkably moved the people in their times when Bharat was actually divided into Large & small kingdoms, there were several ‘RIYASAT’, endless tribal groups and ‘Mukhiya’ heading villages, when there was no media Electronic or Social, still the revival of people of India & country collated for one cause ‘ freedom’ Where as in contradictory to today’s regime & country analysis, few People from all around indulge in malpractices of division of land & fore throne their gimmicks thus leaving aside the common man who is already pissed with their livelihood of Roof, Bread & butter. I wonder with so much in place be it science innovations, mass educational system or wide diversify talent, Political & Bureaucrats system still fail to deliver collectively, yes we do fail also as an individual in uplifting of deprived masses specially children which make my heart always goes out, seeing them begging as I foresee my two sons in their thirsty faces and thus with shed full of tears become passerby or does satisfy myself in spreading food or help but in bits & pieces. Nowhere we run from the charity, you actually require herculean collective effort of all with funds & infrastructure in place.
    So nowhere we become anti Nationalist by not doing so, this way my Father or any one’s Father (earning member) looks like if duties have been missed to society viz growth of poverty ridden people because of my Father primary job of delivering to their families. Once he used to bicycle 5 km stretch on daily basis in early morning from his Govt. Quarter to water the boundaries of soft structure of future home of all of his family to save fuel though he had bajaj scooter. Ram Kumar Sir too had in profound mass speeches have described simplicity of his Father and never so die approach not only towards family goals but also goals which also lead to betterment of society. Dr Kalam too travelled from small town known for Lord Ram worshipping of Lord Shiva to enormous scientific excellence in Space innovations and also willingly worked motivation theories and evergreen speech to Youth of India.
    Would you all want Late Dr.Kalam who is heavenly abode, Anna Hazare at the age of 70+ who valiantly did fasting for odd 15 days for corruption free Bharat or the likes of our Father’s to reciprocate again their methods of up gradation of people about Nationalism as well for sloganeering youth to bring down to main scale without capital punishment.

    Off lately Naxalists emerging as a group with taking arms into their hands to safeguard their interest & cause of tribal development and against atrocities by Zamindari system, you see can Centre not over armed those illiterate people with force , yes it can curb the movement easily but Govt. always consider the evaluation with talks and pleading those separatist to come out in main frame.
    Centre Govt. whether Congress or BJP knows well even after 68 years of independence certain facets of society are still underdeveloped and so need to take off with composite dialogue. Are we as a citizen still allow Naxals to kill CRPF personnel who joined the force from all parts north west south east for separation because as a Country again blamed for failure of development of tribal groups.No not at all.
    In unanimity, image of ‘Durgaa’ Indiraji we lost a courageous PM from again the forces of separatists, and we lost again Shy PM late Rajivji, was brutally killed and cremation happened to be a collection of thousands of pieces of body collectively merged again for enlighten. Then again as a Country we passed resolution both state parties in position and opposition to forgive the Sins of malign criminals who did the Non forgivable act. I or we still remember our Late PM even I may regard as a ProModiji, nowhere we forget to feel pity about my beloved late PM’s (Indiraji & Rajivji) end.
    While taking the blessings from his 95 year old Mother on the occasion of his Birthday , Mother in return gave Rs.100/- as a token of good Omen to his High profile Son who happen to be a PM Modiji, does as a normal or common Son will act in a different way that Maa give me more privileges or else I will part you in pieces.

    Rather I salute Retd. Colonel Sir G D Bakshi for SACRED MORALE and his commitment to Country as a soldier and citizen, the way he questioned Media persons when asked to join for a discussion on hoisting of National Flag, oh my God whether this can also be influx as a point of discussion, the way he wept shows his pain in grief and anger.
    Same way as a majority class if I chant ‘ShriRam’ in open space , may be treated as a Hindu Fanatic who would regard as a provocative religion biased texture, does it actually invite any instigation. No of course.
    Keeping in mind the current foreplay another case of fear in my mind when my Sons will approach adulthood, I wonder patriotism along with values which I taught may end them in danger if they again chant ‘ JAI HIND’ ‘ BHARAT MATA KI JAI’ in open space because there again can be a proposition one in favour and other in opposition. What is this Non sense, can Country Slogans come in opposition.

    You See all do want to be intellectual though

    I hereby proclaim
    To die as a Beggar
    To die as a poverty ridden individual
    To die as a lesser clothes over my body
    To die as an illiterate
    To die with thirst and hunger
    But don’t want to die of a Nation with parted lands
    Presuming subsequent face off with Netaji, Bhagat Singh in Heaven
    If I happen to be in Heaven and my sheer frustration of facing them
    That they came and landed with unified cause and I landed with disintegration of Motherland
    Then Lord may not allow me to move again on my sacred Land as Almighty Rule of Heaven will apply
    And I would remain as a Soul in agony forever
    My Sons or anybody’s Childrens will pass on Why their Father did not move to land where the Motherland is supreme above all
    Where the cause of fight shall be for needs, equality, education etc. but not for partition.

    To end with a tribute to RashtraPurush, My Nation

    My Forehead shines with light of Honor when my MotherLand is Honorable
    My eye lids are Up When my MotherLand is Up
    My Cheeks looks rosy red reddish only when My Nation is Colourful
    My Nose inhale and exhale at ease when my MotherLand breathes glowingly
    My Ear gets sense of voice of peace when my MotherLand is at peace
    My lips goes with smile when my MotherLand smiles for forever
    My Neck leans high in spirit when my MotherLand stands High
    My chest accepts any calamity but not partisan of my Motherland
    My blood vessels jingle with Heart only when I imbibe Bharat
    Rest I am Bharat you are Bharat we are Bharat

    Somebody wrote & said
    ‘I crossed my street, they asked my caste.
    I crossed my district, they asked my religion.
    I crossed my state, they asked my language.
    I became Indian only after I crossed my country’.

    Vande Mataram

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About the Author

K Ramkumar, known to his friends as Ram, has an enduring passion for triggering a discussion and joining in with gusto on a range of themes. He believes that every person has an inalienable right to express his/her view no matter how different it is to anyone else. In his book no view is unworthy or big or small. Every view from everyone deserves a consideration without getting caught up with the tyranny of agreement or disagreement.
Read more »