A little girl from a Delhi university college has become the target of so-called nationalists because of her statement — ‘Pakistan did not kill my father, war did’– which is being termed antinational. Some would have appreciated the pain and depth behind her statement and some others would be busy giving it a twist to grind their own axes. All of us have a right to agree or disagree with her belief which is open to debate. But soon some over-ambitious people would start questioning her background, her intentions, her integrity, her character and even her existence leave alone branding her antinational. Has she applied for the post of President? She has just disagreed with something!
It may be mentioned that if war has a strong constituency, peace has an even larger one. After every war, all the stakeholders sit together to discuss peace. History even blackens out those responsible for war. Humanity curses Hitler till this day. The pain of the families of martyrs does find space in the national calendar but is it enough? A soldiers’ family always encourages its son even though with a heavy heart to come back victorious or dead. If a soldier is ready to lay his life for the nation, is it not the duty of power hungry politicians to desist from participating in unnecessary wars? Is nationalism all about wars and risking lives and not about peace and saving lives?
On occasions, one’s young age itself becomes a disability. Established ideologues would ignore you or insult you terming you a novice. Why wouldn’t they as their own shops will shut if fresh people with bigger and better vision come challenging them. This girl has just challenged an age old business. (War is a big business for some). Nationalism is essential but extreme nationalism which leads to wars is dangerous and questionable.
But some vested interests wouldn’t let you look the other way. They would want all youngsters to follow in their footsteps so that their domination remains unchallenged. But it’s consequences can be disastrous.
Historian Al Baruni who visited India during early medieval era found so many ills in Indian society because education had become elitist and science and education had stagnated. West Bengal being the breeding ground for nationalist thinking in the pre-independence era became one of the least developed states during the rule of so-called most intellectually sound people. A senior politician now in opposition, some years ago complained of being a victim of intellectual arrogance of one of his colleagues. In our daily lives youngsters too can be a victim of intellectual arrogance of our colleagues, seniors, guardians, friends or even opponents.
At times even intellectuals become blind because of their stereotypes or ideologies or interests that they fail to distinguish between right and wrong. They try to impose their beliefs on others as if they are the ‘ISO certified’ inheritors to take forward the theory of ‘whiteman’s burden’
Aurangzeb forced Hindus to convert to Islam if they wanted to save their lives thus earning infamy. Aurangzeb was no modern intellectual. But how do you describe an intellectual who forces his students to follow his ideology or forces them to oppose those whom they admire? How do you trust a man who is like a communist in thought and belief but has adorned saffron to fulfill his ambitions? And how do you feel when a person who despite his old age knows less than you and tries to teach you? What do you do? Allow yourself to be a victim of ‘intellectual terrorism’ or take a call? The little girl has just taken a call.