Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Patriotism symbols

Last Sunday's "We the People" had Ms. Barkha Dutt arranging a group of cocky and opinionated speakers talking about how it was okay to burn the national flag or sit down when the national anthem was being played! And the only people to protest were predictably, a retired soldier and a BJP representative, Smriti Iraani! It was plain obvious to everyone where Ms. Dutt stood on this issue as she giggled at the smart aleck comments of the majority of the speakers while joining issue with Smriti!

What amazed me was the comment of one guest, none other than an "eminent" blogger, Amit Varma of India Uncut. He asked a strange question, "Can patriotism be enforced?" I wonder! So are you trying to say that patriotism is a matter of choice? Is it okay to say - fine, so you are not patriotic to India, I still love you? Its shocking that such things are even discussed. According to him, there should be no holy cows! I wonder if even the sentiments of the soldiers who die on the battlefield can be then debated?

And then there was a charade of the national anthem (of Bharat Bala) being played in the studio and everyone standing up. And predictably, a PYT started murmuring that she stood up only because of peer pressure otherwise she would have sat down. Her query, "If I sit down while the national anthem is being played, does that make me less patriotic?" Ok, I touch my parents feet when I take their leave. You might give them a smack on their face and say "That doesnt mean you love your parents more than I do mine?" So what can I say? Its a question of different styles of demonstrating the love and respect, I guess!


Dosabandit said...

Quite frankly, the left-of-center view gets played too often in our mainstream media. The disturbing part is, prominent editors like Burkha Dutt subscribe to them & propogate them to the public. Do this for about 5 decades (first under the Congress & then along with the Left) & the noise gets louder. Unfortunately, it only seems to be getting louder.

Ravindra said...

doasbandit: Yes, and such journos get their rewards in the forms of Padma shris etc.

Trouble is, when the same happens to TV Shenoy or MV Kamath in the NDA regime, they get branded as right wing writers. Ditto for papers like "The Pioneer". But the similar treatment is not accorded to Rajdeep, Vinod Mehta, Barkha and the likes!

socal said...

Point to ponder: why the right's view doesn't succeed commercially as the left's does? They have a headstart, a monopoly but it is intriguing still.