Can Tricolor Be A Debated Piece Of Cloth?

*Imagine Mr. Mackey speaking*
O.P Sharma is bad.
Lawyers who beat people in court are bad.
BJP is bad.

I am an ordinary Indian with generic Indian tastes. I abuse people, I am a hypocrite of the highest order. Till not too long ago, I was the quintessential Indian male who pees on roads, who gives ₹100 to the friendly Thulla to get out of a challan, who gives TT extra ₹200 for a sleeper berth and believe me, I am not proud of it. Back then, it was a way of life and now I am trying to change as I realize my ways were wrong. Despite being a category A Moron, I have loved my nation to the core. I grew up with stories of freedom fighters and dreams of being a fighter pilot who saves his nation from aggressors. Who hasn’t loved ‘Border’ and ‘Legend of Bhagat Singh’ when they were kids? Who doesn’t support their home team? I guess it’s something emotional. I have never been to college either.

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I said all that because I don’t know which camp will stand up tomorrow and say “Hey! He was riding a bike without helmet in 2004, how can such a person call Umar Khalid anti national!” Of-course, BJP should have handled matters more tactfully. How can home minister accuse a student of links with terrorist organizations and not back it up? Police should not have been involved at all. And of course, goons should have been handled by law. Supreme Court of a nation cannot be trifled with like this. But for god’s sake stop calling me a ‘Bhakt’ or ‘chaddi’ for opposing Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and their ilk. I cannot believe that you are stupid enough to confuse me with some hoodlums. But why has the so called intelligentsia started comparing people who can’t hear anti India slogans with Gundas, Government, Delhi Police and everything that is wrong? Why to confuse my anger with political tourism of political parties? This sudden change of narratives! Why? I didn’t even know the names of these guys when the video (doctored?) was released. My anger was at the misuse of Constitutional liberties to belittle my nation and the authorities which let some thing like this happen without any check. But suddenly, few so called intellectuals and a coterie in media has started questioning words like ‘Tricolor’, ‘Vande Mataram’, and even ‘Nation’ and ‘Patriotism’!

Beautiful speeches emanating from JNU professors are being shared where they emphasize “a nation is made of its people!” to applauding audience. Riddle me this, can people be without a nation? Can you live without a nation? Can anybody live without a nation! It’s like the classic chicken and egg problem. Please have a look at millions of refugees in Africa who are trying to find a home. Why are our pseudo intellectuals not pointing out that the solution is in trying to find balance. If a country doesn’t exist without its people, people too cannot live without their country.

‘Kashmir maange Azadi’, ‘Nagaland maange Azadi’, ‘Bharat ke tukde honge hazaar’ and then what? Isn’t it up to the teachers and the intellectuals to give society and specially students the right viewpoint and context. There was a time when Azerbaijan maange Azadi including all the erstwhile Soviet Union countries, Pakistan also wanted Azadi along with Bangladesh. South Sudan wanted Azadi too. Have a look at the squalor they still live in. What is the roadmap ahead? How will Bharat ke hazaar tukde live in peace, progress and how do we guarantee that ‘Biharis’ won’t fight with ‘Marathis’ and ‘Punjabis’ won’t fight with ‘Madrasis’? How will we guarantee that the people who live there will not be harmed by forces out of the subcontinent? Don’t you remember what happened when the subcontinent was divided into ‘hazaar tukde”? All hazaar had to suffer for not 10 or 20 but 200 years!

Everybody has a bias. That’s the sad truth. But it is up to you and me to realize, see the entire picture and try to understand all perspectives. “Free speech”, “Freedom of Expression”, it’s all very easy to say without realising that freedom of speech is not really free. Talk to your grandparents and parents who had to endure wrath of British before ’47 or Indira in ’77. And if free speech is so free, why don’t the same media people stand by Owaisi or Sakshi Maharaj? Or Baba Ramdev when he talks against LGBT community and calls it ‘paap’? Why is Kamlesh Tiwari in jail for excersizing his free speech? Outrage is a very important aspect of democracy. But selective outrage? It has reached gargantuan proportions where it has started to threaten democracy. Wrongs of one side are reported but wrongs of other are absolutely ignored. A journalist was burnt alive in U.P. No outrage. CPI goondas brutally kill RSS guys in Kerala. No outrage. You know what that creates? A divide of another kind. A divide where camps are formed and both sides feel subjected to injustice. You do everything but report truth. You report opinions, biases, debates, shouting contests, everything to tow the line of your political masters but not the truth. And when people on social media expose your truth, they are conveniently called trolls.

Young generation in urban India thinks that intolerance is rising. While in rural areas people have started taking a more aggressive stance. My friends eat beef, I am okay with it but culturally it is inappropriate for millions of Indians to digest this. They never killed people. Did they? It was denounced by society and still people who wanted to eat it, could eat it. It is as important for you to not try to make it a issue about freedom as it is for me to not get upset about it. But now my disagreement on having beef is equated with a lynch mob who killed one person.

I have a friend posted in the Naxal hotbed of India. It’s a place called Bastar. 76 of our Jawans were ambushed and killed in 2010 there. Another close relative is posted in Siachin. His daughters aged 7 and 10 wait for him in Delhi. A chaddi buddy left her newly wed husband and is protecting the coasts. You think a hardship allowance of few thousand rupees, which you and I burn in a few night outs, is enough to hold them there? Do you not think they have the chance to deliberately mess it up for reasons of greed, complacency or anything else? But they don’t. Why? Why do they kill themselves to plant a tricolor on Tiger hill or Tololing where you and I won’t go mountaineering in peace time but they go and do that during a war? You encouraging students to shout “Afzal hum sharminda hain, tere kaatil zinda hain” in the name of free speech does not inspire confidence in them. Did you propose a rally or even a courtesy call to visit the family of slain soldiers in Parliament attack? I will tell you what you encouraged and did. You invited SAR Geelani to your campus for commemorating a few terrorists. A temple of knowledge is to further the development of students and in turn the nation. Free thinking up to the extent of even questioning God and way of life has been encouraged in this country. From Charvaka to Ajeeta Kesakamabali, this nation has the tolerance to hear them all in it’s ethos.

Free speech is guaranteed by constitution (with certain conditions). Constitution is of this land that we call India. If the entity called India disintegrates, there is no free speech. There is no freedom of expression. There is no freedom and there is no expression. How does pro terrorist sloganeering help our nation? Can tricolor be a debated piece of cloth?

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