Vantage Point – The Nationalism Debate

Article 3


I don’t watch TV usually. I’m the sort of jerk who tunes into radio stations on TV in order to avoid all the stupid programming that goes on in that world. From reality TV shows to dubbed movies that sound silly, from sickening ad channels to the sensational news channels. I avoid them all. Yet, once in a while, I’m forced to turn towards this devil in order to keep myself updated with the “current affairs”.

We all know the incidents that have occurred through late last week and throughout this week. I didn’t know about any of the incidents that occurred till early this week. In fact, I was at a friend’s engagement ceremony on Sunday and hadn’t bothered much about the world outside through any form of media. Next day, I came across an interesting post on Facebook, posted by a friend of mine. When you’re in office, Facebook is the best source of news, always. I read this post by a friend

Jawaharlal Nehru University: A university in India where tax payer’s money is used to create Communists.

I knew something was wrong outside, yet, I decided to stay mum. And then I came across another post by someone I don’t really know. The post was trying to question the logic behind RSS/Modi/BJP being called villain even as JNU students were protesting against the hanging of Afzal Guru. The post also claimed that Rahul Gandhi supported these protesters. I was amused after reading it and thought it’s just another propaganda by the “Bhakts”.

I reached home quite late that day and found my father tuned into The NewsHour. Arnab da was ranting in his usual style and I ignored. Some words like “anti-national” and “sedition” attracted my attention. I scanned through the Facebook posts and realized how things were connected and how things were shaping out to be.

I’m not giving an account of how I have behaved in the social media through the week. I’m not writing this to justify any of my actions or comments. This is my effort to perform a post-mortem over the weekend. Kanhaiya has to wait till Monday for his plea to be heard, after all.

The unrest that prevails in the country even as I write this is not due to any one faction or set of people. It’s not due to any one ideology. It’s not just the media or the lawyers or the students who are responsible. We, the citizens, are also responsible. Even if we didn’t post anything on social media. Even if we didn’t bother to read about it. There are multiple stakeholders in the issue and everyone’s story needs to be heard. Every vantage point has to be checked. The perspective from every vantage point has to be understood. We have to stand there and see things the way they saw things.

I’m not a journalist and I can’t travel to Delhi and interview the actual stakeholders. But based on multiple media reports, I can write my own story. I can place myself in those shoes and think for a while sitting in my rocker-chair. I can think.

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