Patriotic Beheadings

If anyone beheads me for not saying, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” I will of course not live to see the situation. But the temerity of this statement by a business man in the garb of a god man is worth appreciation. After all his innocence as a yogi is petering out! His true colours as a man in the corporate world are being revealed. He needs to reassert himself by mindless talk. Obviously he has not heard Arun Shourie’s recent interview in NDTV on his latest book when he called the current crop of god men in the country, business magnates, soulless and masquerading as mendicants.

But the statement also highlights the false sense of nationalism, which is being bandied today in the country. The nationalism is this: Hindu and Hindi. It is a structure which is being built meticulously, but without any tectonic skills or craftsmanship. It is simply to spout malfeasance against the other, those who do not spout fidelity to your imagination of religious cultism. Secondly the beheading part!  The aggressive nature of the expression is murderous. Any deviation from it can lead to beheading. It is amazing that a public figure can make such a statement and get away with it. Thirdly is the caricaturing of the word ‘Mother.’ The mother country, the cow as mother, the mother goddess which is the equivalent of the country is an apotheosis cleverly raised by pseudo culture mongers. The bogey is only too obvious; the desire to be applauded and whip fanaticism. We now can say what we want, so I’m saying it. I don’t mind being beheaded, because I am not going to say, ” Long Live Bharat Mata”. Nor am I going to say ” Long Live India”. That is because I am not sure how long India will continue to live. It’s finery are being cut, wedges are driven within it, religion is mingled with the worst type of politics, myth is confounded with history, its historical footage is being mauled. How can it survive?

Violence cannot be the answer to dissent. The statement is false, malicious and murderous, holding all possibilities for orchestrated violence. And who says it? A god man, who preaches not the occult but the clarity of the yoga, who exhorts his followers towards physical, mental and spiritual balance! But is he not imbalanced now? Perhaps no one is taking him seriously, not even some of the brigades to which he belongs. But what is sad is the overweening ‘ influence’ of such fascist statements getting control over our psyches, or trying to do so. The word beheading smacks of viciousness and disorderliness, if one is to oppose diktats. It also shows brute force and the resurgence of medieval values. It takes morality in its own hands, much like Islamic regimes, which these very people oppose tooth and nail.

Perhaps enough has been said on nationalism in the recent past. But more will be said as we rework its definitions and viewpoints. Perhaps the latest word in its vocabulary is patriotism. Patriotism would mean that yoga is a world culture, that Sanskrit should be taught, learnt, vocalised and memorised. Patriotism would be to chant Bharat Mata, invoke Ram and Hanuman. Patriotism would also mean to say that the national movement had no terrorists but freedom fighters. Of course the terrorists were freedom fighters. But one has to be very careful with words and expressions. Not with behaviour though. Beating up people at airports and throwing things at people only show how we have imbibed our ancient culture! The rule of lawlessness is nothing new, but the rule of the jungle perhaps is.Since the 80s, a series of god-men have been hoodwinking the country in the name of mass following, thereby amassing wealth and practising libertine ways. Since the westerner also gave a fillip to such gratification, it enhanced their ‘ reputation ‘. These god- men and women travel in luxury cars, wear luxury dresses and eat luxury food. Each one of them look well enabled. Later on some of course entered politics, some were charged with the most heinous of crimes. If molesting has become the order of the day, we have in some of them our most distinguished precursors. Forgotten were the likes of Ramakrishna. Our new god man is tech- savvy, an industrialist by profession and corporate by culture. Of course he invokes godliness, perhaps to the ungodly or to the poor citizen wanting to escape from a brutalised society. In the process our god- man is the new avatar, a shining piece of illegitimate light. He can talk about anything from saints to sinners. Tell him life’s problems and hey presto he will talk about the art of living- not its science.

Now the new fangled nationalism cannot escape their clutches. India is Mother. The cow is Mother. Not Father of course. There is no gender discrimination. The cow cannot be killed. The goat, the hen and the wolf can. India has no diverse races, only one which came and started chanting hymns. God forbid they are not heard today, otherwise why should there be so many rapes and killings? Is not the Mother hurt, pained and wounded?

But no, it is the purity of the country, its ancient wisdom which must be sanctified. Wasn’t there theft, killing and swindling in ancient times? Were there no poor and rich, the exploiter and the exploited? What was so untarnished then? I love you my beloved country but I don’t want to be beheaded for doing so.

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Ananya S. Guha Written by:

Ananya S Guha has been born and raised in Shillong where he lives and works. Apart from writing poetry he also observes all the poetry that is being undone in the political and social scenario of the country. So he writes on them. He also writes on matters related to education.

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