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Popcorn Nationalism vs Humane Nationalism

Radhika Tanwar (20) is shot dead in Delhi. We see the perpetrator of the murder in the newspapers. We see protest marches brought out for the safety of women and girls.

Any rape, any murder in the city. We see the criminals.

Tarmetla, Chattisgarh. Hurre (20) is picked up by Indian government employed armed forces to the Chintalnar police station, stripped and sexually assaulted. But we donot see the perpetrators of the crime. May we request the government of the world’s largest democracy to disclose the names and pictures of security personals and policemen involved in crime?

The most unfortunate thing is the unconsciousness of the Great Indian middle class towards the pathos, the concerns, the anguish, the rape of honour and subjugation of the dignity of the oppressed sections of the sub-continent.

Sadly, the PM of India Manmohan Singh and all the ministers and bureaucrats are busy with a cricket match and dinner party. No one has bothered to empathise with the barbaric incidents in India’s hinterlands. The barbaric activities of the army and police might move an Aruna Shanbaug, but not the politicians and chaps moving in red-lights. There is nothing to expect from politicians and their corporate sponsors. As for the central bureaucracy, it abounds in towtowing, ‘once-upon-a-time’ book-worms, none of whom dare say, “The emperor is naked.”

What we see among the Indian educated, middle-class during a cricket match is the best example of ‘Popcorn Nationalism’. In this breed of ‘patriotism’, people sit on the couches and equate love for the country India (as demarcated by the British rulers and remote-controlled by the Nehru dynasty for the last 63 years) with the shouts for runs. This category of nationalism is safest for a government voted on cash and run covertly by corporate interests. What is dangerous for the government of India and the business tycoons is the spirit of ‘Humane Nationalism’, the champions of which are the likes of Binayak Sen. This involves working for the subjugated, giving them voice instead of shouting for millionaire cricketers. And this variety of nationalism is something which the corrupt and greedy fear, as it goes against their interests and threaten their profit-making schemes. Apart from being a rising ‘superpower’, India has become a nation without conscience.

By: Pallavi Barua, Sumaya Qadri

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pallavibarua's picture


dipankar sen's picture

You are right...absolutely right. So binayak in in jail, you have written an aritcle. What are we going to do about it? They have the greed and we have the need. We know the equation now. What we now need is to put our heads together and come up with a plan, a programme for mitigate this drainage of resources and energy. If you send me your email address, I might have a programme to start with. It will be a long trek but it will be fun and fulfilling. These guys dont care about slogans, they have it all factored in. The thickness of their skins might end up in embarassing a rhinoceros.
Pallavi Barua's picture

I am glad Deepankar Sen shares the concern and thinks over the ground situation, as it is. As for my email, I would like the reader to contact the editor at '' to collect my email address. I am not putting it up here for all and sundry. I would like the editor to verify the identity of the reader before giving him/her my email address. Thank you.
susmita Rakshit's picture

Rightly said, nationality and 'proud to be an Indian' only finds mention after a world cup is won but the rest of the days we educated Indians are more engrossed in the so called 'rat race' to really stand up for things like this, we may find hundreds of people to cheer with us during a match, but I dont think anybody would stand up for other important issues.... great work....take care
Sarada Paul Roy's picture

Well written Pallavi.....had the people voiced their opinions when it came to ending all the wrong doings in the society in a similar way as they cheered for the Men in Blue, India would have been a better place to be in...Wish we could enlighten them and bring them all in a platform....but sadly only cricket brings all together and politics and dark issues are what everyone wants to steer clear off....
Raktim Baruah's picture

the write draws a real picture of India,where deprivation of the helpless and hapless become a day to day phenomena.Instead of giving adequate attention to the plight of common mass government shows indifference.Today,it is a common concept that the government is busy with appease those who have wealth.Wealth and power mean a lot for them.What may be more disgusting that when Dr.Manmohan Singh,Prime minister of India,took part in election campaigning for Bharat chandra Narah at Lakhimpur,one of the most corrupted politicians of Tarun Gogoi led Assam government.As the above article visualises this is the ultimate real picture of post-modern India.....
Anupa Lahkar's picture

Its what you called 'agenda setting'. Our attention is diverted by the admin and media from what is important to what is they make us believe is important. And we religiously follow what we believe leads the nation
Lakshminarayan's picture

You are right, Pallavi. When we have so much of problems on hand, we just sit like couch potatoes and view cricket matches...and make our great heroes earn in crores...shameless indeed!
TRS's picture

try try and try again if you fail, then cry cry and cry again!! jesus was the last who influenced a vast horde of population. m k gandhi tried, and succeeded in trifurcating the pie!! looking at the world from a distance, you and your brethren is trying to open the eyes of another fresh horde. no matter how big the effort group (NGO/individual/party/etc) is, but influence of the type you advocate will be only on a handful few. history of 'democratic, republic' india abounds with such efforts and impacts. but still we try, and have to try again. 'they' - the political and corporate machinery will also try, and try again. as rightly mentioned, 'they' succeed easily. we prefer popcorn, rather than karela. but a day will come when karela will be desperately searched for - popcorn no longer would be sought after. till then we keep trying the legacy continues for next, and next generations till Egypt happens, till Berlin Wall happens, till Jesus comes again, till Kalki avtaar happens till then......


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