Chandigarh, Dec 14 (IANS) Indian ethos is all about moderation not given to excesses and will certainly endure the present onslaught by communal forces, firebrand Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament Mahua Moitra averred categorically rejecting the idea of nationalism being thrust upon by the Centre.
While speaking during the first session ‘Jingoism and Hyper Nationalism – An Indian Perspective’ on the second day of three-day Military Literature Festival here, Moitra, while accepting that the Opposition had been caught unawares with unleashing of hate and communal agenda, called for a comprehensive counter narrative to negate the nefarious designs of the inimical forces.
“Any nationalism which teaches me to treat my nation above God is not acceptable to me,” she said invoking Rabindranath Tagore, adding aggressive dependence on religion demonstrates abject failure of ruling class on all major fronts.
Taking part in the discussion, panellist and RSS ideologue Desh Ratan Nigam stated the Constitution originally was not supposed to be secular and it was only with 42nd Amendment in 1976 the word secular was inserted during the Emergency.
“The Article on fundamental duties enjoins upon all of us to protect the national culture and heritage,” said Nigam, adding it was Indira Gandhi who introduced the idea of nationalism by incorporating Article 51 A in the Constitution.
The session moderated by eminent journalist Mark Tully lived up to its billing producing much political steam and witnessed many impassioned exchanges with both the panellists holding their ground keeping the fully packed hall on the edge of their seats.
Responding to a question, Nigam though accepted that the concept of nationalism was being misused by some vested interests who were using it for their political gains.
“I don’t subscribe to this term nationalism,” Nigam said, adding that “Bharatiya is what encompasses the all dimensions of our cultural belief where no one is superior and all are equal”.
“Attacking anyone is not in our ethos and even our no first use nuclear doctrine demonstrated this,” he added.
Earlier while initiating the discussion, Tully said the whole world was witnessing rising tide of nationalism which has the potential of being misused for political gains.
Egging on the panellists in his inimitable style, Tully not only got both the political figures share their insights on various topical issues but also got the audience palpably involved in the engrossing discussion.