India : Nation, People, Music And Religion

I literally tire of moron columnists that @timesofindia carries. I’ll refer to just two of them : Aakar and Aiyar. The first offers a belaboured piece that concludes, a nation is about people, not geography. Aiyar’s article similarly peddles, nation and music must be without religion. Both outpours are quintessentially liberal and abstract, which are unrooted and mooningly afloat in generic atmosphere of 20th Century humanism that leftists in Europe militantly propagated — Equality, Fraternity and Liberty.

It is time India cleared this air over its being. India’s nationalism is indeed about love for its geography, not people. It is about the lap on which its rich and ancient way of life was nurtured and steered, sages and saints were born, and thoughts were scripted. It is about its rivers and mountains, by and in which its history is buried and its lores are spread. The piety and truth particular to its way is partaken from the land. India is not an idea, fixed or floating, which all all and sundry can interpret and shape in his own definition. It is a living continuity with a soul embedded in its terrain, its coasts and riverbanks, sand dunes and forested mountain slopes, which reverate with temple bells and festive songs, celebratory colours and everyday observations.

India’s nationalism, the love for this land, is too vast to be borne in individual minds. It especially escapes those reshaped culturally and intellectually by alien invasive ways brought in by Islamic, Christian and communist hordes. There is nothing in the West that comes even close to the love a patriotic Indian feels for his country, for its ways incubated since hoary times, and for the towering epitomes of godliness that have arisen from its soil and strode with impeccable conduct, fullness of love and unsurpassed valour.

Nationalism is not a generic thing to be abstractedly defined and applied to India and Indians. It is a very particular phenomenon, sentiment and belief, that is filled with this nation and all that it means to one who knows in the present day. What such a person is aware of is an infinite compared to both what he is and what he thinks. People pass away; India continues, held by others who come in their place. That is why : India’s patriotism, synonymous with nationalism, is about geography, not people.

*

Aiyar’s views are rebutted on still more obvious grounds. India’s nationalism is about its way of life, values, practice and thought. It is a-religious for some, spiritual for many and religious for the rest. Everything in India evolved around the symbols instituted to represent the Way : society, education, administration, justice, science, arts, architecture, music, dance, et al. You only have to hear the Dagar recital or watch a Bharatnatyam presentation, or look at one of the glorious temples, from Madurai to Amritsar, to understand what I am speaking of.

As I said, I tire…of morons…

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