Capitalizing on Patriotism
It’s almost going to be a month since our Prime Minister of India, announced demonetization of high value currencies. Majority of the popular media hailed it as the surgical strike on black money (The high decibel voice of Arnab still rings in my ear…). They called it the boldest move of an Indian leader ever, for the national welfare. But very soon the nation, if not the media or the diehard fans of Mr. Modi, the common people realized that this move that was sling the black money stashed within the nation had actually holed their pockets. Even most of the people who had made up their mind to face the difficulty, in the hope that the dawn is near, began to sink into the real fact that the drive is one of the worst executions marked with extreme carelessness in Indian financial history.
The common man in the present scenario has lost his faith in banks and in fact paper currency itself.
Patriotism has always been a ready to use emotional tool to defuse the voice of criticism, by most of the ruling governments across the globe. Uncle Sam is extremely talented in this regard. Seems Indian counterparts are also getting better at it. Most of the criticisms on the demonetization drive were on the aspects of inefficient preparations on the government’s side, in its failure to inject new currency into the system, to liquidate the cash flow, soon after the announcement. Indian government had only two replies to those criticized the move. According to them, those who raised anything against the move belonged to just two categories. Either they are black money bearers (who are pathetically wiped out due to the brave (!) move) or they are culprits who had no patriotism for Mother India.
The social networking platforms became a war ground for the two groups hurling word stones on each other. ‘The Modi fans’ called it a war of Patriots Vs Traitors. Soon after the initial week, somehow the supporters of demonetization brought in the patriotism of Jawans toiling in the borders for the country. Probably this surfaced after Delhi CM Kejriwal ‘s negative remarks about the drive. Soon after, this became viral. This is when the patriotism (in no way rationally connected to debate on demonetization) came into the picture.
The team criticizing the drive, which included eminent economists (Indian and Foreign like), leveled many rational and logical questions on the efficacy of this entire drive and its ability to deliver what it promises, in a more practical point of view. But they were all caged between the two labels aforementioned.
The popular media plays a vital role in such situations. What’s going on in the media is more political, that it has only few matches in our history. The entire media politics is not in what it brings into the public forums. But what it hides behind the glossy lights of its studio newsrooms.
Humanity should never be traded for patriotism. Just remember one thing. The people who live here make this vast land a country. It’s the same for any country. If the country is lost, the people will still survive. They might become immigrants and make their livelihoods elsewhere. Their lives will move on. But with no one here, this country will lose its status as a country and would be reduced to a vast land of stones and sand. The people living in the country are the identity of the nation. We should remember this. Patriotism is a very fanciful term and this trump card is played well by politicians, turning it into a secret passage of escape.
We’ve been hearing discourses on patriotism almost from every leader of the BJP regime and their supporters. By recapitulating the past of our present leaders we could vividly learn more about their patriotic moves!
Criticism against the moves of ruling governments never should be equated to anarchism. If this becomes the order and the existing reality, it just means one thing. We are slowly progressing into self elected dictatorship.