We may regress into a situation where people become blinded by a nationality driven by irrationality, which in turn may have extreme consequences. – MN Roy. This is what is being experienced in India. Nationalism definitions and meanings have changed over the period according to its acceptability. Nazism and fascism were the ugly form of nationalism. In contrast we have Nehru’s and Gandhi s way of nationalism I.e anti-colonial and inclusive nationalism.
Today, in India it is a culture of hate being spread in the name of nationalism. Today we are in a situation where any criticism of certain offices is branded as anti-national and sedition. Whether it is wrongdoings, fake encounters in N-E. However, SC agrees that mere criticism is not sedition but that does not prevent form prosecution to take place. Gandhi said, we cannot not expect to the law to manufacture affection for the state, that we must allow disaffection to be fully expressed unless it incites violence.
Views on free speech under Article 19(2) of the constitution. Court have read the Article 19(2) narrowly. And has said that restrictions to free speech must be reasonable and not excessive and arbitrary. Free speech has been linked to democratic ideals by court. Eg prohibition of Marathi play “Mee Nathuram Godse”(2001), court refusal to allow Doordarshan to air documentary on film on memory of his friends(1996). But in S.Rangarajan v P Jagjivan Ram(1989) court said that “In a democracy it is not necessary that everyone should sing the same song.
Views by him on court order on compulsory national anthem at threatens which could undermine patriotism. The right to free speech also includes the right not to speak or express ourselves. The court order, has however, restricted our FRs. Making anthem compulsory and so forth could be termed as conscripted nationalism. Actually orders like this has undermined the patriotism among the citizen because the people do not sing the anthem or Vande Mataram in schools for instance with respect and sentiment but out of fear of being beaten or force. It is unimaginable to expect that a country as diverse as India can be expected to lead a homogenised existence, with a single ideology or monochromatic way if living or a standard diet.
(Content has been articulated based on the article on nationalism, posted on behalf of A.P Shah- former Supreme Court judge.)