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Tricolour, National Anthem and the NRIs

Whenever the Supreme Court has intervened in matters of national concern, it has proved that common man is helpless against the politicians and the other lobbies representing vested interests. The Apex court has recently intervened in the national flag issue as the two warring political parties between them have torn the Tricolour asunder for political gains. They have worn the national flag, crumpled it, sat on it, written on it, and desecrated the flag in all possible ways. Any one, who has eyes to see, will safely aver, that the present generation of self seeking Indians is unpatriotic, anti-national, and grossly immoral or else why corruption, violence, disrespect and disregard for the laws of the motherland and things national, are allowed to go unpunished? As compared to our illustrious ancestors and great freedom fighters, we are a set of deplorable, abject pigmies, clods of clay bereft of that national spirit, which informed our forbears!
The issue of the of the Tricolour was hardly on the wane that the Kerala Government, has kicked up a new row over by omitting “ Gujrat “ from the National Anthem from school text books, forgetting, perhaps, that Gujrat is the seat of Mahatma Gandhi, and non-violence, and that Gujrat does not belong to Narendra Modi.
The recent issues of the Tricolour and the national anthem tossed me twenty years back, when three young engineers from the MACT, two boys and a girl, came to me to seek assurance that their English was competent and competitive. I found their written English competent and their spoken English just excellent. When I asked them why were they leaving India, which I consider to be unpatriotic and un-national, they replied: “ We have a right to greener pastures, if our country does not offer us opportunities. We cannot sacrifice our career on emotional considerations.” I did not approve of their self- centered approach, but know in the heart of hearts, that they were sadly disillusioned with their own people.
This episode poses a question: Are the NRIs patriotic? Or are they unpatriotic and un-national, sometimes even anti-national? To all sensible intents, the NRIs are unpatriotic. They owe their life to this country, they grow and prosper on its bounties, avail themselves of the best and costly education, which this poor country provides only to the selected few, they equip themselves to serve the country, but fly West forsaking their motherland. They acquire (we give) dual citizenship, which is nothing but national hypocrisy perpetuated by our governments. How can they salute two flags at the same time --, for example the flags of India and America? How can they chant two national anthems in the same breath? How can they be loyal to two countries simultaneously? To be sure they have a divided loyalty and, loyalty divided, is not patriotism.
The specious argument advance in favour of the NRIs is that they send precious foreign exchange to the country. I beg to differ. They send money to their families, to their communities, to their religious organizations, and to people who foment trouble in the country. Thus they are not only un-national but anti-national for it is on their support that a number of religious organizations spread sectarian venom. Divided loyalty is not patriotism, for patriotism is an emotional issue and not a mercenary one.

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Zamiruddin .

Media/Journalist/Author

Madhya Pradesh ,  INDIA

Former professor of English Hon Sec The International Byron Society London President Guardians Guild wrote articles for The pioneer, The National Mail, M.P. Chronicle former Columnist for Hindustan Times Columnist Urdu daily Nadeem wrote Byron and the Drama of Ideas (Salzburg University Austria) Smile Please Chalte Phirte (M.P. Urdu Academy) In Stride satisfied with being a Social activist and member of the Bhopal Citizens Forum; edited Shakespeare's Dictionary and Compendium of His Complete works.

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