Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis says those who do not chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ should leave the country.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat says no one should be forced to say “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.
Smriti Irani wants the national flag to be flown “prominently and proudly” at all universities in order to instil the spirit of nationalism.
The RSS number two Bhaiyyaji Joshi is ambivalent about the tiranga and makes the case for the bhagwa dhwaj — and also for Vande Mataram as opposed to Jana Gana Mana.
Now I am confused. And judging by all these remarks, so are the nationalists.
PS: Today is the big game: West Indies and England, in the final of the World T20 Cup. See you on Twitter for that one. In passing, here is the post-semifinal analysis I did for the Huffington Post a couple of days ago.
The irony of India’s batting effort was that through every phase of the game, we outperformed our par for this tournament. During the power plays, India has averaged 5.7. In this game, it was 9.1. In the mid overs (7-15), we averaged 6.8
coming into this game. Here, we averaged 8. At the death, we average 9. Here, it was 13. By any yardstick, this was our best batting performance in the tournament. Yet, the number that will hover over any post-mortem is “8” – the number of batting resources left unused.
In the ongoing JNU lecture series, the latest is Shashi Tharoor. Here is his speech:
And before Tharoor, Kanhaiya Kumar spoke as the opening act:
#1. Read M Rajshekhar on the lucrative trade in Rajya Sabha seats:
According to the former Congress MP, the legislative arithmetic in these states creates a market for buying and selling Rajya Sabha seats. A third big party that has some seats but not enough to nominate its own members to the Rajya Sabha can capitalise on its numbers. This is likely, he says, if the small party has been out of power for long – and is cash-strapped.
#2. Boring, but very important: The BJP national executive that met in Delhi over the weekend passed a resolution that is worth reading in full, and remembering as the year ahead unfolds.
#4. Speaking at the executive meet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told his partymen to avoid controversies. The reported statement seems along the lines of the established right wing narrative — that there is a vast left-wing machinery lying in wait for any excuse to play ambush politics. This neatly shifts the narrative from the acts themselves, to the motives of those who question various acts — but let that lie. I’m hoping Modi’s partymen were listening — and will respect his views. We could do with a lessening of the political temperature in this country.
#4. For Holi week, a brief history of bhang.
#5. The best thing to have come out of the JNU fracas is the teach-in program featuring academics and others speaking on nationalism and related subjects (Several of which have been posted on this blog earlier). Here, the announcement for the next series (Follow Stand With JNU for updates):
The Shiv Sena on Thursday attacked MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi for his refusal to say `Bharat Mata Ki Jai` and said he should be “legally beheaded”.
Taking umbrage at Owaisi`s utterances in Latur last week that he would not say `Bharat Mata Ki Jai` even if he was threatened with a knife, the Sena said, “Why should anybody do this? He should be legally beheaded.”
How do you even put “legally” and “beheaded” in the same sentence? And what can you even say about this game of patriotic oneupmanship, where a BJP MP offers a one crore reward for someone’s tongue and the Shiv Sena ups the ante and demands the whole head?
There is this much to be said, though — the Shiv Sena understands that patriotism is its own reward — notice that no reward is being offered?
A bit of a problem, this, for Zee News which morphed “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans onto a video to lead a tirade against JNU’s anti-nationals; for BJP MP Maheish Giri who filed the FIR demanding “stern action”; and for Home Minister Rajnath Singh who grabbed hold of the ball and hurtled to touchdown in a minefield
What to do now?
Which is trump in this game of gotcha — the flag-draped politician or the godman?
The details follow the pattern — condemn, defame, amplify it all, on the flimsiest of threads, and cloak it all under the shroud of patriotism.
The sting, and the irony, is at the very end of this news report:
Signed by Naseeruddin Shah, Sharmila Tagore and Shubha Mudgal amongst others, the petition calls upon the Press Council of India and the Broadcast Association “to take note of this criminality and initiate necessary action against the channel”.
What can you do but laugh?