The unspoken truth of the modern patriot

Let’s talk about loaded language. For example, when someone says celebrating a Hindu festival is an Indian thing, they automatically equate Hinduism with the Indian identity. Similarly, when they declare any opposition to a Hindu practice as coming from beyond India, they automatically label all opposition coming from even Indians as un-Indian.

See how that works?

Now, I am not saying every muscle-bound YouTuber who makes this argument knows what they are doing. But language is often sneaky, and its uses can serve divisive purposes even without the speaker knowing. This applies especially to people who will hate to be called a bhakt but still end up doing things exactly like them.

In truth, India is a diverse land with many religions. No one religion should get away with calling itself THE Indian way of life. We should be careful when listening. When someone uses the word “Indian” instead of “Hindu”, it shouldn’t be assumed that they are identifying with a broader and more inclusive label. Not if the core of their argument is that they and their religion are more Indian than the rest.

The true test of a bhakt mindset is how much foreign shit you can get him to do by labeling it Indian. Fireworks are a Chinese thing. But bhakts will happily set fire to their money and their family’s lungs to honour the heritage that a Whatsapp forward sold them as Indian.

Mind though, there is nothing wrong with adopting foreign practices. But there is something wrong with hypocritical chest thumping. It’s not patriotism. It’s the song of self interest being sung by cowards hiding behind the idea of a nation. There is nothing noble about it.

It betrays the fact that these people have no idea what nation means beyond symbolism. To their eyes, people and their problems are mere bumps on the road to the true duty of the patriot - chest thumping. This is the great cheapening of the nation. The tragic sale of values.

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