Indian nationalism has always been a thought left ignored by certain groups who try to divide the masses.
The enormity and complexity of the country and distinct traditions have always challenged unity in diversity. An Indian is a Hindu, a Muslim, a Sikh, a Christian, an atheist- together we are India. India as a country is bestowed with richest of history dating over 5000 years! Hinduism, the Hindu way of living defined the term Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. We are taught to love and respect everyone and seek positive steps in the development of family, community, and nation as a whole.
Astronomy, Ayurveda, Atomic Theory- we were the birthplace of art and science.
After being divided and exploited by the Mughal invaders and later the British, India became an independent country in 1947. But, at what cost? The two lawyers, Mahatma Gandhi and Mohammad Ali Jinnah, sadly punished us by splitting our country. Sindh- the birthplace of Hind was given to Pakistan.
Then began the great political exploitation.
We were divided, we were abused.
Propagating Dravidian theory, minority appeasement, forced conversions, the division of the state based on language- we were in for a total collapse. But, certain non-political heroes of independent India bonded us together under our tricolor. We lived through all our hard times as one.
Let us see the list.
The year was 2000. The Indian Cricket hit the new low because of the Match Fixing allegations against certain players. Sachin Tendulkar decided to step down as the captain and Indian cricket was under self-extinction mode.
Then came Sourav Chandidas Ganguly.
Saurav Ganguly became the captain of the Indian cricket team. It was under Saurav Ganguly, that the cricket team found our Turbanator, Jumbo, Yuvi, Gauti, Nawab of Najafgarh, and last but not the least: The Wall.
The entire nation had one chant yet again: Indiaaa, Indiaaa.
From South India to the North East, from Ladakh to the Great Rann of Kutch- everyone cheered for our cricket team. The sport flourished and the nation was not behind. Youngsters, irrespective of religion, caste or gender- everyone woke up at 5 am to watch India decimating Australia in the early 2000s.
The Indian team lead by a very aggressive yet smart leader, Saurav Ganguly brought India together at every Paan Shop across the nation. The roads were empty during India Vs Pakistan matches followed by crackers across different cities whenever India won.
Cricket united India.
Yahan vahan saara jahan dekh liya
Ab tak bhi tere jaisa koi nahin
Main assi nahin, sau din duniya ghooma hai
Naahi kaahe tere jaisa koi nahin
Main gaya jahan bhi, bas teri yaad thi
Jo mere saath thi mujhko tadpaati rulaati
Sab se pyaari teri soorat
Maa tujhe salaam, maa tujhe salaam
The patriotic hits by none other than our Grammy-winning musical legend, A.R. Rehman ignited fire among Indians. Aazadi, Kadam Kadam, Maa Tujhe Salaam and other patriotic hits of A R Rehman still rules the radio sets on 15th August and 26th January every year. India was no longer a country but a religion. Nationalism, through music, gave birth to a new devoted generation- devoted to Mother India, keen on joining and serving in the Indian Army.
But, Fatwa was issued against Vande Mataram by some religious fanatics. Few clerics, with vested interests, can’t ever be happy seeing India unite. This did not stop the country from humming our national songs with a touch of dignity and love and we were united again.
Music united India.
On May 11, 1998, Jaisalmer rose to a typical day. But, there were a few bulldozers commanding to a distinct site to dig up well-like sites. Dust was loaded into these wells.
Within a few moments, they were inflamed. It was accompanied by a huge explosion that brought a loud cheer from a few scientists at the site who had kept a steady watch on all the advancements. In Delhi, Mr. Vajpayee along with the then Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani were ceasing with restlessness. However, the second, the Scientific Advisor to Mr. Vajpayee, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, sent information on the hotline, stating, “Buddha smiles again”, all of them danced with joy.
India became a Nuclear Superpower.
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam- under the vision of the greatest statesman of Modern era, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, spearheaded India into a Nuclear nation. This was just one of his achievement. Dr. Kalam served as the planning director for SLV-III, India’s first autochthonous satellite launch vehicle. Under his leadership, India became a major military power after the successes of Agni and Prithvi. All political factions collectively voted for Dr. Kalam in 2002 as the 11th President of India. As President, Dr. Kalam represented class and confidence throughout India and abroad. His stimulating speeches at the UN is among the best ever delivered. His books, quotes, and his inspirational speeches moved everyone who heard and read it. India was moving towards the development agenda, because of Dr. Kalam’s vision 2020. The youngsters were more inclined towards research and sustainability after finding inspiration in him. He united India under ONE self-sufficient and development agenda.
Science united India.
These heroes of India brought Indian citizens together under a rising wave of Indian Nationalism- a connection triggered with co-existence, advancing together under our stunning tri-colour.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.