Thursday, May 10, 2007

1857 Sepoy Mutiny

State sponsored celebrations of the "First war of Independence" are already in full swing with general cheer passing around in good measure by all ministers. A celebration of such pomposity is out of sync with the spirit of remembrance which is the pertinent sentiment in my opinion. Celebrating it as though it were a festive occasion with politicians stirring up nationalistic fervor for a little mileage is distasteful. Echoing the same sentiment but with a different approach - that the event in question is too violent to celebrate - is historian Rudrangshu Mukherjee in his column titled "Kill the white man". Peter Foster, a British journalist residing in Delhi, was in Meerut - the birthplace of the rebellion/war - and his impressions are in his column "Textbook Nationalism". Before you get the idea that this post is being dismissive and condescending of Indians and their sense of national pride, read it and be drawn down a different path - that of the pathetic state of the education system. Check out other articles on his blog - there some pretty good ones in the archives.


Siddharth said...

Dont u think the concept of the nation state has lived beyond its time, and has become an impediment to progress of the human race? It creates a false sense of identity. Coming back to Pride, guess kids can be taught to be proud of their nation at an early age, say in primary school. This is sorely lacking.

Emperor Frost said...

The notion of a nation state creates a false sense of identity when the nation is culturally heterogenous like in the case of India. In such a case, national pride even when rigorously taught can easily be dampened or forgotten as regional pride and clannish behaviour takes precedence. Isn't this the case with India too? Actually, I think its a feature of countries with a heterogenous cultural fabric. In countries such as sweden, norway, england, (any european nation) etc etc where the cultural fabric is homogenous, national pride is highly integrated into their identity as a people and hence comes across more strongly.