We, the Indians are the identity and reason behind the existence of the idea called “India, Bharat, and Hindustan”. We, like any other nationals, get crazily ecstatic over anything and everything which let our country prosper; and compete with the parallel powers of the globe while creating an identity that places us at the zenith of the global map. However, while ensuring this “India”, we ironically have started associating and dissociating ourselves unknowingly, with the competing narratives on the idea called “India”. The narratives let us all prefix India with “me”, “mine”, “your” or “our”. The narratives where India is defined with the parameters which deem growth & development to statistics; where the identity is confined to the claustrophobic approach of class, caste, race, community or religion; justice is ascertained within the four walls of a building called “court”; nation needs a geographical boundary with a metaphorical manifestation of “Bharat Mata” & “Mother India”; and most importantly, nationalism necessarily adheres to sloganeering like “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. 

Nevertheless, strangely, whether we like it or not, these narratives have all of a sudden become the mainstream narratives for identifying ourselves with the idea called India. Chanting “Bharat Mata ki Jai” has become a fetish, which on one hand gives a kick to some self-proclaimed “nationals” while on the other hand, gives a sense of discomfort to some “claimed anti-nationals”. Anti-nationals, because may be in a “Holi” party amidst the bhang, gujias, colors and tempting rain dance with his/her spouses and friends, “Bharat Mata ki Jai” seem a little out of the place to them (Pun Intended!!).  

Really, chanting or shouting “Bharat Mata ki Jai” is the only proof of me being an Indian! Well, in that case, all our IDs including the passports which read “The Republic of India” and the Nations column declare us as “Indian”, stand null and void (Pun Intended Again!!).

Having said this, there is precisely two India we are residing in today. It is of course not Bharat vs. India. Rather, it is one idea of ‘India’ based on justice vs. a competing idea of ‘India’ based on power. Paradoxically, when justice is inclusive, power makes the basis for exclusivity. Justice when gives security, power brings insecurity. Power when enforces things, Justice succeeds by bringing parity. While Justice protects the citizens, Power creates insecurity among citizens to protect the nation. Agreed, both the approaches come with their own pros and cons. But, Justice indeed is evolutionary and Power is revolutionary; while the former is spontaneous and organic; the latter is mechanical, given and temporary. 

Till a few days back, an India existed balancing and co-existing with both “Power and Justice”. And now, scarily we are treading a path which is taking us to the other India's that we talked about a while back. Tracing the history of the last 74 years of post-colonial India, it would not an exaggeration to say that we have struggled to achieve power while ensuring justice. Though there are many aberrations, it is bound to happen whenever the quest for power dominates the idea of justice. Be it the ethnic conflicts in Assam, the Sikh-Hindu conflicts in Punjab, or the omnipresent and ever-existing Hindu-Muslim problems; in all the cases power has dominated justice.

What is more fearful is the fact that because of this lucrative temporary shade we may lose our “India” to the identity which it never stood for. One cannot condone that whenever we have lost trust in ourselves and are blinded by the approach called power, it has generated insecurity which has empowered us to protect something which meant to protect us as an overarching phenomena known as nation-state. With the approach we are adapting to in the present times, we are demeaning our nation-state. The India we are seeing today is a restless India, where growth and power are becoming the utmost priority. On one hand, we are calculating our growth rates parallel with neighboring countries and getting insecure towards our idea called India. On the other hand, the insecurity is prevailing over the currently enforced agenda of nation-state. Interestingly, be it social media trolls, physical gathering, WhatsApp public group, digital media forums or even a public gathering, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” is creating the diffidence in the name of growth and power to protect the identity called ‘India’.

Nationalism is undoubtedly deeply rooted in the two of the India's that we have discussed. Let us not waste our energies towards protecting the ever-prevailing nationalism. Let’s not be restless about our growth, let’s not be restless about the power over justice. Let’s power be there as a manifestation of the India based on justice. Let us synergies and channelize our energies to celebrate the idea of India within the ambit of justice than power. Lastly, have the Gujias and Bhang in holi, aahhh! You don’t need “Bharat Mata ki Jai” for celebrating Holi or any other festival for that matter…but, for the idea of ‘India’ with Justice & Power, for the democracy with nationalism & pluralism this can always be “Bharat Mata ki Jai”… deep inside the idea called ‘India’.

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