To be a true "patriot", there lies no obligation to blindly support whatever the mother country does or the government, prime minister or president dictates.
Updated 1 Aug 2021, 9:28 am
Humanity cannot be sacrificed for the sake of anything, including "Nationalism"! Everything, including "Nationalism", can be sacrificed for the sake of Humanity.
By announcing the decision of ending business in the Israeli-occupied territories despite retaining respect for the State of Israel; Ben & Jerry's, the ice cream maker (with the founders of the company being proud Jews), has transmitted crystal-clear messages to the whole world on various aspects of life.
One, Nation and National policies/Head of the State are not synonymous terms. A person can remain absolutely respectful to the nation, possessing deep love towards it within heart; notwithstanding his/her stringent criticism of the policy of the incumbent Government and/or its elected/nominated Prime minister/President. In a nutshell, there lies nothing "anti-national" in criticising the policy and steps of the Government apparatus.
Two, to be a true "patriot", there lies no obligation to blindly support whatever the mother country does or government or the prime minister or president dictates. A sane person always remains accountable to the supreme call of conscience and if he/she perceives that the State is not walking on the path of ideals/humanity; he/she holds every moral right to question it. After all the right to express one's own independent opinion in a civilized non-violent tone form the very essence of freedom, democracy and human rights!
Three, persecuted people should be perceived as persecuted people only instead of judging whether they are affiliated to my demographic camp; after all religion-race-language-caste-colour-country of birth are not only man-made, these artificial identities are also nothing but sheer accident of destiny.
Four, sheer profit cannot be the sole goal of any responsible ideal business enterprise. Yes, profit should naturally be desired; but it cannot be pursued at the cost of morality, ethics and humanity.
Through this unique decision of remaining true to the conscience by ignoring commercial interest and blind "nationalist" jingoism; Ben & Jerry's has acted as a beacon to the world as far as principles and values are concerned. While the megalomaniac leaders should stop equating themselves with the "Nation" itself as if criticism against them or their government policies amount to "personal attack" or "war against the state"; the business magnets to common people should also try to awaken their conscience and fearlessly adopt a selfless principled stand in life by overriding all sorts of narrow commercial/political/religious/demographic interest and blind support to any leader/party/Government as well!
If the State "demonises" its own people and discriminate against them on the basis of region, religion, caste or colour; if the State acts brutally against refugees or remain cold towards the torture meted to vulnerable souls in neighbourhood and deny their frantic desperate entry; if the State behaves as "Occupying" force in certain regions and deny human rights as well as dignity to the local populace, making a mockery of their sentiments --- then all organs of the society should decalre "Enough is Enough" and stand by the persecuted people without succumbing to the rabid jingiostic rhetoric of "Nation is Supreme"!
It is high time the "nationalists" be told in the strictest of tone possible that "National interest" can never be allowed to supersede Humanity. After all, the Nation itself stands degraded if the children of God, irrespective of race, religion, caste, colour or citizenship; are not awarded their entitled justice, freedom, dignity and space to flourish and prosper with their head held high!
(The views expressed are personal)
First published:1 Aug 2021, 9:28 am
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