Gone are the days when people like Mahatma Gandhi called for a boycott of foreign products to promote Swadeshi. Today, social media has become the new arena for boycotts. It’s a weird place with its own weird algorithm.
The idea of nationalism was first expressed in Europe and America in the 18th century and then reached Asia and Africa in the 20th century. It is difficult to define nationalism holistically. Nevertheless, the Cambridge Dictionary defines nationalism as “a state’s desire or attempt to become politically independent” and “a great or excessive affection for its own country”. Agreeing with the latter, I think it’s an uncompromising loyalty to one’s country by celebrating its borders. In India, recent nationalism has been reduced to hashtags and DP. It is measured by the degree of support for national teams in sports. It’s also measured by flaunting the tricolor flag in one’s home and boycotting films that go against the majority’s narrative. It can at best be called a variant of the militant nationalism that emerged in India during the 1905 partition of Bengal. He questioned “national idolatry” and resisted education that taught “the nation is superior to the ideals of mankind.”
Gone are the days when people like Mahatma Gandhi called for a boycott of foreign products to promote Swadeshi. Today, social media has become the new arena for boycotts. It’s a weird place with its own weird algorithm. As the mob advances, it becomes a dangerous cacophony. Dissonance against big Bollywood stars like Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar is spreading like wildfire on social media. And it had a negative impact on the long-awaited movie.Whether or not you see the movie is purely your choice. Nevertheless, if this choice is negated by the rise of popular politics masquerading as nationalism, it is a concern.
First, it is important to identify the people who are driving these movements. Some international media houses, along with several domestic media outlets, have accused right-wingers of carrying out the boycott. disputes this claim. In fact, he has favorable support from the ruling party, considering his interview with PM Modi. The obstinate Hindu emperor, Prithviraj, his film based on the life of his Chauhan was also boycotted. Therefore, it would be foolish to consider Boycott his gang to be members of the right wing. Boycott calls are apparently being run by netizens. But who are these netizens? It is a formal mantle for lazy hatemongers who have plenty of time at their disposal. as a threat to It is then spread across social media his platform by other people. It’s no exaggeration to say that the country’s unemployment rate, which has reached new highs after the pandemic, is responsible for the harassment on social media. According to a recent report released by the ILO, “the total number of unemployed young people in the world is estimated to reach 73 million in 2022, a slight improvement from 2021 (75 million), but We are still 6 million above pre-pandemic levels in 2019.” It’s a reasonable guess that some unemployed youth with plenty of leisure time and cheap internet are trying to wipe out the film industry.
The social media obsession with Bollywood used to be limited to trolls and memes. That changed with the untimely death of Sushant Singh Rajput. That was when netizens accused the veteran filmmaker of fostering nepotism in the industry. postponed. These netizens then dug up Bollywood his star’s old interviews and denounced them. What started as a joke and troll led to an unprecedented hatred of Bollywood.
Ironically, these people conveniently ignore that the film is not just about the actors, but about the people responsible for the story, dialogue, script, direction, music, and other aspects. Even Spot Boy is a proud part of the movies he’s associated with. This implies an innate ignorance at the heart of the matter. Moreover, democracies allow the autonomy of actors to express their opinions. The beauty of democracy is its ability to embody diverse opinions. Recent developments indicate that opinions that do not follow the views of the mainstream majority are likely to be boycotted. Some netizens even have a prescription for “go to Pakistan” from the opposite point of view. In fact, this nationalist influence is a replication of the European model that they believed would eradicate other voices. The right to free speech allows citizens to express their opinions without fear. Nonetheless, the recent backlash some popular actors have received suggests that this right has lost some of its credibility. Any industry insider who questions the boycott is threatened with a boycott.
Social media is no longer a level playing field. It leans in favor of the majority who believe in the flashy brand of nationalism. Nationalism is no longer something to be internalized, it is a swagger that must be worn. Riding on this aggressive brand of nationalism, the ruling government proudly hoisted the slogan “Har ghar tiranga,” anticipating the fluttering tricolor in every home and every DP across its social media handles.
“Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav means Elixir of Independence Energy. Elixir of Inspiration for Freedom Fighters. Elixir of New Ideas and Promises. And Elixir of Atman Nirvata. A celebration of the awakening of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on the official website of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, “To celebrate Mahotsav, each post office in the country I was tasked with selling the tricolor for 25 rupees Prime Minister deserves praise.We should celebrate our glory and celebrate our independence. No. It hints at our failure as a nation. If these issues are plucked in the bud, the country’s powerful youth will contribute more to their respective domains and stop messing around with Bollywood’s issues. , to ensure that nationalism in favor of the ‘Hardirtiranga’ campaign seeps beyond the surface and ushers in unity and peace in the country.
I don’t want to directly blame the government for the actions of netizens. But the government has pursued and promoted an aggressive nationalism that inspires the public to take pride in boycotting films. Consider, for example, the Maharashtra government recently launched an awareness campaign. This encouraged people to replace “Hello” with “Vande Mataram” when receiving calls. Add to that the fun of renaming cities and crafts across the country. The move to teach his MBBS in Hindi at her 12 medical colleges in Madhya Pradesh is another example of the urgency of nationalism in this country. It recalls Yogendra Yadav’s critique of current Indian nationalism and “Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan” politics. It also complements the government, as evidenced by the Supreme Court’s 2016 order mandating that multiplexes play the national anthem.
You have two options. We can celebrate our glory and pretend to ignore loopholes and claim that our country is the best. can. The former is the easy way. And the public can easily be manipulated into believing they live in the best country. Nationalism, like religion, is the opium of the masses. In this context, I am reminded of Robert Musil’s “A Man Without Qualities,” which the protagonist Ulrich wrote in an essay.[A]Those who truly love their country should not think of it as the best country in the world. ” This view may be at odds with those of domestic populists. The current scenario of excessive nationalism brings to mind the words of James Bryce. We need to overcome iconic feats. If there was anything concrete about the symbolism, Dalits and his tribe would have been exalted with his two presidents of this country. While political scientists distinguish between nationalism and patriotism (a position that neither idealizes nor tolerates the country), Tagore’s view also applies to the age of hypernationalism. As long as I live “
(Debaish Mishra is a senior researcher and poet/writer)