The Adventurist Onset of the Popular Will in 2015: India Stabilized

Dr. Manan Dwivedi

Ideally a nation state should be an uncontested finality and so is the conceptual notion attached to it. Let it serve as a phantasmagorical assumption for the time being. The cumulative and the final nationalist narrative might be a spasmodic impulse but the idiom and the traditional sentiment is all about an quintessential sage saga of celebration, rejuvenation and a fastidious build up. The nation arrived much earlier in the country with the supine sublimate of being a Ram Rajya but the Westphalian construct in the momentous year in 1648 cemented the idiom of nationhood which has remained a much contested and confront ted humanist task. The idiom is much debated and deliberated upon but how James Garner and the illustrious Montevideo convention interprets it as it spawned a super corpus of ideational and tangible precepts of a well defined territory, population and the tangibility of a delimited border and the all significant conditionality of sovereignty. The anti systemic drives in the garb of ethnic and racial identities militate against this universally satisfying and cumulatively coalescing institution which is no more a notion only.

Education, where-in, I have spent nearly a decade, is, a substratum, where-in, heterogeneity with its fissiparous intent can be sublimated into a momentous Unison. The nation thrives on the idiom of Unity in Diversity but when sacrifices are on the offing and the criticality of a nation state approaches a crescendo like scenario then homogenous policy making and uniformity becomes an unwelcome necessity which might be instantiated in a war like situation or a situation of internal instability and socio-political vitriol. Sports acts as a natural stirrer of passion and unificatory ethos, where-in, if Team India led by a daredevil Dhoni and a spirited Mary Kom can bring the global laurels downstream to India, then, why cannot a village boy get a GRE under his belt and do a Yale for his township with the garlands and a girl in the wheat field. The expanse and the rallying around the flag phenomenon associated with a nation and its denizens can amalgamate into a mammoth and now realizable national project, where-in, the traditions and the values of a long sleeping nation can attain a new avatar in the old Indian mould. The myriad challenges of terrorism, Chinese intent, Maoist insurgency and unreliable neighbors along with debilitating caste identities and regional inclinations can be considered as the flies in the ointment which obfuscate the national narrative of being a “stolidly proud Indian denizen”. Modiji’s Make in India and his bids at the Madison Square Garden along with the policy of eking out 40 billion $ from the US in form of FDI is rather efficient on his part while we are abreast of the internal ecosystem in the land of milk and honey. The Madison square outing of Modiji was too welcomed by the American youth and the bygones are bygones by now. Also, the significance of symbolism and personal charm is very nicely eked out by the success and the Diplomatic vignette rendered by Prime Minister Modi.

The Old and revered idioms of Vedantic knowledge needs a definition and the nomenclature needs a mainstreaming with the non mainstreamed sections of the society. Its an essentiality in order to redefine the political and geo strategic contours of a Rashtra on the move and a recalibration of relations and what I term as, “Bilaterals” with the great powers such as United States, China, Soviet union and the European Union which is the clarion call of the times. The Realistic and Liberal idiom of metamorphosing from a nation which eulogises and worships ‘gully slug fests’ on political, religious and social themes of some significance and taming them into a cussed narrative of national importance needs to be looked into. The nation will be internally stronger and will develop a futuristic fetish to excel globally if the domestic stumbling blocks can be tackled diligently and economically. The time is not ripe for internal debates on mundane inanities which can wait while the nation rises from a deep slumber and a civilizational leap occurs which has been long in the offing.

If we delve inside instances in United States it can serve us as an able handy exercise in self evaluation.  United States has been a cynosure of all eyes since the follies of the Vietnam War and Iraq and they over the top of it all, have aggressed various principalities going by one reading of the American foreign policy. The Indian state on the other hand has been a pacifist and a reactive nation which has responded sporadically since independence to international and global security and border challenges. The challenges might be in the form of the Pakistani pogroms through the 1965 and the 1971 wars well enshrined in the Public memory through the battle histories of Longewalan, Asal Uttar and Haji Peer. Nobody remembers the Chushul! Since the earliest times, the public sphere is replete with instances of nations and populations yearning to find a voice for themselves. They also yearn for their formed staple public opinion to make an impact upon the domestic policies and the foreign and strategic policies of their respective nationalities. United States of America too has tradition of spawning a MIM (Military, Media and Industry)[1] complex which is a mutually cohabitative and supportive edifice which is part of the nation building striving since the many years United States of America has intervened in international conflict and vitriolic situations in yonder nations. Since the historicity of Paul Revere going downtown to Lexington and the other principalities of Concord and Medford across the dark river to alert the Patriots, messaging and signalling have played a primordial role in settling the ferment of the American Republic.[2] The Americans are a putatively proud nation with an avidly witnessed ‘Rally around the Flag phenomenon.’[3]

It is here that India needs to circumvent its apologetic and restrained magniloquent quality and tender assistance to the general national sentiment of renewed national glory and prosperous progression to a super power status albeit with the neo geo economics of the globe. Great nations have entwined destinies and so India has to belch ‘grey matter smoke’ from the brain in the domestic hearths and chart out a self sustaining and adventurist route to pelf and greatness with the popular will serving as the trailblazing light of inspiration and emulation which is rhapsodically reverent to national symbols and the power of youth as Swami Vivekananda emphasised in his thesis of a ‘national surge.’ The Republic day visit of President Obama in 2015 and the balance which India makes out with the BRICS , BCIM and other regional and sub regional groupings along with the strengthening of borders and treaties with South Asian neighbours will further cement the foundations of a smart and stolid nation.

(Author is Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi and has written three books on International Relations and Security.)

[1] Ledbetter, James. ( 2011),  Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military industrial Complex ( Icons of America)  New York: Yale University Press.
[2] Vare, Robert. (2007), The American Idea: The Best of Atlantic Monthly, New York: Doubleday. pp .no. 321-323
[3] A quintessential American Public Opinion phenomenon which makes the American population support the Government when the nation is imperilled by a war, invasion or a national catastrophe has been perpetrated upon the country.

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