Here’s what 9 pm pseudo patriots can learn from the Indian Army: Barkha Dutt

Updated: 7 February, 2019 9:11 am IST
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In this week’s News ka Juice, Barkha Dutt asks 9 pm pseudo warriors to learn from real soldiers.

Today, let’s talk about the two most loaded words in Indian politics and public debate.

The first is secularism.

The second is nationalism.

Instead of being unifiers in a vibrant diverse democracy,

Both words have become divisive, distorted, politicised and corroded in recent times.

But as the Indian military commemorates the 70th Army Day…

The day when Lt Gen. K.M. Cariappa took over from General Francis Butcher as a free country’s first commander in chief…

We can learn lessons in both secularism and nationalism from our fauj.

Secularism is organic and effortless in the Indian Army.

In politics, the Right-wing uses the word secularism as an abuse…

They mock us with a variation of the word and call us ‘sickular’…

They are brazen about their anti-Muslim hatred.

Liberals, on the other hand, make the mistake of insisting on a Nehruvian take on secularism… An arid sanitised version that fails to celebrate faith.

And so-called liberal politicians are often selective and hypocritical about secularism.

The army, on the other hand, simply and happily prays together.

The Sarv Dharam Sthal or a common prayer hall often brings soldiers of different religions under one spiritual roof.

The unwritten rule is that the faith of the troops becomes the faith of the officer. At least while on duty.

The Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry or JAKLI is one of the youngest regiments of the army.

It initially drew from citizens militias that were formed to resist the invasion of Pakistani raiders in 1947.

Today, it is 50 per cent Muslim and 50 per cent non-Muslim, and extremely proud of its diversity.

It is also home to the unique MMG concept…

Where MMG stands for not a gun but Mandir Masjid Gurdwara.

The unit has a multi-religious approach to not just prayer and god but also festivals and food.

During Ramzan, Hindu officers also keep the roza and often lead the namaz prayers.

During Diwali, Muslim officers not just celebrate the festival but step in for duty so their Hindu comrades can get time off.

Halal and jhakta meat are cooked alongside in the kitchen.

And, last year, on Baisakhi, because the granthi was on leave, the maulvi delivered the sermons of the Granth Sahib.


What does the army’s practice of religious diversity teach us about secularism?

Well, for a start, we need to get rid of this word called tolerance.

As Indian progressives we asking Indians to be tolerant, and keep lamenting rising tolerance.

In fact, tolerance is a terrible word because it suggests enduring each other without much liking each other.

But the army’s notion of secularism is not tolerance, it is joyous participation, in each other’s religious customs.

It is a metaphor for the India our founding fathers imagined.

And a microcosm of the pluralism we should celebrate every single day.


Now, let’s discuss nationalism.

We live in an age when all dissent is called sedition…

And any opinion that goes against the dominant narrative is called anti-national.

The ‘9pm patriots’ in particular…

Who may never have moved out of the cocoon of the TV studio…

Have twisted nationalism out of all shape and meaning.

Here too we need to learn from the army

Now no one in their right mind can call General D.S. Hooda, the former Northern Army commander, anything but a patriot, right?

Well, in 2016, right after Burhan Wani was eliminated in an anti-terror operation…

And the Valley had erupted in violent turmoil…

It was not the political class that first called for peace and negotiation…

It was the General.

He appealed to all stakeholders — security forces, separatists and students — to sit at the same table and talk to find a solution.

Today, anyone who calls for talks in Kashmir is called an anti-national by the 9pm pseudo patriots.

Would they dare to say that to General Hooda?

Because a soldier actually pays the price for the absence of peace.

A military man or woman knows nothing is more anti-national than prolonged conflict.

They will take a bullet, fight ferociously and not compromise on dignity.

But they will never be pseduo patriots like our TV anchors.

General Hooda was also the officer who courageously lead the surgical strikes against Pakistan.

These are now the subject of films and books but, unfortunately, also material for election politics.

It is this that the General warned against.

Speaking this year at the military lit festival…

He slammed the use of the strikes for chest-thumping and point-scoring and, above all, playing politics.

Saying bluntly, there was too much political banter on both sides.

He was unequivocal in saying that the over-hype did not help.

This quiet dignity of the uniform is what patriotism is all about.

In sharp contrast to the asinine ideas that hashtag warriors propound, these are men who fight real battles.

So, the next time someone on Twitter hectors you on secularism or nationalism…

Point them in the direction of the Indian Army.

And then dare them to disagree.

See you next week.

Also read: Modi’s move for 2019: Kamandal plus reverse Mandal

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  1. Why we give importance to this woman. She is no more a journalist, She is running Muslim terrorists propaganda in our country. She does not like Modi, know she don’t like American President also but the fact is that we the People hate You Barkha, because of your pro Pakistan attitude in your speeches, so think about this and hope I can see the journalist Barkha back to the nation she belongs.

  2. Is this coming from the same person who was reported to have ( unwittingly?) revealed the position of our fighting men in Kargyl to Pakistanis?

  3. Barkha Dutt! Can you explain it to me logically why India has to bear the burden of secularism?? Specially when the nation is continuously in threat from our in’secular republics?? Let me remind you Barkha Dutt even the People’s Republic of China isn’t a secular nation. A term which is just a part of the Preamble of the constitution which is not a binding upon to people’s constitution. Preamble of the constitution are just a few suggestion based upon which the constitution was framed. If you are justifying because Indian society diverse society as such secularism is justified, then even Red China also is a diverse society, so is 80% of the global other countries. But none of these countries adopted secularism in their constitutions including England & US. When Nehru desired for partitioned India on religious grounds to fulfill his ulterior ambition to sit as the democratic monarch of India, then also there is no justification of secular India. Now according to your statement it only reflects that either the rest of the global community were smart not to adopt secularism & India alone stands looking stupid or either India is the smartest country alone by adopting secularism & rest of the global community are stupid. I leave it for your judgement to decide. Now comes the issue of the matter of secular liberty within India, well if few atrocities have taken place against a certain section of minority(against which the pseudo-liberals blew their trumpets even to the extent of dividing India) & yet not a single condemnation was voiced when the Kashmiri Pandits (who are also minority in comparison to the Muslim majority in Kashmir valley) were thrown out of their rightful land through attrition & ravaging. Is that the kind of ‘Secularism’ you are talking about?? When jihadi terror outfits from across the western neighbour’s soil time & again entered & massacred our citizens & our forces, extending an arm of friendship towards such neighbourer’s is your idea of ‘Secularism’?? Or are you propagating about the ‘Secularism’ for those anti-national Muslim elements of Kashmir Valley who are killing our forces in the name of ‘Liberated Kashmir’ only for the purpose to unite with neighbouring enemy is your sense of Secularism?? Or after demolition of Babri Masjid (when not a single Muslim life was lost in India) but the repercussions were faced by the Hindus in another nation called Bangladesh where 1000s were forced to flee & seek refuge in India & many 1000s(specially women) were forced to convert into Islam & become wives or slaves, tolerance towards such people is your sense of Secularism?? Barkha have you read the Indian history?? We Hindus never invited the be it Persian Sultans or the Moghuls to come & rule & subvert us for over 12 centuries. They came as plundering forces to ransack our more than 6000 year old rich heritage. Why? Because their pedophilia prophet Mohammad commanded them to convert the whole world into Islam. That’s just awesome, these Islamic people they have the right to do all kind of crime & act of atrocities against entire mankind, but the pseudo-seculars will justify that accept these elements as brothers with a kiss on their cheek?? Why?? Yes! We accept those Islamic people as our brothers who love this nation & are ready to give up their lives for safeguard of the soil. Yes they definitely are our brothers & we proudly accept them in our nation’s fold, but not those who eat, live & enjoy upon all the fruits this nation provides & abuse our motherland.Yes we the so called pseudo-patriots(as termed by you) too believe in our nation’s ‘Unity in diversity’ because we love those Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Parsis, Bahais, Buddhists & Jains who stand together for unified India, unlike the psudo-socialists & pseudo-liberals whose only outlook is to divide the nation & its people only for ulterior motive of corruption & keep the people under in their grip with hypocritical doctrines & sermons.. Yes we believe in unity of unified ‘Nationalist India’ which is absolutely rational, instead of living under the thumb of some hypocritical intellectuals(who consider themselves as intellectuals, but in truth are bunch of buffoons). That’s our idea of secularism which so called buffoons simply cannot digest.

    • The Marxist is the eternal handmaiden and slave of the Islamo fascist not realizing that once the Islamo-fascist attains power, he usually exterminates all Marxists without any remorse like it happened in Iran soon after the 1979 Islamic revolution in which Iranian Marxista and Islamists joined forces to overthrow the Shah.

      Within six months of the 1979 revolution, every single Marxist in Iran was gunned down by Islamic revolutionary firing squads who worked in eight hour shifs killing as many as 1000 Marxists every day.

      The foolish Marxists In India who want Islamic fundamentalists to exterminate all Hindus in India, may as well be killed off by us Hindus,
      Why wait for Muslims to do this job

    • Burkha still think she is a celebrity or an ace (Grammarly app may have corrected the word), journalist, columnist, political “sneaker”, or being the daughter of a journalist with slightly different adjectives. Just a piece of advice lady. If you need to show the source of your income, do not fill up the occupation column on ITR. Just say the oldest of all variations.

  4. I would like to make it very clear to Barkha that Indian Hindus DO NOT hate Muslims in India.
    All 1 billion Hindus in India know that millions of Indian Muslims are as patriotic as them and want to lead peaceful lives.
    It is ONLY the Jihadists which Indian Hindus hate. Jihadists want to wage war against India till all of it falls under the banner of Islam. They want to reduce Hindu living space in India.
    It is THIS we are opposed to.

    Now there are a lot of sickulars in our media who cannot differentiate a Jihadist from a regular Muslim. They accuse Hindus who hate Jihadists of being fascists… This is nauseating to say the least.

    You just cannot sympathize with Burhan Wani just because he was a Muslim. He was a Jihadist and he deserved his fate. So do many others who fight our army.

    There is another argument which “Sickular” Marxists in India always want to promote. They want to “END” the war in Kashmir by asking the Indian Army to vacate Kashmir and hand it over to Pakistan. I have spoken to many such Marxists who insist that even Jammu and Ladakh should be given to Pakistan and that the Indian Army has no business “occupying” Kashmir

    Make no mistake, patriotic Indians hate to the core any Marxist in India who wants to barter Indian territory to buy peace… We will not allow this to happen and may even resort to vigilantism and violence against any idiot who says that peace is paramount in the region and India should vacate Kashmir and that

    All measures taken by the Army to preserve our territorial integrity are FULLY appreciated by all Nationalists in India.

    Also when it comes to expressing our admiration for Islam and participating in Muslim festivals. Let me be clear.
    IT HAS TO BE A TWO WAY STREET. Muslims who participate in Hindu festivals are our friends but those who despise us as idolators are enemies.

    What is sauce for the Goose, is Sauce for the Gander. You cannot have double standards here.

    Jai Hind !

  5. Speaking for myself – possibly many more Indians as well – I don’t need to use the accepted virtues of nationalism and secularism as practised by the Army as a crutch or a support system. To fire from the sturdy shoulders of our jawans. Many / most of us are genuinely secular, partly by inner conviction, partly in compliance with the law of the land, which itself is based on a pragmatic acceptance of reality in such a diverse country. Till the mocking phrase “ pseudo secularism “ was used insidiously to undermine the decency and tolerance of ordinary Indians, majoritarianism – sometimes accompanied by unacceptable violence – was not regarded as defining the faith of even the most devout Hindus. 2. We feel a lump in our throats when the national anthem is played. Each one of us defines or understands our love for India in our own ways, not as a standardised Meals Ready to Eat, issued by the army. We don’t need a military band striking up in a shopping mall on the anniversary of the “ surgical strikes “ to get the patriotic juices flowing. 3. As for the nine o’clock anchors, at least three one knows for a fact are army brats. One can only wonder how proud their fathers feel of them.


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