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Nation First- But Why?

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‘This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.’

                                                                                                                   Elmer Davis

Not to commit to something as plain and simple as “Nation First” seems so  childish and sounds even stupid for anyone to even imagine! This is applicable to    each citizen of every country, because you are nothing without a nation! Your nation is your identity. Bill Gates is called an ‘American Billionaire’. You are an American or a British First then whatever you are. Let me explain in some detail.

Imagine people leaving their countries and running elsewhere in dire conditions to other countries for ‘Refuge’.

Today the entire world is in flames of some sort of the other. More people than ever before — over 100 million — have been forced to flee their homes. That figure includes over 30 million who have fled their countries because of conflict, violence, persecution, or human rights violations and more than 70 million who are displaced in their own countries because of economic hardship, weather shocks, or deadly clashes, including the wars within.

Violence and conflict within countries and political instability including Afghanistan, Burkina, Syria, Congo, Ethiopia, Myanmar, and Nigeria have fueled the increase of people forcibly displaced.

 Not only underdeveloped nations but today entire Europe is in turmoil.

The war in Ukraine has also displaced around ten million within the country, Nearly 6 million Ukrainian refugees have been recorded across Europe.

They have become ‘nation-less’. Left helpless to fend for themselves. Even if they want to return to their country they face a daunting situation, including a lack of infrastructure, loss of their belongings, no shelter which they can call as their own. ‘Nothing belongs to them as they belong to nothing and nobody’. About seven million are displaced within Syria, and nearly 14.6 million people in Syria need humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations.

Today according to the United Nation one out of every 125 people in the world is a refugee- and I feel the way Inter- national and intra-national conflicts are growing in numbers, internal power struggles within nations and citizens themselves egging others to create instability (reasons best known to them, even in India) things may not be looking good in near future too.

Do you know what if feels like when you are nation less?

During Partition of India into two nations- Hindustan and Pakistan millions of refugees were born on both sides of the fence- invisible fence called a ‘partition’.

The same people with same or at least a similar DNA were torn apart into two different geographical –contagious- land masses.  As one would recall the elders saying ‘Ghar se beghar ho gaye’ roughly translating into – from home to homeless situation. Though both countries allowed people to be accepted, yet it is difficult to imagine a family of 20 people leaving behind everything, property, cash, business, jobs, clothes, jewelry and worst- your own identity, your own land- ‘mittee’- now you were a refugee within your own people. I am not even factoring in the Hindu Muslim riots which triggered mass murders to make it worst. Yes you are only a refugee- at some one’s mercy. It took them almost entire one generation to find their feet and build a new life altogether. They were brave people. They initially lived in tents, makeshift shelters with very little to eat or drink. They were direction less, and no one to guide them to their final destination within their chosen country. Some settled in Punjab, some in Delhi and many went down South and western parts of India like Mumbai and Pune. Yesterday you were a millionaire and today you have been reduced to a pauper, you had to leave your Nation behind.

Since the political support and administrative help was available to some extent, they managed to merge into their newly found nation called Bharat or Hindustan. They got an identity of a nation- an Indian.

What if half of them were thrown into the Arabian Sea or Bay of Bengal? Asked to make rafts and make shift boats and head for say Thailand and Oman only to be fired upon by local police refusing an entry?

Those who fled Syria or any such Nation which could not hold itself together had to cross over borders by stealth, by land or by sea- many perished on the way- lucky ones reached hungry, without decent clothes- begging for refuge. Why on earth would a nation allow other nationals to set foot on its sovereign state? And then ask for a permanent asylum, then job, then security then citizenship? Except for humanitarian reason, there is nothing else you can present in your case. You are an outsider and not welcome- end of the story.

Inside Refugee camps in a world at war

There are refugee camps in close to 140 countries today! There are 195 countries in the word. Which means close to 70% nations face the challenge of giving shelter to outsiders. All of these camps are not run according to best practices and one cannot expect that for various reasons- economic, political, racial or even demographic differences.

The bottom line

How can a refugee be at peace with himself ever? Most are constantly living under fear of the unknown and uncertainty.

Uncertainty is the biggest fear of a man. It is the most lethal silent killer!

Let me go back to the basic needs of a human being.

The lowest need in the hierarchy of needs of a human being, man woman or child are physiological needs. These basic needs for survival- yes only survival- include food and water, sufficient rest, clothing and shelter, overall health, and reproduction. Just to live on a day to day basis so as not to kick the bucket. Thereafter a human being also needs security and safety. Safety and food are the barest minimum one requires to survive or sail through life. In a refugee camp you are living on the edge for all these rudimentarily basic human needs.

In a society living in the year 2022, according to me, these are the ‘stone age needs’. These minimal Stone Age needs can be met (at best) by administrations who run the refugee camps. They are usually cramped for space and some are scanty hastily build shelters, tents or some basic brick and mortar stuff.  As a worker, human rights worker says ‘These are dense spaces of concrete and asphalt, urban materializations of an ongoing state of emergency’. These are overcrowded, unplanned, permanent ‘city-camp’ housing 23,000 registered refugees in 135,000 square meters! These are like Ghettos.

A man needs love, bonding and caring- even an animal does. The most important is self-esteem, sense of belonging that is where a nation comes in. An Identity. Why do you think so many nations and their people fought external aggressions? Basically to remain free as people. Why an Army fights for its nation? It is to protect the people of their nation against harassment from other people- belonging to other nations. Foreigners.

Every nation state and its citizens want liberty, autonomy, self-determination and freedom from external control. Of the people, by the people, for the people. Which people? People belonging to a Nation State- a nation in short.

I feel free, safe and secure within the borders of my country, I can travel anywhere I feel like, get a job, buy property and settle down anywhere I feel like.

When Germans started World War 2, they annexed France in the first year of the war and for the next several years it was called and remained ‘occupied France’. Life of every French citizen changed, they were prisoners in their own land. That is the meaning of freedom and my nation first.

In modern democracies, sovereign power rests with the people and is exercised through representative bodies such as Congress or Parliament.

Leaving your land- passing the port

Whenever you travel abroad you need an entry visa to the host country, that country will give you permission if you belong to some country. You may be a billionaire but first you need to be say a Japanese with a Japanese passport. Some nations are notorious for refusing an entry permit or a visa without giving any reason (and why should they?). Especially the First nations – like America can refuse at whim! You don’t know why?

 When you are granted a visa it is stamped on your passport- for a specific time period. It is checked at the boarding time at the airport or a harbor from where you are about to leave your port- your nation, and also at the destination you need to stand in queue to show it the official politely smiling to let you in- and he does.

Purpose of visit could be given on the visa (as a tourist visa) but he still asks you curtly ‘your reason for coming to France’? You repeat the same- ‘tourist’ and he stamps your passport.

You go there as an Indian

No? Yes you do. You are an Indian from India, it is on your travel papers. These could be checked any time by any one. And you damn well prove that you are.

All hell can let lose if you lose your passport! You have nothing to prove who you are. Your driving license, your bank passbook, and your electricity bill has no meaning. What do you do? Run to the Indian Embassy or consulate and tell them you are an Indian and they would help you because you are an Indian. It may take long but you will be out of the woods, because you are an Indian belonging to a nation called India.

Even otherwise, for any untoward incident, you bank on your nation through your embassy.

In recent months in Ukraine- Russia- Europe- America (UREA) conflict large number of Indian students got caught in the war torn zone? Where did they go to seek help? The India High commission. They made arrangements for them to come back home. Students didn’t want to go to America or England, they wanted to come back to their own nation which is where they belong. Whenever in trouble you think of Nation first. So always and every time it is nation first, remember this.

“We want to make nation-building a people’s movement.” ~ Narendra Modi

And you want to demean and destroy the same entity?

You may be left, right or center of the political spectrum, I don’t care- you are first a fellow countryman. You are an Indian first.

Some idiots- yes ignoramus idiots- get pleasure out of demeaning, disgracing and even attempting to destroy their own nation! I can’t understand what do they mean and what do they want? You can criticize the administration which you yourself chose but you have no reason to tear apart the fabric of your nation which gives you shelter, means to earn, safety, identity, security and freedom to do what you like when you like. It protects you from external and internal evil. It seems to be an invisible shield which covers you, protects you and your family and friends.

In Israel every citizen of the country is ready to sacrifice even his life to protect it. They have very little to hold on to, land mass is very small, they have limited resources but for every Israeli man or woman- Israel comes first- Nation comes first. No Israeli will ever tolerate an insult to his country or his people.

In India we do have some aliens.

You need to be out of your mind and insane to say ‘we want azaadi’. We want freedom from our nation, we will break our own mother land into pieces ‘Bharat Tere tukde hongey ….’. You pray to god that the tree that gives you shelter and fruit should get destroyed? Who eats his own hand? Termites do.

OK your wish is granted

I will not even ask you how. You got some Alladin ka chirag and your wish is granted. Your country has been destroyed and is in pieces now, as you worked hard to destroy it, prayed harder and god grants that wish. There is no law and order, no food, no electricity, no safety, no hospital no schools, colleges- What next? What do you plan to do? Can you stay in such a situation with family and friends- a situation you created? No. Now you want to seek refuge somewhere- but where? Pakistan? Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, these are the obvious choices. You say ‘Afghanistan’ and that wish is also granted. As William Penn says ‘Passion is the mob of the man that commits a riot upon his reason.’

As per data of UNHRC committee there are 2.6 million registered Afghan refugees in the world, of whom 2.2 million are registered in Iran and Pakistan alone. Another 3.5 million people are internally displaced, having fled their homes searching for refuge within the country. In light of the rapidly deteriorating security situation in 2021, the number of people fleeing is likely continue to rise.

Do you want to go there? Oh, you are welcome- then go. Google it out and check how miserable the refugees in these camps are. They are no body, no one, they are living in hell. Want to join them?

I am sure all these – ‘Azadi liberal fellows’ – want to be liberated- but for what?

You want to destroy your own home which has given you everything and go and live in a makeshift tent, to be yelled at and even kicked at times by the security forces of ‘that nation’ as you are a parasite for them. No one wants you. You beg for food and water and people do you a favor by giving you these Stone Age comforts.

Largely these so called ‘freedom from freedom- fighters’ are students in colleges and universities. They are full grown hunks, adults, counted as literates, some call themselves ‘Intellectuals’, ha. They are self-proclaimed leaders and think to be the conscience of people, living on scholarships, at least highly subsidized education!

These are not ‘poor gumrah (led astray) students’ who are being egged by some ‘outside or external forces’. They are fully aware of what they are doing.

They also know that they are wrong, but god knows why they have no sense of self conviction to not to indulge in these anti national crusades- yes they feel these are crusades for them which is counted in millennial parlance ‘ cool’.

These are Termites of higher order

Termites are actually blind (they cannot see) and they destroy their own dwelling place. They nibble as they love to nibble. They are in large numbers as clusters and eat into wood and any other material that they can. They don’t belong to a tree as they themselves destroy it. They have no emotional attachment to any of the dwelling units. They need to be exterminated. But they are difficult to destroy.

If mankind has survived termites for millions of years, sure we can handle these super termites too. But for that non termites must cross their hearts and believe in nation first ethos.

Stop them now! Who are they?

These so called activists don’t know why at the drop of a hat they get activated and one wonders what their problem is? What is bothering them?

Universities and colleges meant for education are the breeding ground for these ‘activists’

Some colleges and universities are highly infested with these hi on hormones termites.

If a student or a group of students has a problem with the institution, college, staff then one can understand and there are channels of communication well defined which are for the students to approach authorities. Yes if you are not heard by the college authorities you can protest, but peacefully to get your grievances settled.

I remember one of my students signed up for MBA program where good behavior is mandatory told me about her graduation days ‘sir, here we have learnt to respect hierarchy and authority- back then we used to go for a strike, just for the heck of it!’

 But protests are held by boycotting classes, blocking roads, and raising slogans  against the state, government, or police or sometimes for no reason as it gives them time outside the class room. The number of such controversial student protests or campaigns has increased exponentially. There have been instances where students have expressed their distress on issues specific to the national interest that too violently. All these violent activities within college premises are joined by students, who either do not know the issue or are politically instigated.

The worst is, they are even protected under the constitutional umbrella of Right to Assemble and Right to Freedom of Speech .In Jawaharlal Nehru University, slogans such as “Kashmir ki azaadi takk, Jung rahegi Jung rahegi,” “Bharat ki barbaadi takk, Jung rahegi Jung rahegi,”.

They are neither juvenile nor are they school children. They are all full grown adults who have a right to vote, right to drink and right to get a driving license.  Are these educated students interested in building a nation or destroying it? They are akin to a fool sitting on a branch of a tree and cutting it down himself!

For every Indian it is nation first- that means every living Indian

Student or not, I as an ordinary citizen am responsible to protect my nation, from any harm posed by forces outside the borders or the enemy within. It is my duty, the utmost duty to save my home- that is Bharat.

University is an academic place, and hence it should promote academic freedom not freedom to destroy the very home which gives you shelter. These so-called cultural peaceful gatherings in universities, which promote such slogans and give rise to rebellion against my nation and challenge the country’s judicial system, will not be allowed. It becomes crucial to constrain the freedom of speech– a right that is rarely understood by the millennials who think are the future of the nation and custodians of the rule of law.  Brain hemorrhage is not the way to open your mind. The purpose of the university is not to become a breeding ground for violent student activists which are a threat to national security.

 Parents are equally responsible for reigning in their wards and making them see the light of the day and see what is good for their nation first. The elders in the society need to assert.

I am reminded of oft repeated song ‘Hum laye hain toofan sey kishtee nikaal ke- iss desh ko rakhana mere bachcho sambhal ke…’ Makes perfect sense in this context. So don’t create an unnecessary storm- only you will drown and perish.

We are so lucky

Today India is the place to be. The world say that.

At a time when the global economy is stressed, India has been able to hold its own and don the mantle of being the fastest growing major economy in the world.

Despite several hurdles to growth, the pandemic and then the war in Ukraine and all other economic shocks, India is ready to resume its journey towards becoming a $5-trillion economy. We are already fifth largest economy of the world. At this juncture, it is pertinent to appreciate the government’s initiatives that are slowly but surely unlocking India’s potential as a nation.

The fundamentals of the Indian economy remain strong and it is likely to continue as the fastest growing major economy in the future as well. Foreign exchange reserves are strong. Tax collections remain buoyant, green shoots of private investments are becoming visible. The coordinated interventions of the government and the Reserve Bank of India should lead to better management of inflation. Infrastructure, manufacturing, entrepreneurship, sustainability and the social sector are getting the right impetus.

 The massive National Infrastructure Pipeline, comprising more than 9,300 projects worth around $1.8 trillion, provides a big boost to the expansion of roads and highways, ports, airports, railways, urban infrastructure, communications, renewable energy, water and sanitation and social infrastructure of health and education.

The digitally-enabled India will allow for better coordination, and execution of infrastructure projects. A Massive modernization of railways is underway, including station upgradation. The government is working on India’s long coastal network through new ports and inland waterway connectivity.

The Government’s strategy is to focus on manufacturing, making India a factory to the world. Indian manufacturing has lacked scale, which is critical for achieving global competitiveness.

You may not be an economist to understand fiscal deficit or FOREX reserve but you are not blind. You can see the way highways are being built, Homes for EWS, toilettes, electrification, new colleges coming up its there to see and feel, digitization across the nation.

‘Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.’

John F. Kennedy

Virender Kapoor
Virender Kapoor
Virender is an Indian who wears many hats. An educationist of repute, Masters in Computer Science from IIT Bombay, he also holds an MA in International relations. He was the Director of a prestigious management Institute under the Symbiosis umbrella. He has emerged as a leading think tank in human behavior, motivation and success. As a celebrity author, his name appears with the likes of Thomas Friedman and Dale Carnegie. His books are now available in eight regional and foreign languages like Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati ,Telegu , Malayalam , Tamil, Punjabi and Vietnamese He has authored more than 36 books as of now which are on Amazon worldwide and several of his books are in the pipeline.

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