Questioning Is Not Seditious, Chauvinism Is: A Young Indian’s Perspective

Vanshika Arora

I may disagree with what you say,
But I will defend to death your right to say it.

Nationalism as mainly perceived is a feeling of pride and affection for one’s own country, it is serving for your nation, acting in favor of it and oppressing the one who raises voices against the systems of the country. It has always been in the nature of politicians to climb up the hearts of public by ambitions, or perhaps “emotional ambitions”, and when under authoritarian power, their ambitions change into greed and subsequently, exploitation of people, their beliefs and their expectations. Every political candidate builds a ladder of a better nation to come under power, but then when in power, their promises result in extreme nationalism, or chauvinism.

Why is it done by every candidate of election, encompassing audience, promising them and ending up with nothing. People start campaigning, marching and much more to raise their voices, but many fear out from doing so as it is mostly dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong, because you can be arrested on the charge of sedition, which per se is a colonial era law, which was used to clamp down people and because we are no more a colony, this law should exist at no charge and there should be a right to people for questioning authority and asking for amendments in the working methods. Or on the other hand you can be beaten up by lawyers for being “anti national”, police even after being around won’t control the nationalistic hysteria of the offenders, but to the contrary atrociously convince them to carry it out because they themselves are in “vardi” (uniform).

Speaking against the humanitarian problems of the country, or questioning the authority, is not being anti national, and oppressing the one who questions, just shows the chauvinism of the opponent. And chauvinism and nationalism are terms poles apart. A country where the youth, which is the future of the country ( as said by every political leader), should have the right to question, to ask, to enquire and then not end up with any kind of atrocity remains demanded and expected. Speaking against the vehement happenings of the country, or expressing ones opinion is not being an anti national, but is a step forward towards nationalism, a feeling for care and an expectation of change. A person’s care and nationalist feeling towards his country is the reason he starts thinking, and endeavors the best he can. And when his vote does not come up to his expectations, he starts raising his voice. And then if he is tagged as an anti national, then I guess the expectation of change can only be seen drowning. And if the expectation drowns, change will also be seen drowning.

We call our nation “Mother India”, a nation which is motherly to us, we worship her, we ask her for affection, we thrive on her yet when we want some permutations in her, just for the sake of her betterment, it is taken as blasphemy against “Mother India” and her disrespect. Why is it not taken as a disrespect when several rapes happen each day in the country. And as a result there is no law against it in our constitution. Why is it not taken as disrespect when people under authority call marital rape a “personal matter”? Why is it not taken as disrespect when the soldiers who die on border come home in coffins in the name of nationalism, come on the road and please aloud for “one rank one pension”? Why is it not taken as a disrespect when the farmers, the suppliers of the country, suicide, pleading for alterations in the land bill?

Questioning for the sake of humanity, for the sake of betterment of one’s own country with the expectation of change, cannot be targeted as anti national. Asking for dissent and a liberal democracy is not anti-national or sententious. Highlighting the problems of a country is not anti-national but a step towards nationalism. As neither truth nor voice can ever be deceived.

Vanshika is a 8th grade student in Cambridge International school, Amritsar.


  1. I may disagree with what you say,

    But I will defend to death your right to say it.-Voltaire

    here is Hindu wisdom, which you tend to ignore and think of some frenchman to be more intelligent. Please, please follow what is going in France currently, to see how countries change according to times. Much more freedom in India right now than france for many things. And probably rightly so….Je Suis Charlie??

    Ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti—”that which exists is One: sages call it by various names –

    And here is a link to our ancient traditions of argument…btw, they do not include slogans, and promoting violent revolutions as only choice. And the anger your spew in your articles, is also indicative of a mind that does not know how to remain calm when loosing an argument…

  2. Highlighting the problems of a country is not anti-national but a step towards nationalism.

    These problems have existed, actually since the invaders came to India, you know, those with religions that said it was ok to demolish buildings of prayer because they believed ‘to know everything’ about the divine.

    Problems of a country, have gotten a lot better, especially in the last two years since the change of government. Your problem is that the public is actually against your ideology, and you want to overthrow the present government to establish your rule. The more i read your articles, the more I realize how superficial is your knowledge and understanding of a country you claim to correct.

    Thanks for writing this, you expose yourself.

  3. Why is it not taken as a disrespect when several rapes happen each day in the country.

    Your answers…

  4. Vanshika is a 8th grade student in Cambridge International school, Amritsar.

    Oops, sorry kiddo, just saw this. You need a lot of growing up to do, before you can even understand what you are writing. Some links are provided here, learn to first understand Indian heritage before using a foriengn lens to understand the oldest surviving civilisation of the world- which thanks to Hinduism has also allowed religious freedom, welcomed many religions (a gesture not extended by other religions, or religions of the book….)

    And India resist team, an eighth grader? seriously, you that desperate for writers?

    • You are right , Mr./Mrs. Anonymous. How is it that a 8th grader can think like an adult with common sense and a hint of humanity. Yeah , she is in 8th grade and she is putting herself out there. While you sit behind your computer screen criticising her . Perception matters. Her point of view matters , and if you don’t agree with her , don’t worry I won’t label you as anti-common sense . You are right Hinduism has many advantages but saying that quality is not in other religions demeans the sanity of religion itself.
      Thank you and FYI- I am a proud Indian also unlike you , using nationalism as tool of demolishing someone’s spirit.

      • Sorry, I do not think this eighth grader thought like an adult. I also think that a site dedicated to deal with serious issues is using ’emotional blackmail’ to generate some sympathy. And if I am sitting behind my computer, so are you and so is the young writer. Perception matters when someone has had the experience of life to say that their perception is of value and not tinted by what others have told them.
        No one said that there are no good things in other religions. But to ignore that both Christianity and Islam emphasise that only their religions are incorrect is simply being blind to what damage that kind of thinking can do.
        I do not know whose spirit I was demolishing here, except questioning a few things. Read my comment before you make any judgements. You too need to clear your ideas and do a bit of growing up.

        • I am sorry to have offended you but trust me I have seen adults and I have seen kids . And if you thing that age defines maturity then I have only one thing to say to you ” I pity you ”
          Also they only person needing sympathy is you , for your idiotic behaviour.

          • * you did not offend me. * no age does not define maturity but certain issues need to be understood, and age does not define maturity all the time, but does so most of the time. * a 18 year old can inherit monarchy but will not be elected to the highest office * and yes, ‘i do pity you. * no, I do not need sympathy. thank you. and I have no idea what ‘behaviour’ you are talking about. it is ‘you thinK’ and not ‘you thing.’