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We throughout in history have found therapeutic ways of express our struggles. A said metaphor, to imply ideas that do not have a literal form.

An intellectual labor  has been felt time and again by people to represent ideas in an concise form. Find symbols for words. A physical object that can be used to represent an abstract or concise idea. Falling on the premises of the proverb – “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

People often finds symbols to liberate ideas for the simple reason that people can connect better to something they can see. Also symbols can become statuses and disguise themselves in our daily life. For example the white dove is a symbol of peace. While we can write the word peace on posters. It is easier to wear the infamous symbol and hold two fingers up in the air to express your ideology. Sometimes words fall short, and gestures are needed.

A struggle that was felt by the French Revolutionist in 1789, where they used symbols and motifs to express their exuberant feelings. The  ‘broken chains’ symbolize a freedom from slavery. In terms of the French Revolution the broken chain signified freedom for the peasants and the “third estate”, i.e. normal people as opposed to the aristocracy. They also made flags and use the Phrygian cap to represent Liberty. Speaking of  Liberty , an interesting phase also began with the French using the concept of “lady liberty” , where they used a female figure to represent the ideology of  liberty. Falling on the same line was the concept of rendering the country as the motherland. Personifying the country as a person.

A concept we incorporated in the Indian freedom struggle as well. The artist drew paintings representing the motherland as goddesses, personifying India as a woman. Motherland. The freedom struggle also gave birth to slogans.
Slogans that have recently come under the scanner of controversy  in the recent present.  In a statement made by Ramdev he states that he would like to behead every person who does not raise the slogan of “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. The statement follows in the light of the JNU scandal where Kanhaiya Kumar was on the hot seat for making certain anti-nationalist remarks. The controversy divided the public into two very stark sides. And many questions were raised. What is appalling about the statement lies in the fact that somebody would actually have the audacity to voice such sentiments on a national platform. To claim that “Bharat Mata ki Jai ” should be the official sentiment echoing nationalism is both misguided and inaccurate.

To begin with the fact  nobody needs to give evidence of their nationalism, and on what grounds are we dubbing the non-vocals traitors. Another fact lies that India as democratic, socialist, secular republic, that has many other words to express this infamous nationalism which we usually experience in the surplus of an India-Pakistan cricket match, more than anywhere else. Slogans like ” Vande Mataram ” and  ” Jai Hind” express the same sentiments without being tainted with the guise of having some sort of religious propaganda.

“Vande Mataram” was made the national song, during the Indian freedom struggle. During those times when we were struggling to find a national identity , trying to unite ourselves as a community belonging to the same motherland against a common enemy, our leaders did not deem it fit to give a national slogan. So why all of a sudden are we calling onto this facade of nationalism ? What enemy are we trying fight?
The enemies of the nation , or the enemies of agenda and self promotion people trying coax into fighting a war that is does not to be fought.

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Divisha Jain

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