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Which to prefer Freedom of expression or Nationalism & Why.


Nationalism is the feel of oneness or belonging to a distinct geographical unit. This comes only when a person is free to express his identity in the society. Unless and until the freedom of expression is provided there is no mean the term nationalism. Nationalism can be traced to three distinct types based on the time period of the human society.

In ancient times the subject has to be truthful to his ruler and show love towards his society. This is a kind of nationalism or love towards his society not always by his desire. But it may be due to the fear towards his ruler and the feel of getting executed if not grateful to the king and the empire. This may not always holds true, in certain cases the rulers really embrace his subjects and make them loyal the kingdom not due to fear but by love to the society. This is the early stage of nationalism emerging in the society.

During the colonial period the nationalism has taken a different form from its earliest. The oppressive nature of the colonial power made the people to rethink of their status and their deprivations due to the immoral colonial power. Hence the people has come together to fight against the colonial power as a whole. This is not due to the fear of their rulers but due to the anger towards the colonial rulers to feel together. Moreover these feelings are kindled by the nationalist leaders who gave a right path to the popular uprising by their efficient leadership qualities. This gave them the fruit of freedom movement, the independence from the shackles of the colonial power. But this kind of nationalism has survived only for few decades before and after the independence.

In the modern times the nationalism has taken a different form completely distinct from earlier versions. In the democratic society like us, each and every citizen has the right to expression and nationalism. This is only possible through the freedom of expression which leads to a real democracy. Keeping this in mind our constituent assembly as made the right to expression as a fundamental right under article 19 of Indian constitution. As today according to our statute book right to expression is a right justifiable by courts. Here come the fringe elements that have some bad effects in our modern society. The worst side of this is they also have political support from various sides. They use their right to expression to define a narrow view of nationalism. This affects the right of the others in our society. It is not the fringe elements are against the nation but their version of nationalism is slightly narrow which is against democracy. This may cause unrest in the society and havoc the social fabric which has been developed through cooperation among people over a long period of time.

Only when everyone has freedom of expression the nationalism will be born in our society. This leaves a healthy relationship between the freedom expression and nationalism. There should always be a balance between the freedom of expression and the nationalism. Even a slight imbalance may give birth to immoral activities.

In order to make a fine balance there should come a behavioral change among people. This will lead them to think that all are equal and should know their limits of expression. The youths should be educated about the moral values of the society. Hence we can prefer the freedom of expression to nationalism. At the same time one's own freedom should not infringe into others way of expression. This will ultimately lead to feel of love to his country, nationalism in a peaceful way.

- S.PRASATH