If you click the above link, you will find a newspaper item. A minor part of that is a claim by Javadekar, an RSS supremo, who dares the government to ban his organisation, that RSS — not the ‘feed’ but the lathi-wielding group of militants — is a school for patriotism. Ha! ha!! Apt words from a rough band in bermuda-length but pillowcase-wide khaki shorts who had planned and executed the cowardly murder of an old man who answered to the name of MK Gandhi, and heaven knows who else!
And ‘patriotism’, he says. To me it’s a dirty word with riot writ large within it. It’s always been the last refuge of scoundrels and politicians all over the world, Hitler inclusive. There are many such schools world-over for patriotism in the raw (as in meat).
The village banyan tree under which my umbilical should have been buried, along with most of my ancestors’, in keeping with the Bengal custom, could only be reached with a passport (and a valid visa) since about nine months after my seeing the light of day, for I’m about a gestation period older than the republic. I don’t feel any patriotism for either Payogram (my ancestral village), or Khulna (the district), or Bangladesh (where Khulna rightfully belongs). Nor for Kolkata where I was eventually born. I merely feel a twinge of … ummm … nostalgia for the place — a company town in Hooghly called Sahaganj — where I had spent from age two and a half to age forty eight. That was where I was brought up and went to work till exiled permanently to Kolkata.