Parents and students are very worried about anti-national activities. Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Q: My son believes in freedom to voice all opinions, even if most people don’t agree with them. He says that is the Indian tradition of tolerance. He quotes Samuel Johnson that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel and Albert Einstein on nationalism being an infantile disease, the measles of mankind. Worse, he wants to study sociology in JNU.
A: Your son is severely afflicted with the anti-national bug. A daily glass of gomutra (cow’s urine) should cure him. He should study business management and make his parents and Bharat Mata proud by migrating to the US and earning a lot of money. Johnson and Einstein must be booked for sedition.
Q: My son is in college but doesn’t take part in politics. Is he safe?
A: It depends. What if Hafiz Saeed tweets that he likes your son?
Q: Is eating beef anti-national?
A: Sources supposedly close to Bharat Mata (not Smriti Irani) say she dislikes non-veg food. She gets upset if her malnourished children are served eggs under the mid-day meal scheme.
Q: The government hobnobs with the Afzal Guru-loving PDP in Kashmir and with Naga militants. Is that anti-national?
A: The question is seditious.
Q: Will I be charged with sedition if I take my girlfriend out?
A: Ideally, we should follow our child marriage traditions but unfortunately that’s illegal. Taking your girlfriend out is okay, provided she is of the same religion and caste and of a different gotra.
Q: Is it anti-national to watch movies?
A: ‘Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai’ is a no-no. It’s best to avoid Shahrukh or Aamir. To be safe, watch only Gajendra Chauhan and Anupam Kher movies.
Q: My daughter wants to become a journalist. Is she anti-Indian?
A: Does she want to get bashed up? If she must join the profession, let her chant ‘Vande Mataram’ every half hour to prove her patriotism.
Q: Is it sedition to praise Godse?
A: Killing the Father of the Nation doesn’t mean he is anti-national.
Q: My daughter wants to join an NGO to protect the environment.
A: Why support anti-nationals like Greenpeace?
Q. My son wants to become a jingoist lawyer and bash up anti-nationals and journalists.
A. I see a bright political future for him.
Q: Should we worry about how Bharat Mata feels because her children are under-nourished, her farmers commit suicide, because millions scramble for survival in fetid slums, with kids exposed to disease and exploitation, while her richest 1% own more than half her wealth?
A: Nothing anti-national about that.
Q: Is it anti-national to boo the Indian cricket team?
A: Only if they are winning. If they lose you can curse them, we are very liberal.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint
The views expressed are personal