Merely crying out “Bharat Mata ki Jai” does not represent patriotism, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said Thursday, adding real nationalism is to work towards the upliftment of “all 130 crore Indians”.
He was speaking at the annual Jamnalal Bajaj Awards presentations ceremony, where awardees were feted for their outstanding contribution to society.
“Patriotism does not mean crying out ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ or crying out ‘Jai Hind’ after watching a movie,” Naidu said, after referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s definition of patriotism where everybody does his/her work dutifully.
Naidu said ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ means the upliftment of all the 130 crore Indians. “This is the meaning of Bharat Mata Ki Jai, that is “deshbhakti”, that is patriotism, that is nationalism. That sort of attitude has to be there,” he said.
Making a strong pitch for things “Swadeshi”, Naidu said even in the era of an interconnected world and liberal foreign direct investment, we have to support local enterprises as recommended by Mahatma Gandhi.
He also hit out against growing “materialism” and “selfishness” in society and underlined the need for taking a wider view of things.
The vice president said the nuclearisation of families from the earlier joint family system may be resulting in some of the degradation in society.
Lamenting that “we are sans morals and only behind science”, he pitched for a need to “overhaul the education system to restore the value systems”.
The colonial English mindset was akin to a “disease” which has continued even after the British left India, Naidu said.
“We need more of culture than religion in our discourse,” Naidu said, adding “Google cannot replace the guru’s place in our society”.