POLITICS

Aggressive Nationalism Can Be Damaging, Says Union Minister MJ Akbar

Akbar was delivering a lecture on "Nation and Nationalism".

28/03/2017 3:31 PM IST | Updated 28/03/2017 4:06 PM IST
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Union Minister M.J. Akbar on Monday said nationalism is the only answer to terrorism but aggressive nationalism can prove to be counterproductive. The Union Minister of State for External Affairs said those who abandon nationalism won't be able to fight the menace of terrorism.

"When nationalism begins to wobble, it is when it becomes aggressive nationalism. So the problem is not in nationalism, but it is in aggression," he said. When nationalism becomes aggressive, it becomes counterproductive, he added. He was delivering a lecture on 'Nation and Nationalism' at the Vivekananda International Foundation here. His comments assume significance amid the contentious debate on nationalism in the country.

"Those who abandon nationalism won't be able to fight the current menace of terrorism because the only answer to terrorism is going to be nationalism," he said, adding this feeling towards one's nation reaffirms one's commitment to deal with the problem.

The Minister said non-Left regimes in the world gave much more space to nationalism unlike the Communist nations.

Without naming former Kingfisher Chairman Vijay Mallya, whose extradition India is currently seeking from the UK, Akbar also dwelt into the concept of crony capitalism.

"In fact, one of the important problems created by the non-Left (regimes) were the increasing view that there was new class of industrialists that had risen, who make their money out of national resources, out of national markets, but had the ability to escape the national law when they were found to be guilty.

"And this is the popular demand to get them back...you can't be above nation's law," Akbar said.

He also said the Non-Alignment Movement started by countries that wanted to stay away from either of the power blocks could never find its feet in true sense.

India was one of the leaders of the NAM.

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