Q. 1. Describe the meaning and definition of Nation.
Ans. Various terms which are generally used in Political Science have been defined differently by different writers. The term ‘Nation’ has also been defined in various ways. Different writers have defined this term from different points of view. These view-points can be divided into three parts:
(1) Ethnic view.
(2) Cultural and Psychic view.
(3) Political view.
These three view-points are explained as follows:
1. Ethnic View: The word ‘Nation’ comes from the Latin word ‘Natus’ which means ‘born’. A Nation, therefore, means a person having a common origin or coming from a common stock. The definitions given from this point of view are as follows:
(a) According to Burgess, “A nation is a population of an ethnic unity, inhabiting a territory of a geographic unity.”
(b) According to Lea cock, “Nation is a union of men having racial or ethnographic significance.”
2. Cultural and Psychic View: Some people are of the opinion that a nation refers to the large number of people in a State who are bound together by certain emotional and cultural ties and who have a feeling of oneness. They feel that the feeling of oneness is the result of the same language, religion, culture, history and traditions. The definitions given from this point of view are as follows:
(a) According to Bluntschli, “Nation is a union of masses of men bound together, specially by language and customs in a common civilisation which gives them a sense of unity and distinction from all foreigners.”
3. Political View: The modern writers generally take the meeting of a nation as a political organisation. Most of the writers are of the opinion that the Nation does not only mean that group of people which has a cultural and spiritual unity but it should also have a political unity. Following definitions have been given from this point of view:
(a) According to Hayes, “A nationality by acquiring unity and sovereign independence becomes a Nation.”
(b) According to Gilchrist, “Nation is the State plus something else the unit of the people organised in one State.”
Comments: Most of the writers now-a-days consider Nation as a political institution but this view point is not wholly correct. It is not proper to use the word ‘nation’ from the political point of view. From the above discussion we can conclude that no single point of view can justifiably define or interpret a Nation. No point of view is complete in itself, there is some truth in every point of view. In a nutshell, we can say that nationality is a group of people bound together by certainties like religion, culture, traditions, conventions and literature, etc.,in such a manner that they have a sense of oneness. One Nation, one State principle in the modern times is the most important one.
Q. 2. What are the factors that help in emergence of a Nation?
Ans. Nationality is a spiritual sentiment and because of its spiritual nature, there is no question of it having any elements. There are definitely some elements which help to bring consciousness of oneness among the people, but those are not the elements like those of the State. Following are the elements.
1. Common Motherland: Every human being has love for his motherland. One who does not love his motherland is devoid of human heart. People belonging to one place are mutually bound by their love for motherland. The Jews, though remained far away from their motherland, had love for it and it kept nationalism alive. A large number of Sikhs from India have gone to England, Canada and other countries, but they consider themselves a part of the Sikh Nationalism out of their love of motherland.
2. Common Race: According to the ‘word meaning’ of nationality, the people belonging to the same race or community are the only basis of nationality. Some writers are of the view that the sameness of race is the oldest feature of nationality. It implies that the feeling of oneness is natural in the people who belong to the same race. People belonging to the same race have the same language, culture, religion, history, literature, traditions and conventions. Such common things bring them nearer to one another. Thus, there is the racial unity and the people have a sense of awakening. Thus the people belonging to one race start considering themselves different from the other races. Thus, commonness of race is a big force in bringing the people near to one another and organising them into a nationality. Writers like Zimmern Bryce, and Lea cock have supported this view.
3. Common Language: Common language is also a significant factor in the making of nationality. It is through the language that one can express one’s view to the other and can also know the views of the other. With the help of language people understand and come nearer to each other. According to Garner, “Community of language is most important factor in moulding people into a nationality.” Like the same race, same language is also a very significant factor in the making of a nationality, but it is not an essential element. In the modern age,people speaking different languages living in one Nation cannot be the basis of nationality. The English,the Americans, the Australians and the Canadians all speak English language, but their nationality is not one rather they have different nationality.
4. Common Religion: Common religion also equally contributes to nationality. World history stands as an evidence to this fact. From the stone age, man has been under the deep influence of religion. The followers of a common religion remained under the command of a religious leader and they performed all their functions according to his orders. This was the spirit of oneness developed among all the followers of a religion. The study of history of any country will make it evidently clear that in the past religion had played an important role in the unity and organisation of the State. Religious differences are a great hindrance in the ways of nationality. But in the modern age, common religion is not considered as an important element in the formation of a nationality. Now-a-days almost in all the nations we find people having faith in different religions. According to Gettell, “The growth of toleration and of freedom of belief has diminished the importance of religion as an element in determining nationality.”
5. Common History: Common history is also an important factor in the formation of nationality. The people having a common history definitely develop the spirit of oneness. Common history bears testimony to the fact that these people have stood by one another through thick and thin. Common past invokes inspiration in the people to develop national sentiments. The Indians learnt the lesson of Nationalism because of the imperial domination of the British people.
6. Common Interests: In the modern age, common interests are the most significant factor in the case of nationality. The people who have the common economic, political, religious, social interests must unite together under one banner, this is somewhat natural. Common interests are more important even than the common race, language, religion and history. The interests of the people of India are common and they put in common efforts for the attainment of these interests. But it is not essential that common interests must help in the formation of nationality.
7. Common Culture: Common culture is an important element in the formation and development of nationality. The people who have the same customs and traditions, same dress, same marriage ceremonies and common ways of living, certainly develop a feeling of oneness and nearness. But like other elements,this element is also not very essential.
8. Common Residence or Geographic Unity: Geographic unity is an important factor which fosters national sentiments. It is desirable that people constituting a nation should occupy a fixed territory, the parts of which are contiguous.
Q. 3. Discuss the merits and demerits of Nationalism.
Ans. Some writers have accepted Nationalism as an ideal principle whereas some take it as defective and harmful. Writers like B. Joseph believe that Nationalism is a link to bring man close to the society. Zimmerman is of the view that Nationalism can be really useful if it is separated from political and economic fields and applied to social and educational spheres. Hayes has strongly criticised Nationalism.He condemns artificial Nationalism which gives birth to false personal pride for one’s community and race. It creates jealousy among nations. Rabindranath Tagore has also criticised nationalism and called it an organised self-interest of the people. Moreover, he has called it an organisation of politics and commerce for selfish ends and an organised power for exploitation.It is obvious that Nationalism has both merits and demerits. It becomes defective when Nationalism takes the form of military nationalism. The following merits are to be found in Nationalism:
1. Nationalism is the inspirer of Patriotism: Its important merit is that it develops the patriotic feelings. A man is prepared to make any sacrifice for the glory and safety of the country. Love for the country is sublime human emotion. But patriotism doesn’t mean hatred for other nations.
2. Nationalism teaches sacrifice: Nationalism inculcates the feeling of sacrifice in the minds of its members. Inspired by Nationalism, man, at times, does impossible things and even sacrifices himself for the sake of his nation.
3. Nationalism is a unifying factor: Nationalism dominates mutual struggle and jealousy.The word ‘Nation’ is a symbol of unity and it creates religious and cultural unity.
4. Nationalism creates consciousness of Liberty: Nationalism arouses the consciousness of liberty. As the feeling of Nationalism develops, the State struggles for freedom. The Asian and African countries, inspired by the feeling of Nationalism, fought the battle of freedom and liberated their countries from imperialistic powers.
5. Nationalism encourages Internationalism: Gandhian Philosophy considers Nationalism as an aid in promoting internationalism. Gandhi’s firm faith was that only true Nationalism leads to internationalism. Nationalism is the first step to internationalism. First a man should learn patriotism and only then he can love other nations. Nationalism and internationalism are related to each other in the same way as family and society are related.
6. Nationalism increases the growth of Culture and Literature: Literature and culture are developed only by Nationalism. German literature flourished because of Nationalism. Tennyson, Stephen, Spender, Sir Walter and Shelley, etc., wrote innumerable poems inspired by national feelings. Maithli Sharan Gupt, the national poet of India, composed ‘Bharat-Bharti’ urged by his patriotism. Thomas Mann, too, contributed to literature out of his national feelings
7. It provides stability to states: Nationalism provides stability to states. It makes them firm and strong. The states established on national basis have proved stable. Balkan States got stability only by Nationalism.
8. It increases the loyalty of People towards Government: People having the feeling of Nationalism, are favourably inclined towards their Governments and willingly abide by its laws. Self-Government also develops in national states because people possess sympathy for each other and happily accept the Government enjoying majority.
9. It reconciles State sovereignty with individual liberty: Nationalism reconciles State sovereignty with individual liberty. The people show sovereignty but are ruled by it at the same time.People abide by the rules of the state and enjoy liberty as well. State sovereignty and individual liberty don’t clash with each other.
10. It has secured freedom for dependent countries: Nationalism has proved powerful in securing freedom for dependent countries. Many Asian and African States have been liberated from foreign rule by the feeling of Nationalism. Imperialism declined because of Nationalism. It gives impetus to freedom struggle. Nationalism was the basis of Indian freedom struggle.
11. It gives birth to democratic ideas: According to J.S. Mill, Nationalism represents democratic feelings. Its main principles are freedom, equality and fraternity for all nations. It provides right of self-determination to the people of every Nation. It doesn’t give the right to a nation to assert its supremacy over other nations. Nationalism has done away with despotic rules and encouraged democratic rule.
12. It is an instrument of economic, social and political progress: Nationalism is an instrument of economic, social and political progress. Nationalism inculates mutual co-operation, sympathy and goodwill in the people and inspires them to work for the economic, social and political progress of the country. People inspired by Nationalism, in undeveloped countries, tried their best for the all round development of their country and heightened national prestige. Criticism of Nationalism Everything has two aspects, the bright and the dark one. Similarly, Nationalism has a darker aspect too. Its demerits are as follows:
1. One Nation and one State Principle is dangerous for world peace: The Principle of one Nation and one State is harmful for world peace. By accepting this principle, the world government can’t be established. This principle hinders the progress of international ideas and consequently the outlook of nations becomes narrow. According to Prof. Joad, if these national states are not included in World Government, the humanity itself will be in danger.In the words of Prof. Joseph, “It is dangerous in principle and constitutes a chief obstacle to world progress.”
2. Nationalism teaches to hate other Nations: A Nation upholding the values of Nationalism regards its Nation as superior to others and thereby hatred for other nations is created. An atmosphere of malice and ill-will can result in world war. In fact, it happened in Germany. The Germans heightened their glory so much that it took the form of exploitation of the Jews and later on resulted into a world war.
3. Nationalism provokes wars: Nationalism provokes wars and this was the main cause of the Second World War. When a Nation considers itself superior to the other Nation, it claims to rule over the other Nations. This feeling ultimately results into wars. According to Hayes, “Modern Nationalism has indeed been a peculiar bloody religion. Vastly more persons have been slain in the nationalist wars of the first half of the present century in the four centuries of Medieval crusading.’
4. It encourages racialism: Narrow Nationalism encourages undesirable rationalism, some nations consider themselves more cultured than other national communities and take the responsibility of making other nations civilised. In Germany, Hitler called German race ‘Pure Aryan Race’ which is meant for ruling over other nations. The white race has monopolised Government in South Africa and Rhodesia and other races are just like slaves.
5. It hinders international trade: Every Nation tries to be self-sufficient because of Nationalism. But there are many nations in the world where all the essential things for life are not produced.The agricultural countries have to import raw material from countries developed from industrial point of view. The economic resources of the world can’t be fully utilised without mutual exchange of things. But Nationalism hinders international trade. It remained an age long tradition in Canada to burn corn instead of exporting it to other countries. This tendency is fatal for international trade.
6. It gives birth to dictatorship: Nationalism in its extreme form takes the form of religion. It doesn’t give man a chance to express his ideas against national policies. It expects man to sacrifice everything for the sake of Nation. It regards Nation as an end and man as a mean. As a result, man’s freedom is destroyed and it gives birth to dictatorship. Something like it happened in Germany and Italy in the times of Hitler and Mussolini.
7. It hinders the development of civilisation: Tagore has criticised the cultural part of Nationalism. According to him, Nationalism is mechanical which moulds people according to a set pattern. So cultural development is incomplete and one-sided.
8. Nationalism produces Imperialism: Nationalism helps in the progress of imperialism since it encourages stronger nations to overpower other nations. Powerful nations exploit underdeveloped countries economically.
9. End of the citizen’s rights: In Nationalism, the rights and privileges of the citizens are sacrificed for the welfare and glory of the Nation.
10. Nationalism teaches self-sufficiency in place of interdependence: Nationalism proves armful for mutual interdependence of nations. It encourages every nation to be self-sufficient. Some time back, in Canada corn used to be burnt instead of exporting to other nations, but interdependence and not self-sufficiency, is the need of the hour.
11. Nationalism leads to selfishness and exploitation: Nationalism, in its extreme and distorted form, becomes helpless and lonely. Hatred for other nations grows strong and there is no mutual co-operation between nations. In the words of Prof. Hayes, “It is a proud and boastful habit of mind,one’s own Nation accompanied by a superstitious or hostile attitude towards other nations.’’ Conclusion : By examining the merits and demerits of Nationalism, we can conclude that Nationalism is not an evil in itself rather its application happened to be wrong. Nationalism heightens the prestige of countries, develops the feelings of welfare and culture. An ideal international world means that all the nations should exist in unison. But this feeling can only be created when the form of Nationalism is according to Prof. Hayes’ view. He writes, “Nationalism when it becomes synonymous with the purest patriotism will prove a unique blessing to humanity and the world.”Hindrances in the Way of Nationalism
Q. 4. What are the hindrances in the development of Nationalism? How can they be removed?
Ans. Following factors create hindrances in the way of Nationalism.
(1) Absence of Emotional Integration
(4) Religious Differences
(5) Privileged Classes
(10) Defective Education System
(11) Narrow Party Loyalties
(12) Internal Discontentment
(13) Foreign Influences.
1. Absence of Emotional Integration: The nations which don’t have the same race, religion, culture and civilisation, lack emotional integration. Religions and communities having minority don’t consider themselves a part of Nation and complain that the communities enjoying majority exploit them.They always try to form their separate nations. Such feelings badly harm national integration and we can’t dream of nationalism in the absence of emotional integration.
2. Communalism: Communalism divides a Nation into mutually opposed races, communities and classes. People fight in the name of religion. It disturbs the law and order situation and harms national life and property. Consequently, national integration is ruined and national progress is obstructed. India was partitioned into two parts in 1947 because of communalism and Pakistan came into existence. Even today, communal disputes raise their ugly head and hinders national development.
3. Provincialism: Provincialism, like communalism, is also harmful for the national progress. People’s outlook becomes narrow because of provincialism. People belonging to one province have hatred and jealousy for the inhabitants of another province. As a result, people’s devotion for their provinces and sincerity for the nation lessens. One places provincial interests above national interests.This leads to the end of Nationalism. Many conflicts took place in India when the states were to be recorganised on the basis of language. It certainly posed danger for national integration. Even today, some provinces have boundary disputes with each other. It ultimately shakes Nationalism.
4. Religious Differences: Religious differences are a great hindrance in the way of Nationalism. These differences are the feelings of unity of citizens and divides them in separate communities, groups and classes. Communal disputes of dreadful nature start and law and order situation is disturbed. The citizens of a nation feel disturbed and unhappy. At times, the country is divided because of religious differences. These differences led to India’s partition in 1947 and they still pose a danger to national integration.
5. Privileged Classes: Privileged classes existing in a society hinder the progress of national integration. System of privileges is completely opposed to national equality. The classes enjoying special privileges become arrogant and the people deprived of these rights feel inferior. It results in discontent and mutual conflicts. These conflicts between different classes harm Nationalism.
6. Capitalism: Capitalism also hinders the way of pure nationalism. The poor are exploited in capitalism and the society is divided into two classes,he rich and the poor. These two classes constantly fight with each other. This struggle does not allow the national integration to settle. The capitalists overpower the ruling system in capitalism. They expect common people to make sacrifices for the nation to satisfy their selfish ends. Then Nationalism takes the form of imperialism.
7. Self-interests: Self-interest is also a big hindrance in the progress of Nationalism. Selfish people think to fulfil their interests only. At times, they sacrifice national interests for the sake of personal interest. They indulge in all anti-national activities like hoarding, profiteering, adulteration,smuggling, corruption, etc.
8. Corruption: Corruption makes a nation hollow. Policies of favouritism are adopted in a country where corruption exists. The appointments against high posts are made not on the just basis, but according to recommendation. The Ministers, too, are concerned with collection of wealth. The political leaders use corrupt and improper methods to win elections. The elections too, are not free and impartial. People are curious to have rights but don’t bother for duties. No one thinks in terms of national interest. Nationalism can’t flourish in such an atmosphere.
9. Illiteracy: Illiteracy is an enemy of Nationalism. Only the literate people make the progress of Nationalism possible. If the people are not properly educated and they don’t rise above the narrow limits of caste, colour and creed, feeling of Nationalism can’t be developed properly.
10. Defective Educational System: Defective system of education also obstructs the progress of Nationalism. If the educational institutions are controlled by religious institutions, communalism and provincialism are propagated and it harms Nationalism. Similarly, if educational system lacks moral education and students are not inspired to have patriotic feelings, Nationalism will be weakened.Education system should be of such a type that can infuse patriotic feelings in the young men and they should be proud of their national culture.
11. Narrow Party Loyalties: Many political parties have narrow attitude. Rival political parties come into existence because of narrow groupism. It encourages malice and ill-will and thereby a danger to national integration. The political parties sacrifice national interest for selfish ends which ultimately harms Nationalism.
12. Internal Discontentment: Internal discontentment and disturbance hinders Nationalism. Business disturbances, demonstrations, hunger strikes and gheraos affect national integration. Growing indiscipline among students and their revolutionary tendencies weaken national feelings.
13. Foreign influences: Foreign influences also harm progress in Nationalism. Dependence on foreign help increases foreign influence. The Government can’t formulate independent policies. At times, foreign agencies harm nationalism by their activities. They become the centre of political conspiracy. Some Indian Universities are the centres of foreign influence. Indian youth, influenced by foreign influences, do wrong things and harm Nationalism. Conclusion : There can be healthy growth of Nationalism in the absence of above mentioned hindrances. Communalism, provincialism, corruption, illiteracy, etc., are the negative forces against Nationalism. Proper educational system, organised political set-up without communal feelings can pave a way for healthy Nationalism.
Q. 5. What do you understand by the doctrine of ‘National Self-determination’? What is the basis of the right t self-determination?
Ans. One of the outstanding theories current during the First World War was that every distinct nationality should form a separate State. A State should consist only of one nationality. State which consist of many nationalities be recorganised on this basis. Every nationality should have the right to determine the form of government under which it would live. If it decides to live along with other nations in one State, well and good. But if it decides to form a separate and independent government of its own, it should have the right to do so. Hence, this principle is also known as the right of self-determination of nations. In one state there can be more than one nation and a nation can have more than one states. Supporters of the Principle of One Nation, One State : Mazzini was of the view that both the Nation and the State should have the same frontiers. Napoleon III also endorsed the view-point of Mazzini. J.S. Mill was a forceful advocate of this theory. In the 20th century this theory has been supported by many others. The American President, Woodrow Wilson was of the opinion that each state should have the right of self-determination. Basis of the right to self-determination : Basis of the right to self-determination is Nation and nationality. Each nationality should have the right to determine form of government under which it would live. Right to self-determination is based on democratic principle. Democracy supports the principle of liberty, equality and fraternity. Thus, if the people of a country are given the right to make their own Constitution, elect their representatives and also to run their government, the feelings of liberty, equality and fraternity will naturally evolve. The people of a nation have a sense of unity, mutual sympathy and affection and such like elements are the basis of true democracy. Moreover, it is quite natural that a Nation must like to establish a State for itself. The basis of political freedom is natural and is justifiable in the modern age.