[Summary] Chapter 7 : Nationalism | Political Theory – Class 11 – NCERT

Chapter 7: Nationalism

  1. During the last two centuries or more, nationalism has emerged as one of the most compelling of political creeds which has helped to shape history.
  2. It has united people as well as divided them
  3. Nationalist struggles have contributed to the drawing and redrawing of the boundaries of states and empires.
  4. Nationalism has passed through many phases.
    • For instance, in the nineteenth century Europe, it led to the unification of a number of small kingdoms into larger nation-states.
  5. The process of redrawing state boundaries continues to take place, Since 1960
  6. We may all agree that nationalism is a powerful force in the world even today.
  7. It is commonly believed that nations are constituted by a group who share certain features such as descent, or language, or religion or ethnicity. But there is in fact no common set of characteristics which is present in all nations.
  8. A nation is constituted by belief. A nation exists when its members believe that they belong together.
  9. People who see themselves as a nation also embody a sense of continuing historical identity.
  10. Nationalists in India invoked its ancient civilisation and cultural heritage and other achievements to claim that India has had a long and continuing history as a civilisation and that this civilisational continuity and unity is the basis of the Indian nation.
  11. Nations identify with a particular territory. Sharing a common past and living together on a particular territory over a long period of time gives people a sense of their collective identity
  12. Members of a nation share a vision of the kind of state they want to build. They affirm among other things a set of values and principles such as democracy, secularism and liberalism.
  13. A nation is strengthened when its people acknowledge and accept their obligations to their fellow members
  14. Democracies need to emphasise and expect loyalty to a set of values that may be enshrined in the Constitution of the country rather than adherence to a particular religion, race or language.
  15. Nations, seek the right to govern themselves and determine their future development. They seek, the right to self-determination.
  16. The Treaty of Versailles established a number of small, newly independent states, but it proved virtually impossible to satisfy all the demands for self determination which were made at the time
  17. Humanity paid a heavy price for re-organising boundaries in a way that culturally distinct communities could form separate nation-states.
  18. Most states have more than one ethnic group and cultural community living within its boundaries………
    • These communities, which were often small in number and constituted a minority within the state were often disadvantaged
    • Hence, the problem of accommodating minorities as equal citizens remained
  19. Nationalist movements maintained that political independence would provide dignity and recognition to the colonised people and also help them to protect the collective interests of their people.
  20. Most national liberation movements were inspired by the goal of bringing justice and rights and prosperity to the nation
    • However, it proved almost impossible to ensure that each socio-cultural group could achieve political independence and statehood.
  21. It becomes necessary to consider ways (Methods) by which different cultures and communities can survive and flourish within a country
  22. The Indian constitution has an elaborate set of provisions for the protection of religious, linguistic and cultural minorities.
  23. TAGORE’S CRITIQUE OF NATIONALISM :- ”Patriotism cannot be our final spiritual shelter; my refuge is humanity. I will not buy glass for the price of diamonds, and I will never allow patriotism to triumph over humanity as long as I live.”
  24. Today we witness many struggles for the recognition of group identities, many of which employ the language of nationalism.
  25. We need to remember that each person has many identities. For instance, a person may have identities based on gender, caste, religion, language, or region, and may be proud of all of them.
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