In a sharp criticism of the Supreme Court’s recent verdict making national anthem mandatory, eminent historian and former chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research MGS Narayanan termed it sheer stupidity. Nationalism should not be force-fed, opined the historian who was handpicked by the Vajpayee government to head the ICHR in 2001. 

 
“It (the SC verdict) is sheer stupidity. There's no need to justify it,” he told Matrubhumi Weekly. “We need not overly protest it either. The verdict is going to fail. Otherwise, people will defeat it. There is no need to force-feed nationalism on people who visit film halls for entertainment,” Narayanan said.  
 

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“The verdict is another example of the tendency of judiciary to wield excessive power,” added the outspoken historian who is often criticised for his seemingly pro-Hindutva views.

 In my opinion, India has no nationalism. It is a civilisation and a federation of nationalities. 

 

You cannot force nationalism upon people. Attempt to force-breed nationalism will backfire. It is a fascist tendency, Narayanan warned. 
 

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Quoting British historian and philosopher Arnold J. Toynbee, the former ICHR chairman said that a creative minority was very crucial in ensuring the progress of the society and fuel it forward. Those who are forcing national anthem are only a dictatorial minority. 
 

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“In my opinion, India has no nationalism. It is a civilisation and a federation of nationalities,” the internationally renowned scholar on ancient Indian history opined. 

 

In an interim verdict last month, the SC had directed that cinema halls across the country to play the national anthem before every screening.