How is Nationalism Fatal for World Peace?

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Abdul Manan

Global problems need global cooperation. Therefore, we should eradicate obsolete nationalist outlook because world peace and prosperity is associated with synergism”. The world has been facing innumerable challenges like rampage of Covid -19, economic recession, climate change and US-China friction, but the most serious one in current era is emergence of Ultra-Nationalism: A parochial and narcissist mindset, which promotes racism, religious extremism, and fanaticism. Nationalism: A source of amalgamation and unity, emerged after the society came into existence. People shared their common issues like mutual defense from external threats and got relief through nationalism. Later on, it became the symbol of national integration, prosperity, and discipline. After that, many new states formed to solve common problems. Many writers, like Aristotle, endorsed the concept of nationalism and declared it as the base of a society. On the other hand, Muslim writers, especially Ibn e Khaldoon, gave his famous “Theory of Assabiya” in his Muqadmma, and he wrote that nationalism is just like a soul of society, and the social decay starts in the absence of nationalism. Nationalism provides basic social security, economic opportunity and religious freedom. It has also blessed many states like Switzerland, Netherland and Denmark, where people consolidate, and these states are considered prosperous in the whole world. But, the picture of disarray is displaced in some state like Afghanistan, Palestine and Syria where we find absence of nationalism. In those states, we see chaos, anarchy and lawlessness because there is sheer political, economic and social destruction. Although, the prospects of nationalism are undeniable but its absence proves threat for existence.  Nationalism becomes a lethal weapon when it turns into ultra-nationalism. In this scenario, people think that they are most superior, unique and stronger than others. Politicians capture general public sentiments for their political motives. Here are a few slogans of ultra-nationalism like Trump’s” America First”, Modi’s “Hindutva” and Erdogan’s “rigid Islamic ideology”. These are the popular slogans which are being used to earn populism and license for exploitation of rights. Minorities are being targeted socially, politically and economically. In Ultra National mindset, religion, creed and ethnicity are the basic tools to enforce its superiority. Recent racism wave in America and how Trump has cashed this opportunity, is a billion dollar question. White supremacist president flared up the situation and earned maximum support for elections. Different communities protested against systemic racism but authorities didn’t pay heed to resolve it. Trump has also decreased US involvement in foreign politics like withdrawal from Paris climate agreement and the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. He is generally reluctant to cooperate with international community. America didn’t play its world leader role to curb the menace of Covid-19, due to its isolationist outlook. Trump’s “America first” slogan and immigrant strict policies are depicting the picture of his ultra-nationalist mindset. In South America, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, is a right wing ultra-national leader and his rigid immigrant polices towards his neighbor countries, like Venezuela and Colombia, can destruct the whole region. During his election campaign, he promoted the slogan of nationalism and promised to fight against globalism. Amazon fire tragedy and his anti-climate policies are the true pictures of his policies. He calls himself macho, xenophobic, isolationist and a major denier of international cooperation. He claims that national economic policies and anti-globalization are his priorities. Brazil is the second largest affected country due to coronavirus in the world, while he continuously denied global cooperation. His anti-globalization stance is proving to be deleterious for his own country. Nationalism has always been a special feature of Europe’s political spectrum, but a recent boom in voter support for right wing and populist parties is emerging in Europe. The emergence of Nationalism is clearly visible in the politics of Germany, Spain, Greece and Hungry. In UK, Brexit is a shining of example of rising nationalism which will separate England from European Union. According to The Guardian, “European Union’s decline has started, and it should be avoided”. Europe has already faced consequences of ultra-nationalism in the shape of WW1 and WW2, where national loyalties and political motives had engulfed the peace of whole Europe. In Covid-19 period, Europe showed dismal picture of unity and cooperation and faced brutal rampage of virus. Italy and Spain had faced highest rate of fatalities in whole region. On the other hand, France is also showing reservations on European Union’s working structure. According to analysts, “France will be next member after Britain to leave Europe, and we will witness the decay of European Union in the name of nationalism”. Turkish president Tayyab Erdogan’s Islamic expansionism and rigid ideology is another example of extreme nationalist agenda. He is using his rigid Islamic ideology for his political motives. The recent conversion of Hagia Sofia and other ancient museums into mosques are the glimpses of Erdogan’s expansionism. Minorities are being tortured and threatened in Erdogan’s Turkey, and he is successful in converting the secular and democratic Turkey into nationalist rigid Islamic Turkey.  Now moving towards our region South Asia, which is also in immense danger due to extreme nationalism. Modi’s Hindutva extremist polices has flared up whole region. Revocation of Kashmir’s special status, Citizenship Amendment bill 2019, India-China Standoff, border clashes with Pakistan and open violations of human rights in India against other communities in India are a few examples of Hindutva ideology. Humanity is suffering in world’s largest democracy, particularly Christian and Muslim communities are being targeted by Hindu Nationalist. According to The Print, “Nehru’s secular India is dying and Modi’s extremist Hindutva is emerging”. Bharatya Janta Party, a right wing nationalist party ,earned two consecutive election victories on the basis of religious extremist and nationalist ideologies. Now his expansionist ideology is igniting the whole region and its consequences will be detrimental.   To conclude, it can be said that we are still in the middle of pandemic. Therefore, we need cooperation not segregation. This world needs global solution instead of national supremacy. When a person is loyal with his family, cast, creed and nation then why he cannot stay loyal with the humanity?. Ultra nationalist approach has raised innumerable questions. We will have to eradicate obsolete nationalist ideology. We have a global economy and science after the emergence of globalization. But, we are still stuck in national politics which is a disconsolate state. This world deserves mature and sincere leadership for the survival of humanity because, it cannot endure more wars and bloodshed as we have seen in the previous two world wars.

(-The writer is a Student of Law and Political Science at University of Punjab.)


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