One can be Pro-Nation. And, Anti-government. For the simple reason that one can love the country more than its rulers.
In a democracy, it means that you retain the right to stick to your definition of what makes or holds a nation as per the constitution and do not have to buy the government's version 'wherever it deviates from the constitutional promise'. It means you become the custodian of your view through the constitution and not give the government give you that power. It means you will be ready to meet the government only in areas of synergy but will show your dissent from it only in a peaceful, lawful manner and also trust it to do the same.
It simply means you do not buy the particular definition of nationalism thrust on you or sold by the Government but believe in a larger notion of the sense of a nation. It means that you not equate the Government as the Nation. It does not mean that you are working against the government or would do a single act that would be considered disrespectful of the institution of the government.
The government's job if it has an alternative view to present you is to persuade you through results, through genuine on ground action and data so that you are willing to consider an alternative view. It cannot force you to accept its view. You do not have to. It can only use its vehicles of power to perform and through performance persuade. Even if it is the power of ten thousand to one, the validity of the right of that one person's view and dissent is what makes it a democracy. The government can only make its argument more real and convincing for you to able to consider it as valid. And that argument is through performance and results alone not election promises or publicity tricks. The government cannot force any view that is against the constitution just because it is in power. If it does that, it becomes unconstitutional and hence illegal. The government or any party in power is not the Constitution. It merely holds power because of the job it has applied to do and which on the merit of its numbers you have allowed it to do.
Any government that upholds the constitution and the spirit of democracy would and should treat its supporters and dissenters equally, in fact listening to the tiniest voice of dissent more acutely in order to course correct its own views. It should ensure that the humblest of voices of dissent is given as equal an ear as the loudest of support. That is democracy.
It makes you far more patriotic to the concept of nationalism when you can personally own your conviction of nationhood that is in sync with the Constitution than buying a packaged notion of vested interest definitions by just the government. It means you will support the government only when it stands by the constitution.
We owe no allegiance to any political party or government just because we voted them there. They are there to do their job and if they do it well, they are allowed to remain or they get booted out. It is high time we treat parties like we would with any work place metrics. Perform or get fired. You cannot keep lying at your job or fooling around without performing. It is the same with any ruling party. Our appraisals have to become brutal. Systems of appraisals have to be fair and fixed within realistic time frames. Accountability should be the key to promises made and met.
So, one can be completely anti-government and pro-nation. It simply means that you personally do not believe the government is as pro-nation as it professes to be. You trust the constitution far more than the government that professes to uphold it. And, it is through performance alone that it will humbly try to win its trust with its people again.
We owe nothing to any government except our taxes and to stand honorably by the constitution and our support to the extent of common good. We owe the constitution everything. We owe everything to the notion of democracy. It is the only thing we need to bow our heads down for or stand up in respect. It is this that people have given their lives for to create. It is this freedom that is real and forever and not to be trifled away with. It is this very thing that a lone soldier standing in icy cold is trying to protect when he salutes that flag.
- SS [21/4/2017]