Mumbai : Blaming the Left parties for being unpatriotic, historian Ramchandra Guha today said there is a need to redefine patriotism that goes beyond being deferential to the government of the day and should also criticise the army objectively.

“Patriotism does not mean allegiance to the government of the time. A patriot should, objectively and fairly, criticise the army which is now a taboo in our country,” he said speaking at the Mumbai LitFest.

“No one can be a true nationalist who is incapable of feeling truly ashamed if her or his state, or the government commits crimes inluding those against their fellow citizens,” the historian said.

In another segment, Srinath Raghavan, a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research said the police force in India needs to be strengthened and empowered to tackle the threat of urban terrorism.

“Police reforms commission is widely talked about. But there is a lot of corruption in this force. They are not getting proper training to tackle terrorism-like situation,” Raghavan said.

In yet another session, asserting that big states cannot be governed well, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said even if BJP were to come to power in Uttar Pradesh, it would find the northern state unmanageable.

“In theory small states should be better-governed, should perform better. Is Uttarakhand better governed? No. Is Chhattisgarh better governed? Yes. Is Jharkhand better? No. Is Himachal better? Yes. So the evidence in India is mixed. It’s not a guarantee that small states can be governed. But large states like UP can never be governed,” he said.

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