Patriotism, like they say, is a selfless fidelity towards one’s own country.
The love for our own country is usual and expected. We were born in it, we grew up in it, we are going through the best and worst of our lives in it and we have seen our nation rise from a difficult and troubled history. So, nationalism and patriotism are the most obvious feelings one could possess for their country.
But like there is a popular saying in the west, “it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye”.
And here my friend, we’ve lost lives and generations in the name of the feeling, ‘that was supposed to connect us better’.
People from all over the world live with an idea that the country they belong to, based on their birthplace, is the ideal one. Not all of them can be right but not all of them can be wrong either.
In the first place, Patriotism was the feeling that made people realize the individuality of their country and hence they fought against their oppressors and strived for development and better living conditions.
At the end of the day, countries are not just some rough stretches of landmass, but a fabrication of some long-held conceptions.
A country is generally conceptualized with its territorial boundaries: like, we don’t consider India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh to be the same nation, even though they occupied much of the same ground, used to share a similar culture and stood together as a single nation once in the history.
A country is more factually known for its political system, governance, the population of the kind of people it holds, the most preferred languages and its way of conducting the people.
The existence of separate countries is about the setting up of similar cultures staying together, diversity of the abstract form of reacting to life and different good or bad ways to govern ourselves.
Nowadays, the concept of Patriotism has become a distant representation of what it used to be earlier.
Our ancestors were part of a dissimilar attitude of patriotism that is almost non-evident today. The earlier thirst for nationalism elucidated a sense of perplexity to fulfill the duty, which focused more towards the logical needs of the country rather than toward fulfilling personal needs or the desire for personal communal comfort. Patriotism generated conduct, behavior, the belief that changed things for the country, at the national level.
The need of the hour is the realization that it is about ‘loving India’, not ‘hating Pakistan’. The currently practiced form of Patriotism is more in terms of religion and consequently, it makes one nation hate other.
Nobody is willing to fight terrorism on the terms that might actually eradicate its horrible presence from the world map, rather we are more focused on showing words and actions of hatred towards another country only to prove how patriotic we are.
If that’s how you think; Brother, that’s not nationalism that is Jingoism: an excessive bias in judging one’s own country as superior and better to others sometimes influenced with personal religious differences.
That is the most consummate form of love for country and is making the citizens follow and believe in notions, irrationally.
Criticism for a country should be considered constructive and not be treated as something against the country.
Rather than idolizing our country unconditionally and unanimously, we should try and bless it with a mature, logical, responsible and efficient patriotism; where we don’t go on overlooking the flaws and defects in our system and one that does not make us prone to express fallacious hatred for the other nations.