Happy 61st Republic Day!
Feeling patriotic today ?
Well, I am not surprised. It comes naturally. The world around us is conspiring to make you feel that way. It might not be what you wanted to feel but hey, the world controls us, doesn't it?
I woke up today morning and was surprised to see the overwhelming patriotic feeling that the world was showering over me. I also felt that I lived in the best country of the world. I was a part of the world's largest democracy. Everything about India was awesome! Well, atleast that's what everyone wanted me to believe. I believed them. I don't know why but then it suddenly hit me that it was all a sham. An illusion people were trying to create just to make themselves feel good about themselves.
It led me to the question, what is patriotism ?
Patriotism was "love for your country". It was supposed to be the purest of all feelings. Oh yes its a feeling, not an action. Once you have that feeling, everything you do is patriotic. Acts cannot be patriotic, only people can be.
The definition has changed over time. It means different things to different people now. The way of showing it is also different.
School children attend flag hoisting in school. People update their status messages on Facebook with words of wisdom regarding the country. Profile pictures start changing and start getting a saffron, white and green shade to it. Mass SMSes are sent to people with patriotic quotes and sentimental shayris about the greatness of the country. Radio stations leave alone Shiela and Munni for a day and play patriotic songs. Shops and supermarkets gets a makeover. Flags all over them.
I am not saying all this is bad. What I am saying is, is this all that is needed to be done? Is it all that we can do?
Does our duty towards the country end with just an update or by attending a flag hoisting ceremony?
We'll apparently in the 21st century, it does.
I absolutely disagree.
The worst part is, in reality, almost no one cares for the country. It's all just a show and that too not a good one.
We do things in the country which we wouldn't do in any other country [obeying laws?!]. We keep our houses clean but don't care about common property. We love being called an Indian when we win a medal in some games or when someone from an 'Indian origin' wins something in some other country. On the other hand, when someone from an 'Indian origin' does something wrong, we say that the western society had its effect on him/her and so he/she cannot be called an Indian. There is also our chalta hai attitude which lots of people have written lots of things about.
So all I want to say is, if you are really feeling patriotic about the country then do something substantial. Don't stand there blaming people and pointing at all the negatives of the country. Go out. Do something.
What we are doing on social networking sites, papers and radio stations is not exactly patriotism. It is, in my words, Patriotism 2.0.
This reminds me of that famous quote, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country" - J. F. Kennedy.
Jai Hind !