Relevance of patriotism
Literally meaning- ‘the quality of being patriotic’, the concept of patriotism has really evolved from the post-independence era that was marked by aspirations of building a new India.
It is no more limited to singing patriotic songs or fighting for one’s country, the concept is very subjective and definitely different for different individual. Some people are of the view that if a person who doesn’t support India in sports (specifically in cricket) is not a patriotic person. It’s not that I don’t support my country or don’t like cricket, but I have seen lots of people accusing the person who doesn’t watch cricket or doesn’t support India in sports of being unpatriotic. I definitely do not agree with this kind of patriotism.
Patriotism is an abstract concept which can be interpreted in its own ways. As soon as we try to define it we see that put onto paper and into doctrines, it hardly has any corporeal basis. For me the concept of patriotism is different, real patriotism runs deeper.
All that we have to do is ensure that we don’t fool ourselves in the name of freedom. Here is what I believe is could be considered as acts of patriotism in India today:-
Election – Casting vote every time an election is held. Unfortunately most of the educated don’t cast their votes and later crib about non-existent Government. At least we can go and vote for the candidate who will perform despite being corrupt.
Corruption – We can avoid paying bribes wherever possible. If the work is not head going, try to get it done without paying bribe and if anybody demands a bribe use the channels available to complain about corruption.
Taxes – Salaried employees have no option of not paying tax. It amuses me that there are only 30 million tax payers in this country. Avoid transactions with establishments which defraud on tax. We should never do a business transaction without a proper bill.
Constitutional Rights – We should know the basics of our Constitution at least what are the fundamental rights and duties of a citizen?
National Symbols – Respect our national symbols. We all stand up when our religious prayers are said but some of them sit with legs crossed when the National Anthem is played. Please stand up when the National Anthem is played and teach it to the next generation also. Never encourage jokes on our National Leaders and symbols.
Communal harmony – Don’t listen to the devise sermons, neither of the men in saffron nor of the men in green. Rise above regional interests. People from another state are not outsiders and learn to respect the state in which you find your living. We can only prosper together and never by fighting with one another.
Environment – We are heading towards serious problems on the global warming front. Try to protect and foster the trees which are planted on the roadside.
Traffic – with increased urbanization, traffic continues to grow. The roads and public transport will grow but not endlessly. It is a national shame to see the way we break traffic rules. Breaking traffic rules and getting away with it is considered a part of smartness.
What I have stated above may seem very simplistic and not invoking the usual rhetoric we associate ourselves when it comes to being patriotic. Today’s reality is that this country wants awakened citizens to move forward and it is in this sphere where we may have to display our patriotism.