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Patriotism in today’s times



We are often reminded of the tremendous sacrifice that was made by millions of our freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives to free us from the yoke of colonialism in 1947. Today is the opportune moment for us to ponder about the relevance of patriotism and what it really means to us in the current scenario.

“He who loves not his country, can love nothing” – these words of the famous poet, Lord Byron hold great significance, now more than ever. In modern times, the true essence of patriotism has been diluted and it no longer holds as crucial a position as it should in people’s lives.

Patriotism is the feeling of loyalty and love towards one’s country. It encompasses devotion, courage and respect for the nation. A true patriot is someone who supports his/her nation and nationality and is prepared to serve, keep the nation’s flag flying high.

Commonality of citizens in their cultural appreciation is what transforms a country into a nation. A sense of solidarity and love for one’s country is the sentiment that binds people from all walks of life.  A shared feeling and common goal to achieve what is best for the nation as a whole is throughout the quest.

We often assume that patriotism and nationalism are synonymous but these ideologies have rarely complemented each other. The origins of patriotism in India stemmed during the Revolt of 1857, when people of different groups came together. While patriotism had fuelled Indians by awakening the image of an ancient ‘Bharat’, nationalism was set to reform the existing social order for better or for worse.

Patriotism in modern India has evolved with the change in our social structure as a nation and democracy. In the pre-Independence era, the most obvious way to express one’s love for a country was by fighting against the colonial power.

Now, one need not wear a uniform, march on the LOC (line of control) or chant slogans to be considered a true patriot. It is about taking pride in one’s origin and working for the prosperity of the country. We must have an open-minded approach, inclusive of love of all our people – a commitment to their integral welfare and faith in a new India that encompasses multi-cultural and multi-religious societies.