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Patriotism is: ‘Service towards people’



By Aashini Sameer

“There’s nothing more patriotic than wanting your country to be better”

Let’s start with the definition of the word ‘Patriotism.’ It is the feeling of love, devotion and sense of attachment to the homeland or the country with which citizens share an alliance. They share the sentiment to create a feeling of oneness among people. In simpler words, patriotism is the love for the nation to the extent of willingness to sacrifice for the same.

In today’s scenario, it is necessary to ponder whether we have done enough for our nation. There are passionate moments of personal introspection that lead us to think beyond our self-preserving life routines. But ask yourself, ‘What does Patriotism mean to you?’

The answer, though not straightforward, would lie somewhere in respecting our country’s culture, winning at your job, or feeding momentary jingoism on social media. But, that’s not true patriotism.

A patriot supports the country in good or bad times and never loses faith in the country. Patriotism means support and love that is unwavering. It translates to devotion towards the nation and standing with it.

How many of us engage in voluntary community service at least once every week or a month? We can do that for any cause, despite having different beliefs or faiths. Any service without expectation or personal gain, towards fellow citizens who are disadvantaged by age, abilities or opportunities, is an act of patriotism.

One can also work towards enhancing community-life and assist the state by keeping their neighbourhood integrated, not damaging public property, keeping the parks, ponds and allied natural resources clean.

I believe that a small act of visiting a victim of war, terror attack, or any natural disaster, also qualifies as patriotism. More than tweeting or sharing on our social media handles, such acts of service are crucial. Every time a life is sacrificed, we need to stand together and provide some degree of emotional strength to those battling personal grief.

Little attitudinal changes in our behaviour towards the public can go a long way. We need to begin with the basics. How many of us follow the traffic signals? Have you ever jumped a queue? Opted for a four-wheeler vehicle out only if three or more people are travelling? Do we make a conscious choice to use public transport for shorter commutes?

Following these feats is not an enormous task. These make the national living experience fairer for more people. The tweaks ensure that our future generations are secure. The rate at which we are abusing our national resources is concerning. It won’t be long before the most valued act will be of environment patriots.

So, start today! Start with something as basic as segregating waste or keeping the backyard ‘swachh’. Tangible corrections are necessary, especially for the youth of our country.

Our youth is our future. And so, we must understand that citizen patriotism is essential for them to learn. And, working towards a socio-cultural environment to create mind-sets to nurture a liberal, responsible, educated, informed and ethical generation, is our job.

So, Patriotism is involvement in serving the nation daily. After all, true patriots are those who can become assets to the nation.

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