Road to Nationalism

Parochial patriotism is how I feel aptly defines the kind of momentary love many of us share for our country today. A dictionary meaning of the word ‘Patriotism’ would be ‘love for one’s country’. But is it sole love for one’s country that makes a person a nationalist?
There are many elements in our country that help us fix an opinion about it. Its poverty, corruption and population may encourage us to feel that we are far behind as compared to the developed world while on the other hand, the amalgamation of its vibrant cultures and ethnic social and cultural values makes us feel a little more optimistic. But what matters in the end is the spirit with which we see India as a country.
I chose to write on this topic because I finding it exceedingly disheartening to see people around me painted with such short-lived nationalism. Be it Republic Day or Independence Day, we find the tricolour being sold in every street and on every traffic signal and people buying them, putting them in their cars, shops, houses, even on clothes that they wear. But I get to know the real story when I find the same tricolour being picked up by rag pickers from streets and dump houses the very next morning.
The other day I was unfortunate enough to witness a debate on TV which quoted ‘that should the Republic Day parade be put to an end from now on’. It might sound very absurd when you read it first but yes such topics do find mixed opinions today. I was shocked to see many teenagers voting for the motion, not because they had a strong opinion guided by valid reasons for it but simply that today we all labour under a common spell – ‘Who Cares!’. This is because we find it very convenient to say whatever everyone says instead of having our own standards, sentiments and views about things. I stress on this because I feel it’s very important for all of us to have opinions about issues directly or indirectly related to us. Just being fickle minded and following whatever is convenient to us questions our very own existence.
All I would say in the end is that we should love our country not because it’s great but because it’s our’s. All of us must have a sense of responsibility and duty towards our country as its future relies solely on us. I end by iterating a very meaningful quote:
“A man’s country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle.”
Jai Hind.
Vishal Tripathi