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Though I knew what patriotism means yet I checked out my dictionary for it.
Patriotic is someone who loves his country and who is ready to defend it against an enemy.
And the usual stereotypical image that first turns to our mind is that of a soldier defending us on the borders, the National Flag and the National Anthem and those revered freedom fighters.
And then we turn to ourselves to believe that we are patriotic too and for the simple reason because I love my country and further introspection doesn’t occur. I chose to dig a little deeper into it.
Who’s the enemy by the way? Is it just Pakistan or something not so narrow?
As Youth, we should realise our enemy, realise the demon that’s crippling our country.
Society’s acrimony against youth and putting his bona-fide credentials under scrutiny isn’t a new thing.
Youth, usually indicted as the one who cares more about his fashion statement ,an ambassador of the so called ill-western culture in this country is always questioned for his PQ—Patriotism Quotient.
Irresponsible and fickle-minded are epithets used to scoff at youth and I don’t blame them.
Uttering blasphemy against Pakistan doesn’t make you patriotic enough. Let’s not keep that as our criteria.
Just because you watch the India-Pakistan match every time and have always cursed the latter doesn’t make you patriotic.Just because you’ll flaunt India’s flag on your car on independence day is just not enough.
The country and the society needs more from you, the “You” of the “Youth” who is tomorrow going to drive this country and its economy. Look around, there are legions of cronies who will be ready to join you once you initiate.
It makes me feel shameful to know that we need a RDB or a Yuva or a Swades to wake us from slumber and suddenly show empathy for the society and the country. Why do we just need cases like Priyadarshini Mattoo or Jessica Lal to hit the streets .Why is their tepid response to the Shopian incident or we would just stand for issues that effect us only?
Most of us either feel too small or too languorous because we can’t go out of the way to help anyone because we are ourselves entangled in this busy consumerist and materialistic world. Then probably you need to look at Patriotism with a slightly different perspective. Here’s a few of the million small things that you can do and claim yourself a “useful” and genuine patriot.
Please do vote. Its one right whose power shouldn’t be underestimated. If you are not part of the vote bank of that devious politician, then who cares what your problems are. And the day your vote becomes significant to his winning, you’ll witness the chasm. No doubt the voting percentage has increased, there is more awareness but I can’t see this converting into results. The voting percentage was still at an average of 40-45 % .This means there are still millions among you who still don’t bother to come out of their air conditioned rooms and exercise their right.
Have you ever wondered of educating your maid or her children or the dogma that it’s the government’s job to do it still dominates you?
You can contribute to the nation by switching off your car at red lights preventing fuel wastage and conserving energy at home and saving the country from being dependent heavily on energy imports, which form a major part of our expenditure bill. I know you do it to save your own expenses but the next time you do this, have a more holistic intention for doing it.
Discourage people and your mates from loitering .Imagine a group of people giving you unsavoury looks when you threw that wrapper away on the road. Somewhere the next time you think of doing it, atleast you’ll think twice or may be look around before you throw it.
If you are a journalist, promulgate vibes through your articles which will prevent schisms of the society and hearts irrespective of caste, creed,religion or sex. Stand for a cause that effect the society and not just you.
Stay well informed about your country and about issues that plague it. Do your own analysis and not always let media influence your views. Not paying your taxes is like robbing the country while you splurge its resources.
Planting a sapling and looking after it is no less a patriotic deed which in this era of industrialisation has become a challenge for the government. It may sound facetious to some but every drop counts because what we are aiming at, is welfare and upliftment of a billion plus populated society.
One can never disparage the patriotism in the heart of that soldier that makes us breathe at normal pace, who makes
sure that we can prosper and follow our dreams. It would be no less than a heinous crime to do so. Remember them, venerate them and if you can and get a chance, say thanks to them.
I m sure quite a few people among you must be doing something or the other among the things mentioned above.
What I want to inoculate is not any of these rigid habits but a feeling of belongingness and intention, and alter the way you look at things because if you have it there noble in the head , you may end up doing way more than what even hard-core patriots could do. The arduous task is not only to reform ourselves but also our friends and parents and make it infectious .
So on this coming August 15, obviate the bigotry and narcissism and go ahead and do something…do something that gives you satisfaction. It may be the smallest of things and let us know about them and hopefully you will just not end up texting your friends or wishing them on facebook or orkut only, because Patriotism has been re-defined and it yearns for your participation.
This post was originally published on July 24, 2010