Patriotism is the life blood of a nation. It is the bee line for national development. In the ancient times patriots sacrificed their lives in wars to save the honour of their nation. It is born of the noble sentiments of awe and respect for the motherland. Those who saved the nation from the onslaught of foreigners are respected even after hundreds and thousands of years.
Ram is honored not for his valour but for his continuous efforts to contain and crush the forces of Rawan who would exploit the tribal’s and kill them for his own interest. He accepted an exile of fourteen years to bring glamour back to the nation.
It is not for nothing that Sir Walter Scott said:
“Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said?
This is my own my native land!”
A patriot is guided by the sense of selfless sacrifice. He has no personal motives. He doesn’t put the question ‘what has the motherland given me’. He would just ask himself ‘What have I offered to the nation?’ It was this noble sentiment that inspired Subramanya Bharati to languishim Pondicherry and faces the might of the British on his return home. It was this noble sentiment that inspired Ram Prasad Bismil to sing the famous song. “Be happy and gay my dear motherland. While making my last journey I look at the abodes with affection.” It was this inspiring emotion that activated Mangal Pandey to start the first war of independence in 1857 and lay his life at the altar of the dear motherland. Bhagat Singh and Chandra Shekhar Azad could have lived a comfortable life. But the former opted hangman’s not while the latter shot himself to boost the image of the motherland.
A Joan of Arc won’t shed tears when burnt at the stake for she had saved the honour of the country by turning the foe out of France. A Lincoln would face a bullet rather than allow bifurcation of the country. De Valera won’t give up his struggle for freedom for Ireland even after being released from prison. It is this very sentiment that inspired the people of the liberated nations of the former USSR to stand on their own.
Self respect came back to the Serbs, Croats, Bosnians and peoples of other East European countries after the Communist dictatorship failed. A Nelson Mandela brings honour and governance back to his black brethren in South Africa after languishing in jails for decades together.
The format of patriotism, of course takes its own shape in different circumstances, times and climes. Peace too has its victories. It is not only the termination of life that goes to prove patriotism. As Vivekanand would leave the ghost before he is forty offering all that he had at the feet of the motherland.
Ambedkar would use every inch of his life span in serving the motherland. As Radhakrishnan would face the wrath of the dictatorial Nehru for calling the country -taking ‘H’ from Himalayas and ‘Indu’ from the sea below—a land of Hindus for which their forefathers laid their lives. It is rather a betrayal when the pseudosecularist gives a Nelson’s eye to the trend of a particular group praising the players of a neighboring country and denouncing their own during a cricket match. It is rather the lowest ebb in tarnishing nation’s honour.
Patriotism finds its highest peak in the Siachen Glaciers. The soldier on these hazardous borders doesn’t stake his life just for material gains. He symbolizes the spirit of true patriotism that cannot be called narrow mindedness.
It has rather become a fashion to discredit the soldiers, who man the borders of the country, on humanitarian grounds. These pro leftists, pseudo secularists, extremists and fundamentalists, even if they are killed can hardly be called patriots. They work against the interests of the nation. The soldiers are not mercenaries. They are paid of course. But it is their sentiments for the motherland that they lead their life in hazardous terrains.
To label them narrow-minded is rather a national betrayal. Such people tarnish the image of the nation in foreign countries and indirectly support the fundamentalists and the nation’s foes.