Patriotism is essential
We should remember that patriotism is essential to man, at least as long as the nation-states are in existence.
The famous English poet belonging to Scotland, Sir Walter Scott wonders if there can be a man who does not love his motherland. He asks:
“Breathes there the man with soul so dead, Who never to himself has said, “This is my own, my native land.” A poet has rightly and most fervently said, “I bow to thee my country, All earthly things above.”
It is something very simple. When even a pup or a kitten, being for a short while in a house, is taken to some distance and left in a lonely place, it tries its best to return to its original place. Then why should man be inferior even to a pup or kitten?
Man must prove himself to be superior to and higher than animals and birds. Thus a truly patriotic man, even when he lives in a foreign country, does not forget his native land.
After attainment of Independence
We, indeed, should not forget our freedom fighters who made innumerable sacrifices for our freedom. Thousands of them had to face the British bullets and lathis. A large number of innocent men and women lost their lives at Jallianwala Bagh while protesting peacefully against the British rule.
Earlier, in the First War of Independence, there emerged such leaders as Nana Phadnavis, Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi, Bahadur Shah Zafar, and others. Later, there appeared a galaxy of other patriotic leaders like Tilak, Gokhale, Tagore, Gandhi, Nehru, Pant, Maulana Azad, and many others. Many of them had to spend the prime of their lives in British jails.
There were many martyrs like Sardar Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru who kissed death smilingly to attain freedom for us. Let us not forget them. Men like Subhash Chandra Bose and Chandra Shekhar Azad also made great sacrifices. Indeed, the list of true patriots and freedom fighters is too long to be capable of being given in detail here.
Unfortunately, after the attainment of freedom, many of our leaders forgot the real purpose and goal of freedom which was not just the attainment of political freedom but also social and economic freedom. But, pitiably, our leaders, at least many of them, are playing havoc with the lives of millions and even pushing the country into unknown dangers just for their narrow interests. Many of them foment communalism or indulge in scams and scandals to amass huge wealth.
Love for all countries and mankind
Let us all swear to be honest to our country that is just like our mother. That is why the word “Motherland” is used for one’s native land. We call our country ‘Mother India. Let us be true to our mother and be ready to make any sacrifice for her and even be ready to lay down our lives for her sake. This does not mean that we should hate other countries. We should love all countries, indeed, the whole of mankind, while keeping the interests of our own motherland uppermost in our mind.
Last but not the least, we should never forget the sacrifices of our freedom fighters made for the sake of the country. We must have generous hearts for the progeny of the martyrs. But it is most regrettable that in reality, this does not happen.
Admiral Nelson, the famous English hero of the Battle of Trafalgar, had the following words painted on his battle ship: “England expects every man to do his duty.”
So, the crux of the point, regarding patriotism is to do one’s duty. If we do well in our duty assigned to us by our country, we are genuinely patriotic, otherwise, our patriotism is fake and only skin-deep.