Being Women

Patriotism Has Many Definitions And It’s Not A Contradictory Term!

Should I assume I’m not patriotic enough to do anything for my country or anyone around. Do I need to wear a uniform to show that I do care for the country like anyone else?

It was just a random discussion with someone I’ve known personally. Suddenly we stumbled upon one word-Patriotism. Of course, not a new term something we haven’t known about. But genuinely I never thought that this word needs clarity of thoughts. And especially when influencing mindset is the easiest. Different people have had their own opinions and conflicts about this word. There is always a war of words between civilian and defence personnel. Channelising someone’s thoughts are the easiest through social media.

But, in broader terms, it is all about the country. The duty. The sacrifice and an acceptance that your country is above all. But the flag bearers of patriotism teach their own way. The twist in the terminology is common. And so, the differences in opinions. But what does it actually mean? If I need to talk about this word to my next generation then what should I say? What do I tell them so that they take it as it stands for?

We have a few questions in mind. Generic. Is patriotism limited to armed forces? The freedom fighters (KRANTIKARI), social activists and all those government organisations who have been involved to scan and protect our country from infiltration and unwanted attacks. Then where do common people like us stand in this picture?

Should I assume I’m not patriotic enough to do anything for my country or anyone around.

Do I need to wear a uniform to show that I do care for the country like anyone else?

First of all, it doesn’t matter where you are born. As a civilian or in the periphery of the defence atmosphere. Moving to different states has taught me a lot about acceptance. The mindset, culture and the people. I never regret leaving any city and moving into others. The transition was always smooth. This helped me grow as a person. To embrace more people as they come into your life. Diversity doesn’t make any difference as long you are genuinely compassionate about it.

My close family members have served and still serving in the Armed forces and those niche organisations where your duty comes first. I’ve seen closely what country means to them. Above all! But what about me? I’m not into any forces and neither is my husband. Watching 26 January and 15 August celebrations are part of everyone’s ritual. How do I tell them that thinking about your country is good and you don’t need to wear any uniform to prove it? Though they have every single right to choose their career in defence.

Our parents never taught us about Patriotism. Somehow it was inbuilt in our system. With limited access to media and networking, we believed what is being shown. But the time has changed. The narratives have changed and so has our next generation. I’m not claiming they aren’t doing anything or do not think about their country but I have to tell my children what’s a duty for the nation is all about. We as a family who pays all the taxes, takes care of the civic sense and owns up responsibility is a part of nation-building. I often tell them to set examples rather than preach. Do your duty which you are obliged to, even if you’d be the last person to attempt. Embrace humanity, and stay away from giving judgements. Patriotism is not about someone else’s job but it is everyone’s job whatever way he/she can contribute. Owing up responsibility and not binding to yourself with some new place or country, wherever you go patriotism exists and we need to work on it every single day. To grow as a nation, to see how can we make it a better place. This nowhere means you aren’t supposed to raise questions or avoid criticism. You have every right to ask and bring the change you want to bring. After all, this is your own country and owning up to it is a good thing!

Ekta Shah

Editor-The She Saga, E-Magazine || Content Writer || Dark Humour|| Opinionated

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