On the morning of 15th August when offices and colleges are on holidays, we get up at 8 a.m. in the morning, dress up in crisp white outfits and attend the flag hoisting ceremony in our locality. We return home to watch the parade and Prime Minister’s speech on Doordarshan. Read and propagate about freedom fighters, go around wishing everyone a ‘Happy Independence Day’ with a flag pinned above your heart for the rest of the day.
That’s when our mom shouts at the top of her voice, “Get up now, it’s 11am!” and we drowsily wake out of our ‘too patriotic to digest’ dream.
Well, this is us. The youth of India. The youth population that occupies the highest percentage of total population of the country on the entire globe. The youth, talking about development, modernization and westernization. The youth that lets a lot of western culture flow down here, be it clothes, language or lifestyle. One such adopted culture is wishing at the stroke of 12:00 midnight for any coming auspicious day, especially on social media. In fact, it’s a race, a race of who wishes first before clock goes from 12:00am to 12:01 am. At the night of 14th August, we remain awake staring at the clock and the date to change at 12, so we can forward all the Independence Day poems, quotes and images and prove your patriotism to our social virtual world. Again, this is us.
By forwarding endless DESH BHAKTI messages, images and flooding our Facebook timeline and WhatsApp, we manifest our love towards nation. If we stand in the theatres out of undeniable obligation, blankly staring at the screen during the national anthem, we are patriots. If we put saffron, white and green display pictures, we are patriot. If we don’t, we are anti-national. This is the modern definition of Patriotism.
Is it agreeable? Do you really think we are patriots? If yes, can we genuinely prove it? Well the answer is YES. We can prove our love and respect towards your country through loyalty and by complying to our duties. A patriot is not a person who debates and speaks in favor of the country, it’s a person who practically contributes to its welfare. At the thresholds of Patriotism, stands all the security and military forces. They are patriots. Every sports person, every artist adding to the pride of the country on international platform is a patriot. Every citizen who revolts against injustice around him is a patriot. Every politician who points out, not at the flaws of opposition party but at the barriers to the country’s progress is a patriot. A regular tax payer is a patriot. A patriot is you and me and everybody who graduates not just with a degree but with an aim to mould a better country.
The defination of patriotism needs to change with time. In 1947, Contributing to the freedom struggle made one a patriot. But now, 70 years ahead in 2017, contributing to bloom a prosperous country will only define you as a PATRIOT.