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Expat in Germany

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Patriotic or Nationalistic??

It is quite enlightening to hear people give the "subtle" difference between nationalism and patriotism.
"Patriotism means loving your country in a passive way.
 Nationalism means to show your love towards your country in an active and political way."
Thanks for the summary by those people who feel that Nationalism is a threat.
I did not care until now if patriotism and nationalism are different. I always "actively" loved my country. So probably I am a nationalist. I would not mind considering politics if its for my nation.

There is a pot analogy regarding this. A plant in a pot feels that it is lucky to have been born in that particular pot. Well, I say, that pot can be any pot. It need not be India you love. If you are born in China, you are free to love your country. By the way, for a plant grown in one pot, it is very difficult to transfer it to another pot. Most likely it will not survive. There is of course a bonding the plant gets with the environment it was born and grown in. The benefits of growing up in a diverse culture like India, the great grand mother of tradition are immense. That is what we love about our country!!

Patriotism is to love one's country in a passive way. So, does this mean that I go to the Middle East, earn millions, wish my friends on August 15 and feel that I am patriotic? If nationalism means that I stay in my country and take up an active role for its progress in whatever way I can, I go for it. No caste, religion, race. Only the country. Yes, I say, I shout and shout loud from my rooftop that my country is the greatest in the world. It is, for me. The budget talks in India must be given more focus than to stall parliament sessions to know what the government stance on Gaza issue is! However, just because I say I love my country (Nationalistic love!!, new word?) does not mean that I hate every other country. We(nationalists) stood by the innocent, non armed kurds of Iraq who were brutalised by the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant(ISIL). When Japan was devastated in the latest Tsunami, we 'nationalists' helped them in anyway we could. So was the case in thousand other situations. We love our country and mankind!

After all, we are mankind. But I have a certain jurisdiction only in which I can form my own laws and enjoy certain rights and importantly perform my duties duly. If I am seeking freedom, it is possible only in MY country. That is why the affection. I have certain liberty in and with MY country which I miss with other countries! This is the place where I can demand for employment and this is again the place where I can turn to for a supporting shoulder whenever I am in need. But what pains me the most is how selfish one can be, putting aside the nation that gave everything until then! People go to the middle east to make a lot of money and remain as a "passive" patriot. But when war tears up, India has to shift them to a safe place-India!!

What is wrong in actively loving one's country? I am eagerly waiting for the ISRO's indigenously built Mars Orbiter Mission to reach Mars. Such achievements make me want to be a part of the organisation. I know that NASA has achieved a lot more than ISRO. But the victory of ISRO gives immense satisfaction. After all, it is OUR taxes which helped build the country. I have a sense of ownership towards my country. We better help in its building as a nation. There might have been nationalists in the history who started wars but there were nationalists who won hearts!

Maybe I am a nationalist!! If I am, I am very happy about it. I love my country.

जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी