Patriotism – A Mere Word
Patriotism denotes positive and supportive attitudes to a ‘motherland’ by individuals and groups. Patriotism implies a value preference for a specific civic or political community. The ‘motherland’ can be a region or a city, but patriotism usually applies to a nation and/or a nation-state. Patriotism covers attitudes such as: pride in its achievements and culture, the desire to preserve its character and the basis of the culture, and identification with other members of the nation. Patriotism is closely associated with nationalism, and the terms are often used synonymously. Strictly speaking, nationalism is an ideology – but it often promotes patriotic attitudes as desirable and appropriate. Patriotism has ethical connotations: it implies that the ‘motherland’ is a moral standard or moral value in itself. Some religious believers place their religion above their ‘fatherland’, often resulting in suspicion and hostility from patriots. Two examples of groups that have experienced this suspicion in the United States are Roman Catholics and Muslims
Patriotism also implies that the individual should place the interests of the nation above their personal and group interests. In wartime, the sacrifice may extend to losing their own life. Within nations, politicians may appeal to patriotic emotions in attacking their opponents, implicitly or explicitly accusing them of betraying the country. The primary implication of patriotism in ethical theory is that a person has more moral duties to fellow members of the national community, than to nonmembers. Patriotism is selective in its altruism. Criticism of patriotism in ethics is mainly directed at this moral reference. A problem with treating patriotism as an objective virtue is that patriotisms often conflict. Levels of patriotism vary across time, and among political communities. Typically, patriotic intensity is higher when the state is under external threat. Soldiers of both sides in a war may feel equally patriotic, creating an ethical paradox. Many political parties base their political action and program on patriotism. In social studies, a political patriotism is a certain ethical set of ideals, principles, doctrines, myths or symbols of a social movement.
In a nation like India, the word patriotism takes a deeper meaning and feeling. We are a nation which has had a history of having patriots like Bhagat Singh, Vivekananda, and Gandhiji, to name a few. In modern India patriotism plays an important role, often to the magnitude of bringing about a socio-economic change, if well directed. The term i9s often used to advertise a political agenda, a religious sentiment, or even advertise a product. Quotes such as “Yeh hai youngistan meri jaan” make a product super popular especially amongst youngsters.
But one has to think that in all this use of patriotism is its true spirit being forgotten? And I am sure; we will have an apt and justified answer to that-YES! A patriotic feeling, the very passion involved should be used to bring about a social reform, a battle against the evil leeches that suck the blood and life of this great nation we call India. So be patriotic, but in the right sense, not to hurt any personal or religious sentiment-but infact to make India a better place to live in.