Disclaimer: The following post is my personal opinion and I have no intentions of getting into a debate or discussion with anyone on a public and/or online platform. Feel free to contact me in person, if you’re too keen.
Loosely speaking, Patriotism is one of the many concepts we’ve been fed and forced and taught to believe at face value since school. From parents who just focus on building wealth so as to see our future be what their idea of “secure” is; to media who claim to unmask all that is wrong and unethical and inhumane around the world but pragmatically have deluged too deeply into competing with rival media houses for more coverage and viewership; to the politicians, who manipulate and fill their pockets while beaming showcasing themselves to be the representatives of the goodwill and benefit of all those living on a specific piece of land; everyone who bears even a faintest attachment to their country would renounce you as their comrade, friend, companion if you for once said you’re not really patriotic irrespective of your nationality (referring to fairly stable countries only, can’t stay about the rest).
A learning mechanism which most schools teach at an early stage is by questioning everything, asking why. But how many of us, asked the teachers, why? Why are we supposed to question everything? To learn and understand the world better, a fairly logical argument. I could go at lengths on how’s that also a flawed comeback if scrutinized carefully, but let’s cut them some slack at this point.
So when we’re taught: we have been grown up, we owe our existence to the healthy soil of Mother India and the hand work and enterprise of my beloved fellow Indians, people of my beloved country, so we must give back in whichever way possible, by respecting our country, by contributing our part in helping someone else be fed and educated in another corner of the same nation.
(I don’t really buy that personally. Why this fake sense of attachment to someone you’ve not met? For all I know, that farmer might be a part-time rapist. Not that everyone I have met is not, I have my reservations about them too.)
Anyway, Why? Why is it “Mother India” and not “Mother Earth” who has fed us? Why is not a fellow human being, not Indian who toiled in the sun so that we ate supper tonight? Why?
What has boundaries got us, anyway? Only complications. Only reasons for the powerful to manipulate us, the mere naive innocent “citizens”, notwithstanding or even trying to fathom the spiral of affairs that decides the fate and future of a nation, its economy and well-being.
Sure, the world is now becoming more and more globalized, but I’m sure you’d be delighted to find another Indian (or someone from your nationality or neighborhood) when you’re away in Belarus (or any other “foreign country”). Must be some, innately humane thing (beyond my mental grasp). But I ask you why? Is that the most optimal point we get at. Wouldn’t it be easier to just feel associated with someone by the proximity of his homeland to yours? (Please ignore if you don’t understand this, I might be too sleepy to write lucidly. Pardon me.)
Coming to wars, just because that guy is from another country, you got a right to shoot him in his head? These are the morals we’re feeding into our minds with this hollow, deceptive and remotely-satiating-the-thirst-for-pride-sometimes notion: patriotism. Is he not another one, just like you, leaving his family back with the illusioned idea of keeping the country above his own. What for? For some piece of land that will always be meant for battles, firing, and blood? (Yes, I had Kashmir in mind, when I wrote this) Someone who has lost his/her closed one in such encounters would demand revenge, only to be “fair”. But why friend, when has life been fair?
Patriotism. I say, bull-shit. If your sense of right-and-wrong, your ethics and morals were so uptight, you would question the whole idea yourself? Not that, I’m endorsing myself to be one. Also, I do not detest the idea of dead people. Some people are lucky to be being dead prematurely. And for others, the world’s a better place without them. But coaxing such an evidently fiercely barbaric act into something heroic, I don’t know, I believe being incredulous is only natural of me.