I’m A Patriot, But Violence Over The National Anthem Is The Wrong Kind Of Patriotism

We are living in the world’s largest democracy. In my opinion, our country is so diverse that the variation in spoken languages is not a big deal. Everyone has a different mindset, a different upbringing. So the words that pour out of their mouths differ as well. But if the wavelength of our speeches don’t match, most of the time, it turns into a scuffle. I won’t say that scuffle is wrong – it’s okay till it’s not physical. But the point is why are we not able to understand that a person holding a different view has a different brain from ours – they are a different individual and their action towards something must have some meaningful reason behind it?

Now, I’m going to talk about a very serious issue – ‘nationalism’ and ‘patriotism’. Two different words with two argumentative meanings.

Chauvinist Nationalism Is Not Patriotism

Every country is suffering with its own set of internal problems. But this problem in India has been a hotly debated topic. Because here, the definition of nationalism is quite aggressive and different from that of other nations. This is not a positive thing and makes us deteriorate as a nation.

India is not any one religion’s country. One single religion cannot try to rule everyone. Not only are there religious conflicts but there are caste conflicts as well for reservation. Some of these result in damage to public property, as it happened recently with the Jat and Patel agitations. Now, Rajputs are doing the same over a movie. If an outsider were to observe our country, it would look really shameful.

Now, another recently much-debated topic has been the national anthem. People are pointing fingers at others who are apparently trying to disrespect the national anthem.

Some people are having problems standing up for the national anthem in theatres, because they think they are going to the theatre for entertainment and it is not the school assembly. But my questions is – what will happen if you show some respect towards the national anthem? There is no need to question everything every single time.

But I really don’t have any problem with these people, because it’s their inner voice, their opinion. Now the chauvinist nationalists who are beating people up for not standing up for the national anthem – these people are the real problem.

You can’t force anyone to stand up for the national anthem, it’s their personal call. Beating and humiliating them will not change their opinion – even though I may personally feel that standing up for the national anthem, wherever it’s being played, is a sign of patriotism.

I don’t agree with the people who refuse to stand for the anthem. However, anyone who tries to assault these people are not valiant. We can make others come round to our view through debate. By reasoning, we can convince them to stand for the national them. But, by not being peaceful about our opinion, we are committing a blunder. We are teaching the wrong culture and the wrong kind of patriotism.

A lot of people show wrath and fury on different things everyday, but it should be non-violent. I really want people to respect the national anthem as an obligation, because, as a patriot, I find it difficult to see people not stand up for it. But those who are being violent about this are making the situation even worse. They are not helping.

I believe every person who was born in India must have some love towards the country. I want to invoke that love and I want them to open up their hearts.

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