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What’s with Patriotism?

The violent Uri Attack by the Pakistan Army on September 18th, 2016 and the counter surgical strikes by the Indian Army have worsened the cross border relationship between the countries. Certainly, neighboring countries are taking the utmost advantage of it. Surprisingly, even the internal political threads also doing the same.
Nevertheless, the arts and sports division are consistently putting their best foot forward to uphold a harmonious affiliation. Unfortunately, even that ray of hope has been blurred with the ban of Indian personalities having any kind of relationship with the Pakistanis or vice versa.

Media has given enough and more awareness about the cross border tensions and the internal clash between the politicians and artists. The cine artists like Karan Johar, Fawad Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan etc., were attacked on twitter and personally, by the so called political pundits. They were tagged as Unpatriotic, Antisocial, Traitorous and what not.

The controversy was evoked with the attack on the Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, who did not display condolences (his personal choice) on social media platform, towards the martyrs of Uri Attack tragedy. The dispute led to the ban of Pakistani or Indian artists having any kind of tie-ups with each other. Cyber policing of the personalities became more stringent. Out of concern, some of my friends even warned me from voicing my opinion on the social media. As a writer, it was certainly a great setback.

With due respect to the Indian martyrs and Pakistani martyrs, who have laid their lives for their respective countries, an honorable salute and respect from the bottom of our hearts is indebted for a lifetime. Kudos to taking up the life threatening challenge of shielding our borders. Forever gratified for the same.

With all the cynical thoughts about Bollywood or Patriotism, I beg to differ with every individual, who pigeonhole’s a person to be disloyal to the nation, if he or she has a relationship with someone from another country (Pakistan as well). How can they be characterized as a ‘traitor’? How can they be tagged as ‘unpatriotic’ if he or she does not express his or her solidarity on the social media platform? And with so much threat from cyber policing, forget an outsider in India, are Indians able to voice their opinions without any fear or guilt?

There are lots of celebrities who have not articulated their opinions on the social media for all the known and unknown reasons. If one person is attacked for not voicing his opinion, then every Indian who has not expressed his or her solidarity, is worthy of punishment. It is irrational to impose a ban on the Bollywood artists, sports personalities or any other industry.

The ‘Google’ research was instrumental in decluttering my thoughts about the notion of patriotism. These borders
for countries were put in place (by war or peace) for the administrative purpose. The countries could make laws for themselves that are beneficial to the people of the land. This could lead to an inclusive growth of the world. Alas, the consequence is utterly contrary.

After a plenty of careful thoughts and lots of reading and discussions, I wish to seek answers to the basic questions such as, “What is Patriotism? What do we teach our children about patriotism or being a patriot towards a country? What do we expect from times to come, and from our next generation? These are some basic questions that need to be answered immediately so that we do not teach anything wrong to our children. Logical answers to such questions is difficult to sort. Imparting the same to the next generation would be a tough journey on its own. Unforeseen cross questions from children are the challenges of this path.

In my smallest knowledge and opinion, being patriotic is mostly subjective. Anybody who causes threats or harms the society could be considered ‘unpatriotic’. Definitely not a ‘traitor’, because he or she might have their reasons of justification to be so. To me, anyone who collects garbage from my house to anybody who make responsible decisions, respecting another person’s thoughts could be a patriotic person. Every individual is patriotic in his or her way. But do they need to justify his or her patriotism to the society on a daily basis? In a land like India, where diversity coexists, such brutal attacks on artists or any common man does not justify any law or patriotism.

Above all this, firstly, have you ever thought, who are we on this earth? Do you think the earth would stop functioning if you or I would start fighting for a tiny space? We as ‘mankind’ are the most negligible dust particle who make zero significance to earth. Just one natural calamity and all our pride and prejudice of being mankind would be shattered to bits. So next time before you accuse anybody, think twice. You never know tomorrow you will be alive or not. Lastly, nurturing meaningful relationships is all what we could give our next generation. May peace and happiness be the way forward.

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