Patriotism in an Indian Contextabracad, · Categories: externally authored, purpose
By Lt. Col. RK Langar
The dictionary defines patriotism as love for one's own country with an earnest desire to contribute towards the welfare of countrymen. But when we study patriotism in the light of Indian Spiritual thought that the world is one family, then patriotism takes a bigger form and gives a meaning in a larger since in that patriotism would not just mean just love for your own country. Patriotism would now mean love for the entire humanity and living in the world and contributing towards the welfare of all and not only our countrymen. When you love the entire humanity this also means love for your country as the world includes your own motherland as well.
Loving your country or the world has little meaning if you cannot contribute something towards the well being of all others around you. Many of us feel, and rightly too that the world is drifting towards the worse and they should do something to make the world a better place to live in. Can a man change things around him? Has he got the capacity and power to change world order? Can a change in a world order come about with man’s individual effort? Can a man give something to the world instead to taking from the world every time? These are some of the questions which needs to be addressed if someone has a patriotic feeling.
Swami Vivekananda who is considered as India’s most influential patriot had devised a new concept of patriotism which he called practical patriotism. He said that patriotism does not mean mere sentiment or even emotional love for the motherland but a passion to serve fellow countrymen. He said that he who suffers is suffering due to his past Karma but he is a patriot who helps a suffering man to get relieved of his sufferings. It is man’s Karma to suffer but it is your Karma to relieve his suffering. Serve man to find GOD. Today practical patriotism is what we need in our country.
India has produced world class patriots like Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and Mahatma Gandhi. Out of these Swami Vivekananda stands tallest which was even acknowledged by Aurobindo and Gandhiji. We could say that patriotism is the brain child of Swami Vivekananda. Vivekananda never favored linguistic or territorial patriotism which is found so common in India. Linguistic and territorial patriotism underscore narrow loyalty. To the country which at times can prove dangerous. There is an inherent tendency in a man to love the land where one is born but that does not mean that patriotism should be compartmentalized. Love your region, language, country, community by all means but your love should not stop at what you love and should move forward. True love is always borderless and all inclusive.
Many facets of patriotism assume great significance given that India is facing internal threats today in addition to external threats. Internal threats which our country faces are violence, non tolerance, corruption, poverty, lack of sincerity and commitment, castesim, exploitation of down trodden, lack of unity in account of fundamentalism, indiscipline and lack of accountability. So the foremost task of patriot is to contribute in any way to uplift masses which are living below morality line and below poverty line. A patriot has to serve his fellow men who are suffering physically , emotionally and spiritually.
Spirituality which is the foundation of Indian nationalism does not differentiate between one man and other, between one nation and the other, between one religion and the other and between one culture and other. Indian nationalism is not just Indian nationalism but it is all inclusive and rooted internationalism. We should have nationalism as an ideology which should not be confined to any particular caste or religion but it should cater for all. This could be termed as spiritual nationalism. Spiritual nationalism tells us to become a world citizen, a member of mankind with a global consciousness. It teaches us to be borderless. Spiritual national takes us to a path of international integration.
To understand patriotism in an Indian context we have to speak , think and act in such a manner that all what we do is beneficial for the mankind including our own country. Our thoughts should bring blessedness into the lives of all, our speech should gladden the heart of those who hear us and our actions should be such which should flood the earth with peace , unity and selflessness.
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