Nationalism is not the Love for one’s Nation – Thoughts on the National Anthem rule in India

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-5-35-32-pmPatriotism is the emotional attachment one has to a nation that they recognize as their homeland. I am not sure how it works with people who have dual nationality.

Also when many Indians take citizenship abroad I have heard them still say India is their motherland. Is Motherland and Homeland one and the same? if so how do you define Patriotism?

The issue is not about patriotism but one group having the right to decide who is patriotic and who is not. Like one guy gets 9 out of 10 in patriotism and one other gets below 5. Isn’t it kind of lame when you think about it.

Let us leave patriotism aside for a moment. I used to say “I am proud to be an Indian” till I found out the folly of that statement. What did I do to be Proud? I am an Indian and that has to do with the chance that I was born to Indian parents who were living in India at the time of my birth. If I was born to Indian parents living else where (where you get citizenship by birth)  I might have been a citizen of that nation like my son (And that is if my parents chose so). So in anyway I or you have no hand in the citizenship you get because of your birth. So when someone says they are Proud, they are just saying it, and it means nothing in real sense.

But I love my country and I also love the country that I live in now. Love for me is very different from pride. Love is not to the concept of nation but to a lot of other factors that make the nation. The reason I love India is not necessarily the same reason I love United States or UK or Dubai which are places I have lived. I have also lived in Iran and I love Iran. We love different nations for different reasons.

I write this because I read today that to promote patriotism and Nationalism and the love for the nation, in India they are making National Anthem mandatory in cinema halls. I seriously doubt the practicality of such a rule and the way it might be implemented, especially when there are groups who kind of decide who is patriotic and who is not. Also Nationalism can happen when you do mandatory rules but not Love for ones Nation. That is a whole different thing.

Though I have never really delved into testing patriotism I am a person who often get overwhelmed and have tears in my eyes when I hear the song from Kabuliwala “Aye Mere Pyare Watan” or Lata singing “Aye Mere Watan ke Logon”. And I don’t think the fact that the Nation in the Kabuliwala song is not India but Afghanistan (or Kabul) makes that song any less emotional for an Indian.

I think this is how I figured that I really have an unexplainable affection for my country. I have watched with such a hardness in my throat the movies that show ones love for their nation. That includes movies in many languages and it really did not matter which nation it was. I always felt emotional when I saw them. So the emotion of love has nothing to do with the concept of Nationalism.

Love towards one’s nation or land or family or the world or people or anything is very different from Nationalism because Nationalism is not about love it is about establishing a shared communal identity which uses the concepts of superiority and inferiority and that can happen only through manipulation force and oppression . So one should always be aware of people who use Nationalism in lieu of love for ones nation. Love happens by itself and Nationalism is planned and planted.

I love my nation but I am not a Nationalist. I acknowledge the love of nation in people of all nationality. I do not consider myself or my nation superior to any other nation or country. I love my nation by knowing that I cannot in anyway say that my love for our nation is more than your love for our nation or someone else’s love for their nation. Because love always comes before Nation.

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