Basically, it is putting national feelings above personal feelings and national concerns above personal gains. It is living and dying for one’s motherland. It is the deep fervour coupled with the spirit of working for the advancement of one’s country.
The spirit of patriotism is not merely a noble sentiment within the heart. If it is so, then it is only sham patriotism. True patriotism calls for certain concrete actions and external expressions. First and foremost, it requires offering our valuable services when national integrity and independence is threatened by external forces or neighbours. It demands offering material and moral support in the fight for national freedom.
True patriotism also would means doing all one can, when natural calamities such as earthquakes, flood, famine, drought, etc., strike any part of the country. Patriotism finds expression in fulfilling our fundamental duties entrusted upon us by the constitution. It calls for holding the name of the country ‘high and flying’ in international arenas. Patriotism calls for respecting our national flag, national emblem and the constitution.
However, the best form of patriotism, today lies in keeping peace within the nation by avoiding anything that damages national equilibrium and social harmony. It therefore, calls for taking steps to promote national unity, integration, and peaceful co-existence of all religions and races. Several factors can promote patriotism. The study of the past history and of the historical personalities such as, Shivaji, Rani of Jhansi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, etc., can instill a patriotic spirit.
Knowing about the heroes and heroines of the freedom struggle movement of the country and the martyrs who laid down their lives for the freedom of our country enkindles national fervour. Patriotic movies such as ‘Border’, ‘Bhagat Singh’, ‘Kalapani’, ‘Gandhi’, ‘Lagaan, etc., have encouraged patriotism.
Watching national programmes such as Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations, International matches where Indian teams have to fight for the ‘glory of the nation,’ etc., can promote patriotism. Celebration of national festivals and travelling can also boost nationalism. Honouring the war heroes who have laid down their lives for national honour can promote a great deal of patriotism.
In India today, we find many bad elements contributing to the rise of communalism, religious fanaticism, regionalism, etc. This disintegrity within the nation, in term, promotes outside forces to spread terrorist activities indifferent parts of the country. As responsible citizens of the country we should be aware of the forces that are threatening our national unity.
There is an urgent need to have men of the calibre and spirit of Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and Sardar Patel who would inspire and enkindle the lost national fervour. Let the prayer of Rabindranath Tagore into the heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake ‘become’ a non-stop chorus on every Indian’s lips.