PATRIOTISM is a value system where one loves everything that belongs to a country ——- its laws, systems, traditions, culture and diversity. In the Indian context, it translates to loving all that India stands for, including its laws.
Does ‘Patriotism’ have a ‘Religion’ ? If ‘Patriotism’ is ‘love for country’ and ‘Religion’ ‘love for God’, is there a conflict of allegiance ? Ideally speaking, there shouldn’t be any clash between the two most important domains of one’s identity. It ought to be just like the way one can love his mother and father at the same time.
However, religion getting shrouded in fanaticism and patriotism in rhetoric, the equation gets skewed. Our cherished ideals are LOKAH SAMASTAH SUKHINO BHAVANTU ( Welfare of all beings in the world ) and VASUDHAIVA KUTUMBBAKAM (The world is one family).
Is a religious patriot an ‘oxymoron’ ? Devotion and patriotism are two sides of the same coin. Loving the Divine means loving His creation. Religions often get communalised and patriotism gets reduced to symbolic outpouring of VANDE MATARAM on Independence Day or Republic Day.
The point is that patriotism is a complementary part and parcel of all religions. The vision to balance the two though secularism is yet to be realised. State-sponsored national integration drives have focussed not on creating a feeling of oneness, but on recognising and tolerating the diversity.
A spiritual person alone can strike the right balance. Spirituality encompasses a wider concept of patriotism and religion, transcending the limitation of geography and sectarianism He alone can be a TRUE PATRIOT, whose love for the nation is not guided by narrow considerations of caste, creed and religion.
Let us pledge, to become TRUE PATRIOTS.
——– Excerpts from: A True Patriot Transcends Geography. by M. Rajaque Rahman.