What is patriotism?

Recently read an excellent article on Time about what patriotism means in America – both from Republican and Liberal point of view.

As per the author, for the conservatives, patriotism is not a choice and it is like love for your family – you inherit it and do not question it. Conservatives talk a lot about America‘s past and its greatness. For them, you wear it both figuratively and literally. Irrespective of the sins of its past, America is still above any other nation. And here lies the risk of degenerating patriotism into jingoism.

For liberals, it is not about the past, but more about the present and future. It is about working to make America a great nation – continue to strive to bridge the gap between the existing reality and the ideals that is the foundation for this great nation. And the author states – ” Liberals may love America in part because it aspires to certain ideals, but if they love it only because it aspires to those ideals, then what they really love is the ideals, not America.” And hence the conundrum – if liberals love America for its ideals, why would they not have the same love for other countries that is founded on similar principles? And what should one do when these ideals collide with America‘s interest?

The author also discusses what patriotism means to immigrants given that it does not gel with conservative point that patriotism is inherited. Conservatives, expect the immigrants to imbibe the ideals of the nation as well as past traditions. Spurning the culture of the adopted nation is construed as being disloyal to the adopted country.

What truly impressed me were the final few paragraphs of the article and the author’s conclusions on what it means to be patriotic and how to reconcile the differences between these differing views held by liberals and conservatives.

I could not help but strongly agree with the following statements by the author –

“Patriotism should be proud but not blind, critical yet loving“.

“To some degree, patriotism must mean loving your country for the same reason you love your family: simply because it is yours.”

And these apply to a country like India and Indians too. I am tired of folks talking about how great a country India is because of its past and continuing to be blind to its current problems. At the same time, I am also aghast at folks who forget India‘s past and only talk about its present day problems. We can be proud of our past, critical of the mistakes we have made, learn from it and strive to make it a great country for us and our children. And we still love it just because it is ours!!.



  1. Quote
    Sujatha said July 7, 2008, 12:03 pm:


    Wonderful post. You just nailed it right on the head with your final words.

    We can’t just pretend to be blind on our current problems and expect it to be solved by itself. There are few people who get really mad and starts blasting out if someone finds\points the mistakes or tries to correct it. It finally ends into a blame game instead of trying to find a remedy to correct the problem.

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    Ananth said July 7, 2008, 9:25 pm:

    Nice post. As siddharth says in RDB – ” No country is perfect. We have to make it perfect” It can only be done by acknowledging the problems and having the discipline to work to correct those problems.

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    Karthik.PK said July 7, 2008, 11:03 pm:

    Interesting post Ganesh..It reminds of a quote of Oscar Wilde
    “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.”

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    Very interesting post! Just last week I was thinking about this topic. On July 4th I had visited a church here for their special “prayer service” for independence day and I was really surprised that everybody present there were singing songs asking Jesus to protect their land and all the people(they were praying for teachers, officers etc) who were working in US. I was surprised because it was a very different kind of patriotism I was seeing for the first time.

    Your post makes lot of sense. I totally agree with what you have told at the end.

  5. Quote

    Excellent post, Ganesh. And thanks for sharing a very thought-provoking article.

    I think patriotism is a useful means to an end. People should be responsible citizens of the country & the world. If patriotism helps them act properly, we’ll use it as a stimulus.

    Blind veneration of the past is idiotic. We should celebrate what was truly great. But, if we can’t upbraid our country for its wrongs, we have no sense of justice & fairness.

    I’m a responsible citizen & I work hard to do my bit for the under-privileged in India. But I don’t believe in patriotism. In this day & age, I think all of us – except the downtrodden – should think about the world at large. Chaos in some corner will impact the whole world. It is in our best interests to help anyone & everyone that we can. I agree that we should help those that are physically close to us first. But, we shouldn’t stop with that.

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    Ganesh – I loved your post. In fact it has given me a lot of clarity. At one level, I always thought that people who are critical about our country do not love it. Coming to think of it, many great critics have also been the greatest patriots, they have made our country a better place.

    However I do think there are two types of critics. Those whose criticism is born out of patriotism. Like you can be critical about your family with the motive of making them better. But there are people who talk about our woes as irrevocable and permanent. They look at admiring our past as escapism. While they are critical about the various issues that face our country, they do not recognize the progress we have made. I don’t know if you can call it patriotism.

  7. Quote

    Ganesh, thank you for a wonderful post. I read your post, and am about to pick that Time edition lying on the table. Will read it and comment back.

  8. Quote
    Sukumar (subscribed) said July 8, 2008, 7:55 am:

    Fantastic post Ganesh. Thanks for sharing this brilliant article from the Time magazine. The author has dissected patriotism and laid the issues threadbare.

    I think the article confirms my views that taking an extreme view – conservative or liberal is fundamentally flawed. In India, one could argue that the Hindutva folks represent the conservatives and they will immediately count you in the ranks of traitors soon as you point out any flaw in Hinduism. More like Bush’s “if you are not with us you are against us” type of flawed logic.

    Interesting comment. I do think in India we tend to be enamored of the past simply because we did not have many accomplishments in modern India untill the past 10-15 years. Therefore i do see it is sort of escapist. I would be happy even if those past achievements are real, but for the most part they aren’t. Now that on the back of the IT/BPO revolution we have made giant strides, we do have something we can be proud of and hopefully we don’t have to twist past accomplishments just to feel good.

    Priya, you have made an insightful point. The world we live in is globalized. It can be easily argued that all the recent prosperity in India is entirely due to the gloablized IT/BPO industries. I agree, we have to think about the world and help as many people as we can. Since it is easier to focus on the vicinity and due to the fact that we have a lot more disadvantaged people in India, focusing on India is an obvious thing to do.

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    A very good article. However, i have some reservations, based on my current knowledge and belief. Patriotism is not an discrete or isolated one. It strongly interleaves with cultural and religious background.. and some times from regional and intellectual background..

    For example, america’s root lies with the british and canada’s root lies with france.. so as brazil and other south american nations with spaniards and other european nations..

    Culturally, all these nation’s patriotism attributes to christianity..

    So, i feel, patriotism itself is a mix of all these factors.. and how do we trust one to be patriotic?

    In obama’s case, there was lot other factors (which i dont want to prop up here), which makes his patriotism doubtful to other whites who are majority.. let me leave it..

    another factor why patriotism is a sensitive subject.. why immigrants are feared off, even though america itself is a land of immigrants? Again the personal allegience and culture matters.. the inability to predict the outcome of some alternate culture gaining momentum, that would pose a challenge to the nations predominant culture.. This is the major problem with exclusion and homogeneity of american culture..

    Now how it relates to India..?

    As of India, the sense of patriotism is largely artificially created and a recent phenomenon.. some times, its ritualistic and sometimes, its just an identity (i am indian) ..
    The baseline is the underlying culture of ours, rich and diverse.. and the name indian is just a name given to that unrealised unity..

  10. Quote

    And i agree with archana.. Not all those who praise india is patriotic and NOT all those criticise india are unpatriotic.. however these are exceptions..

    Its easy to get disgusted with those rightwingers to get empty (!!) pride at past glories.. But its an attempt to break the 200 years of false hood spread on the psyche of the people, that india is backward, uneducated, barbaric and worthless for thousands of years, and only britishers came to enlighten us.. and when suddenly discovers his past that was not he reads, he gets emotional .. this is an attempt for him to get convinced that we are not inferior.. and an attempt to spread this message to others to build up the momentum, to bring in the self-confidence among our people…

    The next stage would be automatically to march towards attaining that glory in the present and future.. and when that stage arrives, this empty slogans will disappear..

    When indians started to know of the real history and its heritage, i am sure, we will march ahead with raising head.. because, many of the present day problems are artificially created and sustained.. for example, the recent gujjar problem is a proof, that if dealt with positive and engaging attitude, the caste would not be an issue.
    Similarly, the corruption would be reduced a lot, if we bring back the spirituality and sense of dharma among our beurocrats.. Indians still fear for god and family ..

    Economic problem existed because of hostile & suppressive policies of earlier governments.. and the past 2 decades proved that if given freedom, indians can excel in economy also..
    And still today, india develops inspite of our government

    We have easy solutions for every problems of our nation and society.. But are we having an independant & indigenous thought to think over the solution for us?

  11. Quote

    Btw, i observed one more facts.. the author of the article, has treaded a careful path when dealing with america’s history.. he was so careful not to get caught in to their past, like slave trade.. and he hasnt dealt with the american history before 400 years..

    In one sense this is called the patriotism.. the care to bring out our people out of historical dejection, and a cautious sense, not to get trapped in the guilt sense of their past..

    And comparing the medias here in india…. i need not say more..

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    Dipinder said July 8, 2008, 3:43 pm:

    In my opinion, Patriotism is a very healthy emotion to possess. Your country is just an extension of your family. Some may even say your country is more important. If a person cannot be proud and passionate about his own country .. who else will. However an individual must know when to curb the patriotism (jingoism), and move over to critical thinking under the right circumstances.

    An analogy would be the relationship between parents and children. Most parents would be spring to their child’s defence in public, when the child is in a tight spot (whether the child is right or wrong … provided of course the circumstances are not too extreme). The same parents in a private situation may be extremely critical of their child.

    It seems complicated, but still it’s common sense. It’s hard-wired in us.

  13. Quote
    Ganesh said July 9, 2008, 12:16 am:


    You bring about an interesting point. You mention that you do not believe in patriotism. I maybe wrong, but it seems to me that you have narrowed the definition of patriotism by tying it to just being a responsible citizen and helping the down-trodden and under-privileged.

    I think it is believing in a much more broader set of ideals and striving to make your country reach those goals. And yes, I agree with you that we should start with our country first and then work on broadening those ideals for the entire world. And in India, we should start at a much more molecular level – perhaps the local community first and then move outwards.


    Can you please elaborate on “Culturally, all these nation’s patriotism attributes to christianity …”. Is there any data to back this up? About immigrants being feared – it is a set of population that do this. Even when it is feared, it is largely in the context of jobs being taken away and when people’s livelihood is perceived to be challenged, human beings react in negative manner. It boils down to educating and creating the awareness to such population and work on retraining them. Yes – there is a small set of population that despise immigrants just because and the best way to deal with them is to ignore them.

    The author’s point about Republican’s expecting the immigrants to assimilate into the culture of the homeland is the really interesting point to discuss. Especially his take that Is a Mexican immigrant expected to imbibe the St. Patrick’s day binging and who decided that St. Patrick;s day is American culture while Cinco De Mayo is not!!


    Yes – that is interesting – praying as a form of patriotism!! – Asking god to protect your country!! Talk about mixing state and the church 🙂


  14. Quote

    Ganesh – I didn’t try to restrict the meaning of patriotism. I just said that I’m a responsible person with civic sense & I try to take up social causes that I can solve – without being patriotic. I’ll do this regardless of where I live. I’ll probably help India more, since poverty is high here.

    I’m tired of hypocrites who are sentimentally patriotic – and cheat on taxes, ignore the red signal, bribe officials to get things done or ill-treat poor people just because they can. Forget striving for ideals 😉 So, I’m bundling responsibility, civic sense & charity as a common minimum program for those that think they are patriotic.

    Yes, I have an affinity to India because I was brought up here. Had I been brought up elsewhere, I’ll have an affinity to that country. I’m appreciative of the special things about India. I’m equally appreciative of the special things about all other countries. Put in such a perspective, patriotism loses much of its zing. Breaking anything to its component parts takes the mystery away.

    Patriotism is akin to the loyalty that any “in-group” demands from its members. We all belong to several in-groups & each contributes to our identity – Family, Community/Ethnicity, Profession, Company we work for, Hobbies, Religion, Language etc. Nationality is one such in-group.

    If my country is pitted against another, would I side with my country – assuming it isn’t resorting to evil-doing? Yes, I would. I’m very loyal. Is that enough to call me a patriot? I don’t think so. For patriotism calls for devotion & selfless sacrifice – its much more than simple loyalty. This is beyond most people, so they substitute it with a coarse alternative – unquestioning pride for the past & unstinting support for the present.

    Ergo, I don’t think there’s anything special about patriotism. Loyalty, National Identity, Team-work, Meaningful Pride. I’ll be glad if people focus on the component parts, rather than get all hysterical & tearful on Independence Day. And do diddly-squat about being a decent citizen.

  15. Quote

    Hi there,

    I completely agree with the statement that for whatever reason we are still stuck with our glorious past and how lots of people gave up their lives and belongings to get freedom from the British. For some reason, we are all still in awe of those achievements and somehow feel that we have pretty much done it all just by being independent of the British.

    I honestly don’t understand why more youngsters cannot get into politics and public lives to do their bit to make India just that little better. I can’t figure out why all of us are becoming more and more selfish, self-centered where our lives revolve only around us and our families, and don’t extend outwards to the society and to the country that we live in.

    In any case, there is always hope that some of us will be able to make changes in our own small ways and all of this will hopefully add up to something big and beautiful.


  16. Quote

    Can you please elaborate on “Culturally, all these nation’s patriotism attributes to christianity …”. Is there any data to back this up?


    I just expressed my general opinion.. I dont have any data to backup.. However, i would like to raise the following points..

    1. Why did obama has to repeatedly strive to establish his religion as christian? If american’s patriotism is independant of religion, why dont obama assert the religion that his name belongs to or why do he care so much about projecting himself as christian?
    Incidently, McCain does not face this issue at all.

    2. In political arena of america, one can come up to power only if he is a christian. This is an undeniable truth, barring some exceptions that i may not know.

    Let’s take India.. abdul kalam doesnt have any problem with his muslim identity to become president.. nor the manmohan sigh with his sikh identity nor the italian super PM antonio maino, in becoming congress president. The present Vice President Ansari, also did not face any issues over his muslim identiy..
    All these inspite of the country being broken based on religion..

    There is a sea of difference b/w indian patriotism (i mean of the common people) and the patriotism of others..

    Any thoughts??

  17. Quote

    Its not just america alone. But most of the countries patriotism is assoicated with the dominant religion.

    Let me point out the australian PM’s statement..
    “Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture”.
    “We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us”.
    “This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom,

    Its very clear, patriotism and religion cannot be separated..

    To ponder more,
    what is the patriotism of East Timor? Is it timorese or is it christian?
    Like wise, Russia’s patriotism is based on catholic christianity..

    Why is turkey still not admitted to EU? bcoz its a muslim nation in christian europe..

    similarly, canada, brazil, and many nations of africa.. all are based on christianity..

    I need not tell about muslim nations..

    The reality is more stark and different than the illusion created over the media..

  18. Quote

    The incident of conservative protest when Rajan Zed opened american parliament with Hindu prayer..

    The incident of attack on ISKCON in Moscow.

    The denial of britain to allow Rajan Zed to open their parliament with Hindu Prayer..

    and a similar denial by australia..

    Every nation has its soul on its historical culture/religion.. and when that culture is at stake, the people fear their nation is at danger..

  19. Quote

    Senthil, forgive me if I am harsh. You should be a reporter 🙂 You have uncanny ability to weave opinions as truth’s. Australian PM is not equal to Australian Constitution. What is wrong in a country based on Christian Principles? Do you see any evil in any Christian principle in broader context? If yes, please let me know.

    Obama’s case is different. In this era, lie travels faster than truth. A bad lie, if not defended well may cost his campaign dearly. Red neck Republicans do not represent USA. but they influence other Redneck midwest population in USA. It is far better than McCain trying to bypass the question about Viagra 😉

    India is great in that aspect of having such variety of showcase minority leaders. But can you please tell me when was the last real powerful non-hindu leader supported by the whole country, irrespective of party? Ummm. Let me guess – Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Am I not correct?

    Sonia Gandhi (if you use her maiden name..i doubt your intentions), is powerful because of being wife of last charismatic leader from Congress and being a unifying force of that UPA. Not because she is a Christian. If she is a Hindu/ Farsi/ Sikh also, she would become equally powerful.

    Coming back to the central theme of the post, I completely agree with Priya. Poster Patriotism, Movie Patriotism, Pride-when-we-sing-National-Anthem patriotism is not same as real patriotism. True patriotism starts with being a good citizen first and being a right citizen. With the most powerful form of Government – Democracy in hand, if only every citizen stands for what is right, nothing can stop the progress of one’s country. In that aspect, I see the Japanese Post-war reconstruction and resurrection of Japanese Industry as one of the best examples of Patriotism. Every citizen trying to work hard with integrity and bring their country to world stage without a single bullet being shot against other countries.

  20. Quote

    Good points, Vamsi. Any woman with a “Nehru” or “Gandhi” surname will gain power. Even if she’s an alien from the planet Krypton. That Sonia is an Italian & a Christian is irrelevant.

    Indians don’t have the power to elect either the President or the Prime Minister! We simply elect a party to power & hope for the best. So, comparing the American Presidential Elections, where registered party members can decide who will be the President in the primaries – is an apples to oranges comparison.

  21. Quote


    Patriotism & Religion must not be confused at all. Take a look at India.

  22. Quote

    Vamsi, Priya,

    I believe there is a difference between fake patriotism and feeling proud when we sing national anthem, when we see our flag fly high, celebrating Independence day. I believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with the latter.

    Celebrating Independence day is like celebrating our near and dear ones birthday. It is a day to look back and enjoy the birth of the country. There is nothing wrong with that. Respecting symbols of our country such as our flag and national anthem could generate a sense of pride that could move one to work on the issue that could lead to progress. This is important especially for children. However, this should not be considered as brain-washing.

    Perhaps, I am seeing some obamaitis in both of you 🙂 – refusing to wear the flag pin just because some people who wear it are really not patriotic.

    To quote the author – “Liberals think lapel pins are fine if they inspire Americans to struggle to realize the nation’s promise. But they worry that those symbols can become–especially when wielded by people in power–substitutes for that struggle and thus emblems of hypocrisy and complacency.”

    I am in line with this thinking. These symbols are not necessarily bad, but we should not use them as a crutch to claim we are patriotic or more importantly assume that is all one has to do for their country.


  23. Quote

    Ganesh – Yes, our views do seem liberal don’t they. I have no problem with true patriotism or its symbols as displayed by others. I don’t think of myself as a very patriotic person. And that’s not because of fake patriots. My reasons are entirely philosophical.

    I’m cool if people are proud to see their flag. But the flag stirs no feeling in me. I respect it, just like I respect a temple (though I’m an atheist) – because it has significance to other people.

    A nation’s borders seem arbitrary – should my father (who was born before the partition of India) think of the entire subcontinent as his motherland? I felt very much at home in Cairo – looked a lot like Delhi. I wonder if I’ll feel that comfortable in Mizoram, for e.g. Culturally, Cairo is closer to most Indians than some North Eastern states.

    I’m loyal to the country I live in. If an Indian gets a raw deal in another country & I’m close at hand, I’ll try to help the Indian. I’ll help anyone in trouble – maybe I’ll help an Indian more. But, is that’s all there is to patriotism? Those are mere fragments of “Us” vs “Them”.

  24. Quote

    Vamsi.. If i had been a reporter, i would have written high profile illusionary words 🙂

    Btw, i did not enforce anything as truth.. i just expressed my opinion, and i state that these are the things that appear as reality to me.. hope, it clarifies you..

    Let me come to your points..

    /** In this era, lie travels faster than truth. A bad lie, if not defended well may cost his campaign dearly. **/

    My question is not about lies and truths.. Clearly, from his name & other reports, obama’s father is a muslim and he spent his childhood at indonesia, and most possibly educated at a madrassa..
    And i have no issues at that.. But why is that the american voters get threatened just by the news that obama might be muslim, or why do obama feel, that his muslim connection could cost him? This is where i expressed my opinion that patriotism and religion is interleaved in america..

    /** Sonia Gandhi (if you use her maiden name..i doubt your intentions), is powerful because of being wife of last charismatic leader **/
    Again the deviation on your part.. the core point is that normal indian citizens did not feel threatened by the fact that she is a catholic.. (while the reality is opposite.. that’s a different fact to discuss)..
    Btw, my intentions are clear.. i want that foreign lady out (I think we can have a discussion on separate post).

    /** What is wrong in a country based on Christian Principles? **/

    I want India to be based on Hindu Priciples.. What’s wrong in that? Why the hullabullow, even in singing vande mataram ?? or why there is so much of noise, when an attempt is made to introduce saraswati vandanam in schools?

    /** Do you see any evil in any Christian principle in broader context? **/
    I think, we can have the discussion on separate post..

  25. Quote

    /** But can you please tell me when was the last real powerful non-hindu leader supported by the whole country, irrespective of party? **/

    Infact the question should be “When is the last real powerful Hindu leader india had??” 🙂

  26. Quote


  27. Quote
    Balaji said July 11, 2008, 3:28 pm:

    Just watching all comments, as usual all are great. Here is my take on this,

    Forget about ideology, politics and politicians. Patriotism is something everybody must have it in heart. There is no need to show off all time to others.

    Somebody has logical(rational) patriotism and somebody has emotional patriotism, Good Revolutionist (like now Obama) is logical, they wait to show patriotism at right time, right place but very strongly than emotional one. Emotional patriotism is nothing but waiving flag, cheers up when home country army capture enemies land, blindly always want home team to win in any sports etc.

    Emotional patriot interested to enroll with army, where logical patriot goes aboard to make money and invest in his/her home country or start a company to make his/her fellow countrymen to become rich.

    Logical one always get bad name because they are always show their patriotism very late or not at all if it is not required.

    But i don’t know whether this is correct or wrong, logical always loyal to their current living country but keep their origin country buried very deep in heart, i mean after getting citizenship of other country, they try to move on with new one. Logically that is correct, i believe ???

  28. Quote
    Ganesh said July 11, 2008, 8:12 pm:


    Fair enough. You ask the question – “I’m loyal to the country I live in. If an Indian gets a raw deal in another country & I’m close at hand, I’ll try to help the Indian. I’ll help anyone in trouble – maybe I’ll help an Indian more. But, is that’s all there is to patriotism?” No – that is not all that is there to patriotism. Perhaps, it is just one tiny aspect of it.

    There is nothing wrong with explicit display of pride for one’s nation, while at the same time someone who does not favor such display is not unpatriotic either.


  29. Quote

    Reply to http://www.sastwingees.org/2008/07/07/what-is-patriotism/#comment-3950

    /** Gandhi **/

    No Comments 🙂 .. we already had enough..

  30. Quote

    There are other types of patriotism too.. like identity patriotism, fashionable patriotism etc..

    Today, many of indians have only identity patriotism.. ie, they need an identity in this world.. that’s all.. they are not concerned about other things..

    Today, i attended a seminar on indian history conducted by REACH Foundation.. there was lot of valuable historical information that is unknown to majority of the people..

    We are largely disconnected to our roots.. and any national who dont know his history cannot be truly patriotic..

    Connecting to the roots is the most basic requirement of being patriotic..

  31. Quote

    Senthil, how about you? Did you know all that information earlier itself? What is the real reach of REACH? Keeping the intelligentsia aside, common man has too many problems in this global economy to spend too much time on history on day to day basis. The true verified up to date history has to be imparted as part of school curriculum.

  32. Quote


    The common man (and including intellegentsia) doesnt miss to watch the latest movie amidst all trouble… He did not miss an annual picnic amidst all troubles.. He did not miss the daily serial amidst all troubles..

    So i feel, your point is not right.. if we have the interest we can learn our history amidst all troubles.. that’s the real patriotism.. that’s why i said, that without interest to learn our culture, history and roots, mere indian is an identity patriotism..

    /** What is the real reach of REACH? **/
    Please refer http://templesrevival.blogspot.com/ . After i moved out of chennai, i could not participate in the heritage trips.. but i am very well part of the team..
    they are doing wonderful service to our heritage.. many temples around chennai, which are in highly dilipated state has been documented.. the famous Uthiramerur temple (where panchayat election was held during chola period) was currently taken for renovation..
    Ex-ASI cheif, T S Satyamurthy is heading this REACH team..
    Its in a budding stage..

    If you are interested in visiting our heritage sites, we would be glad to arrange for you..

    /** The true verified up to date history has to be imparted as part of school curriculum. **/

    why such detailed indian history has been NOT included so far in our history books is a the question that i am asking.. Any self-respecting & dignified government should have done this..

  33. Quote

    Senthil – I think a country’s – any country’s – heritage is amazing. But, that’s because I’m deeply interested in history. Not all people are interested in heritage. But, that per se doesn’t make them unpatriotic.

    I know several wonderful people who exhibit their patriotism in other ways. People who distribute food packets to the poor every evening; Those who get involved in civic Exnora, setting up & maintaining local parks; People who serve in orphanages – Most of these people think of themselves as patriots. What I’m saying is – this is probably Vamsi’s point – there is no one way to express your love for your country.

    I’m glad that we learnt the history of the world, not just the history of India. If all we learn is the extremely detailed history of India, we’ll be insular frogs in a pond. Love for your country is not the same as ignorance of other countries & cultures. Education’s role is to increase awareness. It is up to the individuals to do extra reading. A school is not spoon-feeding. There is only limited time & within that, they cover as detailed a history of India as possible & then they cover the rest of the world.

    My beef with the education system is, they don’t instill a sense of exploration, the desire to learn. But, that’s a different thing.

  34. Quote

    Senthil, Priya captured it neat. If you say that majority Indians are not proud of their heritage, that I wont agree. If people wont watch the TV or read paper or buy things, that would be one of the most unpatriotic thing to do. India is a billion consumer capitalist country. Not everyone watches National Geographic Channel.

    One person wrote a book, made all its citizens extremely self-superior, gave furious speeches, most citizens in their country supported him, cheered him…His name is Hitler. If you suspect the nationalism of Germans under Hitler, it would be wrong. It became so extreme that they started thinking low of other parts of the world and they paid a hefty price for it. So, the key point is balance.

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