True patriots


In my opinion, there is no such thing as ‘patriotism’. There are no great examples. But yes, there are patriots, luckily, in this world. Patriotism is not a quality. It doesn’t define a person. It’s a feeling which is generated spontaneously. Most people in our country experience patriotism when there is a cricket match. Of course the pride we feel is patriotism. Otherwise how could one explain the joy we feel even though there is nothing we could gain from the match? The pride we are filled with when an Indian wins a medal in Olympics or an Oscar, when a scientist is honored, it’s the love for our nation that flows out. When the body of a martyred soldier is brought home, the whole town assembles there as a mark of respect. Once again patriotism arises in all of us. There are tears in our eyes, though we didn’t even know he was out there protecting our motherland. But then, after all the pomp and show, everybody is back to normal, the feeling is gone. Nobody talks about the scientist or soldiers. Sports-persons, who brought medals in international games, are hardly recognized.

Most Indians are worried only about a living. They don’t care about all the political strings being pulled. Some vote, some don’t. Some vote because their family has been doing that, others vote because they were instructed to do so or because they simply don’t have a choice. Some pick randomly, while others listen to promises made by the campaigners. Nobody cares what is going on around them. How is it going to affect us if some random guy left the country with hundreds of crores of rupees?

There is this small fraction of people, a bunch of youngsters, who have always wanted to achieve greatness. They have the passion and zeal. They try to understand what is going on around them. Some give up because they simply don’t understand a thing. Those who do understand, find it hard to believe that 125 crore people are just ignoring the fact that they are being bullied, betrayed and looted just because they prefer to be safe. All of a sudden this bunch of youngsters realize that there is no point in serving those who have chosen to be enslaved apparently by masters, unfortunately, chosen by themselves. This bunch shrinks up further when some more realize that it is better to use their brains on something else which could make them live better lives.

The small group left who do realize there is no point of it all, being great citizens and serving people and stuff, still manage to find a ray of hope. They are stubborn and do not back off from what they have decided. They go on to become the smartest group of people in the country-civil servants. They are not restricted to jut IAS and IPS officers. All police forces, economists, civil engineers, government officers, medical staff, and embassy workers – the list is just too long. It is they who have held together the country which would have otherwise fragmented a long time ago. They do know that they alone cannot change everything, but still do their work with complete dedication. At least they do not back off. Good civil servants are true patriots. They have the power to change.

Then aren’t the soldiers true patriots? Of course they are. They are embodiments of patriotism. But there is a small glitch. However big their sacrifice is, however deep their love for the country is, they can’t change anything, even if they wanted to. Indeed it takes great courage and extreme love towards the country, for a man to stand at the enemy’s face, ready to die. Sadly most of them don’t even know what is going on inside the country. They don’t understand or rather are far away from bureaucracy. So even if they had something to say, they simply don’t have the power to say. After all they are just men who follow orders.

What we need is change. Change is an imminent factor. Everything changes, evolves. But the question is, why change, when no one is complaining and keeping mum?

There is this stratum of the society we all forget, or pretend to forget: the uneducated, unemployed, those who do not even have access to basic necessities, victims of limited opportunities. They didn’t choose to be like that. Differences are caused by circumstances. They need our help. The more of us, youngsters, understand this, the more we could help. We all need to be the builders of our nation. If we can bring about smiles of satisfaction in at least one of those in need, we could always be proud of what we did, however insignificant that might look.

What we have is the power to change. No boundaries, sky is no more the limit, it is much beyond that.



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