We all have been talking of patriotism so far for a so long time and the way we have perceived it so far or the way we have understood this phenomena, is quite underestimating. We always think that patriotism is a process that is associated only with the freedom fighters, countrymen those who safe guard the country including soldiers, army men, navy men, police and so on. We tend to believe that patriotism is an obligation that a person has to obey towards the nation. But here, we have to widen our vision and try to understand this term in its actual sense.
Patriotism is rather that deepest gesture and feeling of regard, love and affection that a person possesses in his/her heart for the motherland. And when this deepest feeling of utmost love for the motherland is being manifested or emerged it becomes magnanimous. Patriotism simply follows to have a deep love and respect for the motherland. It is the feeling of pride and privilege that one feels for his country. To love is the basic nature of the human beings, they possess love in their hearts and when they relate and dedicate this love for their motherland, it simply becomes ‘Patriotism’. Now it is much easier to correlate and to understand that why do we attach the phenomena of patriotism with the brave country men. It is all because of the deep love they have for the motherland that made it possible for them to sacrifice their lives in the name of the nation.
Patriotism is not at all biasness nor is favoritism. If one truly and dedicatedly loves the nation and almost worships the nation as the motherland is considered as a Patriot. Patriotism is never being judgmental towards one’s nation and nor towards the particular state one lives in. mind it! The ethnic groups who constantly praises their native place and want to possess their separate identity would never be considered as patriots. Rather a patriot would think for the welfare of the whole nation. His focus is not the welfare of his own place but rather the welfare of the whole country. His actions would always be contributing towards the progress and growth of the country. The great and courageous men and women who took an active part in the freedom struggle of 1857-1947, it was only the deep love for the motherland that enabled them to fight till their last breathe. They were unafraid of any upheaval and hurdle and all they wanted is the freedom of the motherland from the ruthless barbaric trap of British’s.
Now, this is the best example of patriotism and patriots. But here a question may arise that does patriotism always ask for life sacrifices? Is it too difficult to be a true patriot? And do the big stories of sacrifices done by the patriots; hinder a lay man from loving and being honest towards the motherland? Actually the fact, patriotism is never meant to hinder nor does it scare. It only asks for an authentic understanding and sincere effort. Nothing makes me to take back my words if I say that even a lay man has the possibility of becoming a true patriot, even a lay man can manifest the true essence of patriotism in his/her life. All it requires to analyze and understand the quality of our thoughts and actions.
Your thoughts and actions would alone define how much regard and love you have for your country. If the problems and issues that our motherland is facing do make you tensed and restless and motivate you to do something for it, then you are a patriot. If something wrong goes/going wrong with the people of the nation, does trouble you too then you are a patriot. But what would be more defining is alone your ‘Actions’. Your actions will explain your urgency, your enthusiasm, your spirit and determination to do something worthy for the motherland. It is your actions that prove your faithfulness towards your country. You’re each and every action that is inspired by the intention of contributing towards the nation building and social welfare; does make you a patriot. Nevertheless, I would be focusing upon the actions in the following paragraphs that define and prove your patriotic intentions towards the motherland.
Actions that define patriotism
Fulfilling social responsibilities: let me be very precise and accurate while I am discussing about each of the actions that define your patriotic intentions. If you are a responsible person who understands and tries to fulfil the social responsibilities towards your society and its community, then you are patriot. But this is also to be mentioned over here, that fulfillment of those social responsibilities much be devoid of any ethnic prejudices and racism. The person who actively participates in the social welfare activities, the one who understands the crux of social issues and being honest while taking steps for eradicating the social issues; is a patriot at heart. He/she may belong to any social group, community, caste and association but a true patriot will be focused upon the social welfare, he would very well understand and would always be keen in improvising the social and cultural environment. A patriot would be ethically, socially and culturally aware and sensitive towards the social and environmental issues of the society that make it substandard.
Fulfilling civic duties: every citizen has certain duties and responsibilities towards the nation that are counted under the civic duties and responsibilities. The person who is aware and considerate towards his/her civic responsibilities and duties is considered to be a responsible citizen. And adding to this, the person who always tries to maintain a balance in the society and dedicatedly fulfills his duties being a citizen is considered to be a patriot. This person perceives the nation as his own home and family thus obeying the civic duties is ultimately is like creating better conditions for the family and the home. Now, for a better understanding the civic duties include; paying all kinds of taxes timely, obeying the law of the nation and whereas civic responsibilities enclose the actions such as voting and serving on statutory committees and boards, but these all duties and responsibilities are voluntary. That is why the person who fulfills them all, with dedication deserves to be admired and is a true patriot.
Besides, these above things the person who acts with integrity in the community and the nation, who takes actions to improve the cultural, social and economic status of the nation and encourages self-reliance is a patriot. A citizen who actively participates in the national affairs and contributes in the activities that create resources and facilities, the person who is himself aware and also makes the other citizens aware about their civic duties and responsibilities; is certainly considered as a patriot.
Paying Taxes: paying the taxes on time and honestly is the best action a citizen should do if he/she truly feels even a little bit regard for the country. Taxes are in way is the amount that you genuinely pay to the government and that is further being used for the nation building tasks including the infrastructure, developmental, raising arms and ammunition for defense of the nation and also for the other developmental and welfare activities. There are as such twenty types of taxes given to the government but even if a person pays the major of all those then also he would be considered to be a loyal and honest citizen who is deeply concerned with the welfare of the nation as well as being supportive with the government.
The persons coming under the working class whose total income exceeds the taxable limits should pay Income Tax on time. If a person is into the corporate sector then he is liable to pay the Corporate Tax. For availing the paid services one is liable to pay the Service Taxes, while the Service Tax is charged on the movable commodities. Being a professional in the Private Organization one is also liable to pay the Professional Tax. However I am not discussing about all types of taxes but rather the ones that are supposed to be extremely important to be paid by the citizens of the country.
There is one more kind of tax that should be paid without any bias; and that is the Property Tax that has to be given for owning a land and a property. This tax has been underestimated by the people on India to a major extent; people do not pay their property tax and in fact do not consider it to be so important. Thus, the person who pays his taxes on time and that too by considering that that by paying taxes he/she is actually helping the government to develop the infrastructure and contributing in the welfare of the nation only, such a person is undoubtedly being known as a true patriot.
Contributes in Nation Building: As I have already mentioned that a patriot is a person who is deeply concerned with the growth and progress of his/her nation. He/she is the person who not only thinks good but also acts the good for the welfare and development of the country. Nation building is one such action that a patriotic person takes seriously and devotionaly. Now, here I specifically want to relate this point with the youth of our nation. The Youth is supposed to be the future of the nation and their each and every action is supportive and helpful in the way of nation building. Youth however, can be helpful in many ways but there is a specific way of making a worthy contribution to the nation building that is to invest a little share of money in purchasing the National Saving Certificates.
These saving certificates are issued by the Government of India and range in different costs from minimum of 100 rupees to maximum. These certificates are basically the saving bonds that are used for making small savings and also for saving Income Tax investment. One can purchase these national saving certificates for a period of five to ten years and after the maturity the holder will get a doubled amount of money. The person who purchases these national saving certificates gets the tax benefits under the section 80C Section of Income Tax Act, 1961. Investing the money in national saving certificates is an act of directing the money in the righteous manner that would also directly help the nation in its developmental activities.
If every individual included in the youth understands his/her responsibility and makes a worthy investment of even small amount then, he can in a way contribute to the well-being of the nations. This action will not only help in raising the personal savings for the youth but also inculcate good habits of acting for the welfare and growth of the nation. This is itself an enlightened action that is most encouraging and that also awakens the feeling of patriotism in the heart of the youth and others.
Hence, from the above points I have tried to unearth the phenomena of patriotism and what it is really not. To be a patriot, it is must to have a sense of belongingness for one’s country, and then it does not remain as a mere country but becomes like a family whose welfare is our highest priority. All it requires us to be fair enough, honest, compassionate and loyal towards our motherland. Merely saying big words in the name of the motherland will not be sufficed until unless they are accompanied with honest actions.