Are We Showing Our Love For Our Country Or Showing Off?

Today, we celebrate the 72nd Republic Day of India. This year the celebrations and the paraphernalia related to it are low-key due to the COVID situation. Many of us become ‘very patriotic’ around two events every year – Republic Day & Independence Day. Of course, this patriotism is at its peak when India plays international cricket (or any other sport which is fast gaining popularity). There are two things that I want to talk about today through this post – one, the improper use of the national tri-color and the second, of being patriotic through actions throughout the year and not just on these days.

Every year around Republic Day & Independence Day, the sales of our tri-color increases. The sales of plastic flags, badges, dashboard knickknacks, magnets, balloons, etc., shoot through the roof. These are sold in shops, online, and by peddlers at every traffic signal. This craze (seen in the last 10-12 years) is because of the change in how we have started celebrating any event with flamboyance, mainly for sharing on social media.  From theme days in offices and get-togethers amongst family & friends, we utilize every opportunity to splash the tri-color everywhere. But did you know that all these flags that are sold in shops and streets are not authorized ones? Yes, there is a specific color code, ratio, material, stitch that is to be used in the Indian flag, and only one company (Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha) in a tiny village in Karnataka is authorized to make & sell them. Interestingly, mainly women from the village make these flags. I found a very nice video on KKGSS and the Indian National Flag, which I am sharing at the end of this post.

Photo by Steven Lasry on Unsplash

Coming back to the unauthorized flags and other paraphernalia, what do we do with these once the celebrations are done? Sadly, we don’t store them for re-use. This may be because of the low price that we pay, so we don’t feel the need to store it safely for re-use. Or it could be because of the low quality of the product which means it is good for only one or two uses. How many of us take the effort to dispose of these correctly, giving it the respect that a national symbol or tri-color deserves? The flags are littered on the ground, thrown in the garbage, or even torn. Parents, who buy these flags for their kids, must ensure that they also teach the importance of what the flags mean and to dispose of them respectfully. For me, that is how you show your patriotism and teach others to respect your country and its symbols. 

So what does being patriotic mean? Does it only mean that on a particular day we dress up & decorate our surroundings in the tri-colors, wave flags, or sing songs praising our country? Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy doing all of these as well in the spirit of participation. But I feel that patriotism needs to become a way of life, not just displayed on these special days. There are many ways that we can love and respect our country. Little things we do every day can also reflect our patriotism.

 

Keeping Our Surroundings Clean

When we take so much care to keep our home clean, why do we litter outside? When we admire other countries and follow their rules, why can’t we do the same here as well? Let us do our bit and ensure that we correctly dispose of waste and not litter our roads, parks, and beaches. It is not only aesthetically pleasing to see a clean environment but it is healthy as well.

Taking Responsibility

Each of us have certain responsibilities as citizens of India. Be it going out to vote on election day, paying our taxes on time, or declaring our income. Many of us still choose to not register ourselves as voters or prefer to take a vacation on D-day. Many look for ways to not declare money or pay taxes, which is very essential to build our infrastructure. Can we pledge to do our part in helping India’s growth without being cynical?

Respecting The Laws

Rules are made for a reason. If everybody did as they pleased, the world would become a very chaotic place. Be it jumping a signal, driving after a few drinks, or something more serious – remember every violation of a rule is unpatriotic.

Avoid Rumour Mongering

Rumors are started for one reason only – to spread malice. In this digital age, many of us don’t bother to validate the message and simply forward it because it is easy to share. We feel we have done our ‘duty’ by sharing or stating a disclaimer ‘forwarded as received’. Some of these are deterrent to government initiatives and some are specifically made to spread fear and unrest by anti-social elements. So pause for a second and think before you spread the message.

Showing Our Support To The Government

We are a fickle lot – on one hand, we crib that the government doesn’t do anything for us. But on the other hand, when initiatives are taken we view them with suspicion and criticize. The elected representative may not be one of your choice. But he/she is the one who was voted in by the majority of your fellow country-men/women. While we can disagree with their decisions, avoid sullying them publicly on international or social media platforms as you are also damaging the reputation of your country. Instead, raise your grievance in the right forum for resolution.

There are many other simple things like these we can do to show our patriotism. What do you do to show your love for your country? Do write to me in the comments below.

 

And before I go, here is the beautiful documentary that I promised about the Indian tri-color. Hope you enjoy it.

Video courtesy : Documentary Films – The Indian National Flag (English Subtitles) by Keval Chheda

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla, and happily SPONSORED BY RRE Studios and SHOWCASE Events.

26 Comments

  1. This topic means a lot to me. I have been outside India from last 15 years. And now when I think about this, it makes me nostalgic. I haven’t attended any flag hosting in last 15 years but whenever I see Indian Flag on TV (may it be any movie) and hear National Anthem, I get nostalgic, it makes me emotional. As a parent, if my USA born kids proudly talks about India and have the same love for the country then I feel I have done a pretty decent job as an Indian parent. 🙂

    Being patriotic doesn’t only means that we should support Indian made products or appreciate what our government is doing. As an Indian staying abroad, I feel, if have respect towards my culture and country then that is patriotism.

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  2. A patriot is a person who loves his country and works for its betterment. Commonly, we call a person patriot who fights external enemies and may give up his life. But there may be internal enemies. So those who fight internal enemies without fear or favor are patriots too. So is a school teacher who shapes mind, a doctor who treats the sick, a maid who does her job honestly and sincerely within the framwork of her employment, all are patriots. To become a patriot one need not have to do big bang jobs, but more important is to do small things correctly when no one is looking.

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  3. Loved your article! How passionately you have explained our responsibilities and your title to the article totally justifies the scenario going on in our country today. The national flags that are sold on the streets are actually not legal. Very true that when you buy or sell or demonstrate the flag at any public place or otherwise there is certain code to be followed which no one seems to know any more.

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  4. I also feel the same way as you do. yes, during those special days ( republic and independence day) people do lots of things ( mostly seem show off to me) to express their patriotism for country and rest of the days did not care to follow even simple rules to keep our county safe or disciplined. you had listed really great pointers to express our patriotism for our country in most honest way.

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  5. Patriotism goes beyond buying of flags. There are many things that we can do. Keeping our surroundings clean , following traffic rules. If we don’t do these things how can we call ourselves as pariot Also we blame government for say not doing somethings like making the road to our house good. Why cant we as indians make that road good ourselves. If the whole society comes as one we can make the road better. After all we will be making our country road good. The government I agree is responsible for the country but for how many people is the question.
    In the end I agree “Dont ask what your country has done for you ,ask what have you done for your country.

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  6. I feel as a citizen it is not just our responsibility to protect the dignity of our flat but being accountable by protecting it from being misused. This post is an eye opener in many sense. People need to come out of that chalta hai attitute and take ownership of our proud country INDIA

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  7. It is so true! I’m not too patriotic or anything but i follow rules and try to keep my surroundings clean (outside home). Waking up just to hoist the flag and take pictures doesn’t seem to make any sense out of the blue, so i keep away from all that unless there’s a huge event i have to attend… Good writing!

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  8. Patriotism or national pride is the feeling of love, devotion, and a sense of attachment to a homeland and alliance with other citizens who share the same sentiment. This attachment can be a combination of many different feelings relating to one’s own homeland, including ethnic, cultural, political, or historical aspects. <3

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  9. You have raised excellent points. Patriotism has been reduced to jingoism these days. I belong to a family of soldiers but they are not the only ones patriotic. Every Indian who contributes to the well being of the country is a patriot.

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  10. What a thought-provoking post! Certainly, in the race of showing off over Social media, we have forgotten the real meaning and feeling of the National day celebration. I am glad you penned all the points so rightly here.

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  11. I think being a responsible citizen like you have mentioned is more than enough if we really want to work towards the betterment of the country, desh humse hai aur hum jitna apne aapko sawarenge humara desh sawrega. Thank you for this post Vasumathi, aise posts hume humari zameen se jode rakhte hai.

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  12. Well said. Being patriotic means to respect our country and understand your responsibility towards it. You mentioned perfect points to understand responsibility towards our country.

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  13. I also believe that Patriotism goes beyond buying of flags. Keeping our surroundings clean , following traffic rules. Praising and respecting our values .

  14. Patriotism is an emotion that has to be displayed, patriotism is not only a soldier’s asset, but every citizen must be patriotic. I am still miffed about the National Anthem controversy, (to be played before the before the screening of a film), children absolutely had no problem What’s the problem? Why are people hesitant to stand for some minutes? Your post brought back some moments at school where we are taught these things but grown-up fail to follow them

  15. It is the best feeling to know everything about your own country. I have been too proud of India and flags, symbols, make me all pumped up. Sadly the awareness around these topics have declined and the future generations of our country might not even know the history..

  16. I think you have hit the bull’s eye because somewhere we are in lack of patriotism . This post is like a check on our integrity. Your post should be set on reminders to read so that we can check our love for India.

  17. Wonderful writing Vasumathi, you have just resonated my thoughts here. I have always found it very irritating when people deck up for Republic Day and Independence Day just for the sake of showing off to the world rather being actually patriotic. Patriotism is something that should be ingrained and should come from within. Also, as a citizen, we definitely need to be more cautious how we portray our country in the global platforms.

  18. A thought provoking post. We do not need to just celebrate on two particular days to Express our love for our country. Also patriotism is not only about a soldier or a freedom fighter, but every citizen’s good deeds and respect towards his country and country people is patriotism.

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Vasumathi

Vasumathi

Blogger, Content Creator, Knowledge Facilitator, Hobby Photographer & Mom To A Naughty Dalmatian.