Are you Patriotic? What does being patriotic mean to you?
We all have nationalities. Owing to the country of my birth and the current geographical boundaries, I am an Indian. However, my lineage takes me to a small village in Pakistan named Chunian, near Lahore. My grandparents were amongst the several thousands who crossed the borders when Bharat got independent and partitioned.
I have never been to Pakistan. All my memories are associated with India. To correct myself, all my memories are associated with a few cities in India where I have spent my life until now. I aspire to visit several other places in the country; at the same time, I long for visiting the Americas, Europe, Africa and other places in the world and the yearning is the same.
The Indian army and the Pakistan Army are never at peace with each other. There is news of the Pakistan Army violating ceasefire bringing truce to a standstill. All the efforts of the governments of the two nations are in vain. Yet the people in the two nations really do not despise the other. Pakistan isn’t spared from terrorist attacks either. It isn’t about these two nations alone. People everywhere are struggling. The society is shackled by crippling menaces such as terrorism, poverty, unemployment. It was as heart wrenching when kids were shot in Peshawar as when they were shot in Connecticut. It wasn’t Pakistan or America’s, but the entire world’s loss. Every government aims at providing quality education to children; at least, it’s on their agenda. People everywhere experience fernweh, love serein, hope for kairos with their beloved and experience many more emotions. Despite being distinguished on endless parameters, we, by our disposition, are, essentially, all the same.
The daily prompt came a day after India’s Independence Day. I am patriotic. However, my patriotism isn’t for India, it is for the people that define her. For if all the people were to leave the world, every place would just be a piece of land and the same. India has been fighting for years against the caste system that has been prevalent in the society. Likewise, America has been fighting for giving equal rights to people of African origin. My allegiance is for all the people who stand up for what is right. It isn’t for a piece of land, it for the living beings that define her, who are truly all the same. My patriotism is for humanity.