The Patriotic Conundrum



August 15th symbolises the 200 years of struggle by the country to break the chains of slavery. It is a testimony to the courage and valour of our countrymen who,

without a second thought were ready to lay down their lives for their country. It symbolises how the country, like a phoenix, has risen from its ashes without ever giving up. This is the day when patriotism is at its height, when the feeling of oneness can be felt surging through the air like lightning.
Like the rest of the country, the boarders of Satish Dhawan Hall of Residence commemorated the 68th Independence Day with flag hoisting. The flag was hoisted by Warden Prof. Ritwik Sarkar, in the presence of hall secretaries and a group of hostel boarders. It was then succeeded by distribution of sweets to the people present. Most of the people either returned or preferred stay in the warm corner of their cosy beds. This is not just the scenario of our hostel, but in fact, of most of the younger generation of the country.
Patriotism when not felt from deep within doesn’t count as true patriotism. What is true patriotism? Is it attending the hoisting with a salute or singing the national anthem at the peak of your voice twice a year? Is it showing up once in every five years to vote? Oscar Wilde quotes “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious”. For the leaders who fought to make this country free, patriotism was free will, equality for people, respect to women, and power to the people who can forge a path through the valley of impossible and leave a track for others to follow. In this era everyone is in this life for themselves. There is no time for people even to stand and stare across the injustice vented on the underprivileged and unprotected, the ideology of lending a helping hand is light years away. Not a day goes by when you open any newspaper and find some kind of oppression or injustice being done to hapless. Is this what the leaders visualised the country to be? Is this what they laid down their lives without flinching? On a final note, “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.

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