– Shreya Chopda, II B.Com
“Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is best in the world because you were born in it.” – George Bernard Shaw
Patriotism is not a tool for nation building. Each nation feels superior to other nations. This inevitably breeds patriotism – and war. What should have fundamentally been just a single unit of living area is now divided by lines and boundaries that men in power have devised to satisfy their need to remain in control. Using fear, the biggest weapon of all times, they have instilled in us a belief that has now become a trait, that we are not one. We are divided by the lines we draw on maps. To me it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography.
The word patriotism carries with it more than just love for one’s nation. It is the breeding point of hatred for others. Can anything be stupider than that a man has a right to kill me because he lives on the other side of the river and his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have not quarreled with him? Patriotism is nothing but extreme regionalism. The world wars were but the off-springs of extreme patriotism. Then tell me, with these wars which nation was built on patriotism? They were rewarded by nothing more than rubble and a black mark on our history we still flinch at. And how can such an emotion with the highest form of negative aura lead to build a nation that we call superior than others? Are we really superior by making another feel inferior? Have we really succeeded if we celebrate our victory on the downed spirits of the defeated?
No doubt a country can prosper and stand taller than others, but the depression in other nations will create quick sand that will soon suck all the nations in it.
You cannot expect a flower to bloom in a sandstorm. Nations can be built only if we erase these boundaries that separate us not only geographically but also emotionally. If any nation has to grow it can only be done by unifying the entire globe as one. No doubt a country can prosper and stand taller than others, but the depression in other nations will create quick sand that will soon suck all the nations in it. The strong growing stronger and the weak becoming weaker will only create a disastrous imbalance leading to the world collapsing in its own pathetic state.
Individual glory is a short term satisfaction of superiority. But the truth is that no nation can isolate itself from others. Even the most developed nations are dependent on developing nations. To me, all wars are civil wars because all men owe infinitely to the human race than to the particular country in which they were born. Imagine if all these boundaries just vanished. We would just recognize ourselves as humans and nothing more. All the resources, money, time and people that are spent on trying to save ourselves from one another, could be channelized to grow. And rest assured that growth would be unprecedented.
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel because there is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
We all know that every geographical area has its own resource pool and deficit. But if the world were one could there be any deficit? If you had bread in one hand and butter in the other it is ultimately you who has both. So does the world. So the only way to build a better world is to take the untrodden path of global oneness. People would have no fear to live by and no hatred to weigh them down, just love and mutual brotherhood.
The seeds for progress will be sown not by love for a geographical area but for the entire human race. When we learn to respect the fact that the person on the other side of the border is human too, we will have sustained, clean and moral growth of all. It will instill in us an ability that demands us to fell shame for wrong-doing as much as it demands pride for achievements. We will never have a quiet world until we knock the patriotism out of the human race. Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel because there is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.