Patriotism is defined as being vigorously supportive of one’s country, believing strongly and striving to uphold the said country’s values and beliefs. It is love for one’s motherland. So the question arises, can and should you be forced to love your own country? Can the Supreme Court or for that matter the government force people to prove their love for their country?
Playing the National Anthem in movie theaters is a prime example of how these mandated displays pf patriotism compromise the freedom of expression the Indian Constitution guarantees all its citizens. While it’s true that a certain love for one’s country should be present in every citizen, dictating how to be a patriot defeats the purpose. Let people be skeptical, let them question the government. A critical public is an intelligent public, it sustains the republic. Let people interpret nationalism their way. Let India breathe.
A true patriot does not blindly gloss over their country’s flaws. They don’t get offended when someone points out the truth. They don’t get wounded when a disabled person is unable to stand up for the Anthem. If you truly love your country, set out to correct its flaws.
Promote gender equality. It is ironic that the most common slogan used is ‘Bharat Mata’ while the women are treated as second class citizens and their rights regularly violated. Protect the environment, practice religious harmony and above all, acknowledge dissent. Don’t shove love down people’s throats, the democracy will choke.