Patriotism is love and devotion for one’s country. A true patriot is an unselfish lover of his country. His sincere desire is to serve its best interests in all ways possible to him. He feels proud of his country. However, he is not blind to its faults simply because he loves it. He does not hesitate to expose its sins, denounce its abuses and if he thinks it necessary, criticise its policy. He is more anxious that his nation should be right than that it should be powerful.
A true patriot while he loves his own country first, he loves other nations too and gladly recognises their virtues and achievements. He tries to imbibe all the good things of others. He cultivates internation friendship and he opposes war. However, in case of war, he will be the first to fight for his land and will willingly sacrifice his life for its defence. Such patriotism is one of the noblest virtues.
Our great leaders like Lokmanya Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose and Many others all were great stalwarts of freedom struggle and great patriots.
Subhash chandra Bose stands apart in showing his unflinching love for the freedom of our country. He laid down his career of an I.C.S. Officer to achieve this goal and led the freedom struggle from a foreign land. ‘Jai Hind’ is the golden slogan that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose had given to the nation. The chant of ‘Jai Hind’ inspires each and every Indian. Pandit Nehru carried this slogan to every nook and corner of India. Today this slogan has become a symbol of our unity and strength.
Earlier, Bhagat Singh, one of the greatest patriots of our country, was the first to raise the slogan of ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ which later became the war cry of the freedom struggle. Bhagat Singh was hanged with his fellow patriots Raj Guru and Sukhdev sacrifice to achieve freedom for our country.
Sardar Bhagat Singh inspired the whole nation and roused their spirits till they woke up to the reality and a huge movement was built for getting freedom from the unwilling hands of the Britishers.
Great patriots were born to smash the shackels that continued binding India. They rose like a storm and sacrificed themselves at the altar of freedom. They died but they have become immortal.
These patriots instilled a new spirit and a new hope in the minds of country men and they became fearless and fought against the British and won freedom.
Mahatma gandhi was a great patriot and martyr. He led the freedom struggle at a very crucial hour. He gave it a new direction and roused people by his new concept of freedom struggle. He gave inimitable weapons of non- violence, non- ccoperation and Satyagraha. His struggle was though non- violence baffled the Britishers also. They were wonder- struck at the spirit of sacrifice shown by the innumerable, unknown patriots who suffered untold misery at the hands of the British rulers.
They carried on their peaceful revolt under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi without caring for their personal comforts and safety. The day finally arrived when the British had to free India. Indians showed that the greatness of a nation depends not on the large number of its inhabitants, nor on the strength of its Armed Forces but on the moral character and true patriotism of its citizens.
These days the word ‘patriotism’has been misused to cover the most selfish and narrow gains of individuals who rule us. India is the Largest Democratic Country in the world. But we must admit that our country has not yet been fully developed. While it is trying to be progressive, yet, on the other hand, we find corruption and other social evils prevaling.
‘False Patriotism’ has raised its ugly head. ‘False Patriotism’ is the enlarged selfishness and a narrowed nationalism. False Patriotism’ is the enlarged selfishness and a narrowed nationalism. False patriots do not really care for the true interests of their nation, they just act to grind their own axe. They just act to grind their own axe. They use patriotism for their mean personal greed. They create such an image that people can’t make out the wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are not cut out to sacrifice anything for the sake of the country. On the contrary, they exploit the masses and harm the country in the long run.
However, a man who truly loves his country will go all out to make any sacrifice and put service before self.
Therefore, we must think about our country and serve our Motherland with true devotion. The lives of great patriots should inspire us. Let us learn the lofty principles of life from the lives of great men and patriots. The welfare of our country should be our first concern. In the end bear in mind:
“After what I owe to God, nothing should
Be more dear or more sacred than the love
And respect I owe to my country.”