Why I Won't Die For My Nation

No one could've put it better than the man who wrote our national anthem. (Pic credits: azquotes.com)

Just the other day, I was having a conversation with my friend about how we contribute nothing towards our country, compared to our soldiers. And how we don't even show empathy towards the people who do it. He was sort of right. I've always wondered what I've done for my country. And the answer remains the same, every time. Nothing. I've done nothing worthwhile for my nation.

But in an era of globalization, nationalism is a very vague term. In fact, I'll go a step ahead and put it more bluntly. Nationalism subtly induces hatred in our minds regarding people whom we've never met and interacted with. Before you jump to conclusions, calling me an anti-national, I'd like to tell you that I do love my country from the bottom of my heart. But keeping prejudices and personal biases aside, I'd like to express some ideas on this amorphous concept of nationalism.

Don't make the mistake of confusing patriotism with nationalism. There's a very fine line between patriotism and nationalism. Patriotism is a very broad notion. Real patriotism is not only about taking pride in the achievements of the country but also about being able to criticize your nation when needed. Whereas, nationalism is a narrow concept. A true nationalist will always take pride in his nation and defend it, to their grave. Always. Even when the actions of his country are questionable on humanitarian levels. In much simpler terms, let's consider Hitler. He's a classic example of a true nationalist. He was so blinded by his love for Germany that even genocide and mass murders were justifiable in his perspective.

Nationalism generally makes us sardonic towards people of different race. Immigrants as we call them. People often whine about how immigrants take away their jobs. Frankly speaking, if a guy who can't even speak your language comes and takes away your job; then sorry to say this my friend but you're a loser of humongous magnitude! There's no other plausible explanation. Hating other people and countries isn't patriotism. It's about loving your nation.

Recently, there's also this collective outrage against Pakistani artists. I feel one should never mix art and politics. It's an insult to humanity. I'm not saying we shouldn't respond at all. The vile and cowardly act of killing 18 of our soldiers shouldn't go unpunished. Although, bringing a pen to a sword fight is downright absurd, no matter how ingenious it may seem. I accept that violence is never the answer. But when it all boils down to defending your dignity, the best course of action is tit for tat. Reviewing the Indus Waters Treaty will be a major blow to them. Desperate times often call for desperate measures.

Now, coming to the question of why I won't die for my nation. It's because I don't consider myself worthy enough for this noble gesture. In order to die for your nation you need to selflessly love your nation. Just like a mother loves her child. And I don't think I can love my nation or anyone in general, to such an extent! Frankly, I'm not capable of it. All those who're seeking the definition of true love, ask a soldier. He'll tell what true love means. I'm a very cynical person. Cynics and skeptics never make great patriots. Unless you're someone of the caliber of Rabindranath Tagore.

To be honest, I find it very difficult to digest the fact that there is a guy who's laying down his precious life to protect some ignorant prick, who's comfortably lying on his couch, watching television, stuffing nachos in his belly and who doesn't even give a damn about it; who doesn't even care. Seems pretty unfair to me.

If you look at it from a broader perspective, real wars are never fought on the battlefield. Real wars are fought in a closed boardroom full of political chaps, wealthy economists and armchair thinkers. Who discuss the strategy over a round table conference and seal the fate of these soldiers over a cup of coffee. And for them, sometimes, losing a war on the battlefield is just a small step towards victory in the boardroom. Whereas, soldiers are an epitome of bravery, nobility and dignity. They aren't ordinary beings. For them, all that matters is the well being of their nation. Their love for their motherland is unparalleled. For them, the fear of losing on the battlefield is much greater than the fear of death itself! It's almost impossible to imbibe all these qualities within you. I don't think I possess even a single one of them.
That's the reason my friends, I won't die for my nation. However, I can try my best to live for it!

As the great Bhagat Singh once said, "Lovers, lunatics and poets are made of same stuff."
It also happens to be this legend's birthday today. The one who taught us that the sword of revolution is sharpened on the whetting stone of ideas. Also that bullets do not have the power to kill an idea! I'd like to write on the notion of revolution, but maybe some other day.

I've always been a hopeless romantic fool, who believes in the delusion of perpetual peace. But the world doesn't seem to agree with this delusion.

From John Lennon to John Kennedy. The world has always hated people who talk sense.

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters had written the folowing lines in the song 'Us And Them'
Unfortunately, he himself had lost his father in a war, when he was just a five month old baby...

"Forward!", he cried from the rear,
And the front rank died.
And the General sat,
And the lines on the map,
moved from side to side..."
 Till then, adios!


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