Patriotism or national pride is the feeling of love, devotion and sense of attachment to a homeland and alliance with other citizens who share the same sentiment. This attachment can be a combination of many different feelings relating to one’s own homeland, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects. It suggests robust support for that country. This term has been under a lot of scrutiny in recent times and often we have seen people grossly misuse it. Now, in our beautiful country, only those people who praise the country unconditionally and think that our nation is above criticism are considered to Patriots and the rest are labelled as Anti-Nationals (or are quite simply called Pakistanis).
I love MY country. Does that mean I should never criticize our nation or our government? NO. In fact, patriots should be the harshest of critics when it comes to the way their nation is being run. This is because the criticism comes from a place of hope, not one of despair.
Patriots criticize and question because they know their nation can be better. Constructive criticism (you criticize to help BASED ON FACTS – to motivate someone, because you have a solution to offer). In fact your patriotism is questionable if you don’t give whole hearted reviews of the ills of your country because no country is perfect.
Loving the country you live in doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Pointing out those imperfections, criticizing the status quo, working toward making things better, those aren’t the kinds of things that qualify someone as an “Anti-National.” Patriotism is complex, demanding commitment and support. But it also obligates its citizenry to openly discuss and discern between good and poorly conceived, right and wrong.
You can be a patriot ONLY when you are level-headed enough to criticize your country. Imagine if your teachers always gave you full marks regardless of your understanding of the topic or what you wrote in the test. You would be woefully underprepared for what comes next.
I think being a patriot requires you to be critically thinking in order to embrace change for the better. Being critical of your country would not hinder your patriotism; rather, it could aid you to improve your country as noticing mistakes within your country could help you repair those mistakes. As such, one could conclude that you could critique your country as well as being a patriot; finding problems and, in turn, solutions to those problems can aid you to improve your country and make you a better patriot.
At times of crisis, it seems appropriate to be passionately supportive. But there are times when this devotion is overextended, appearing purely self-centred, too focused and often quite simply unnecessary. Blindly criticizing your country without coming up with feasible solutions to overcome your critique would make it harder for you to be a patriot; listing problems with your country without finding a solution to them is pointless in nature.
We should criticize this country frequently and even invite other people to do so because I care about it. We should aim that our country becomes a true world leader in freedom. It’s not that currently, but it can be. I think that seeing faults in your country and not acknowledging them is more harmful than wanting flaws to be smoothed out. Turning a blind eye to your country’s faults makes you ignorant, not a patriot. We see the flaws, so we should be committed to pursuing improvement and enabling the potential in our nation. But no matter my personal dismay and apprehension, I remain a dedicated Indian Citizen proud of the country I belong to.