Patriotism

Taken from my old blog, dated January 7, 2012

 

This has been something I have had in my mind for a while. Is there really need for us to have Nations, and sharply delineated boundaries and the associated paraphernalia? Why is Patriotism so important? I understand this is a minority view, but before you start your counter arguments, do hear me out. 
 
Nations, and governing units, are essential for two things. We derive a certain national identity from them, and of course, these are needed for efficient governance and regulation. My question is, have we let these convenience lines become restrictive lines? Is it not time to release the restrictions, and encourage free movement? Perhaps not, but we should think about it. 
 
India is a very good system to study this particular problem. We have a diversity that rivals the whole of Europe, all bound together by common laws. We have [in letter, if not exactly in spirit in some parts of our country] freedom of movement and trade throughout the country. No one can deny that India is made up of hundreds of different cultures and subcultures. Why cant we derive our identity from our cultures, our languages? Why do we need an additional layer of Identity, that of a Nation? 
 
Patriotism. What is it? Love for my country and countrymen. It is such a restrictive and artificial concept! If you are going to love your fellow men, why limit it to only those few who are born within these artificially drawn lines? Why not love all of humanity? Or better yet, be ambient to other people, and love those who share a common culture with you. That is not necessarily only and all of your countrymen, is it? We are drummed with the “LOVE YOUR COUNTRY” mantra in school, and along with many other concepts introduced at that impressionable age, accept it without question. I did so too, a little too wholeheartedly some could argue. Only recently have i re-evaluated my beliefs and principles, and realised, I don’t really need to love all Indians. It is not wrong to think that you don’t really share that many common things with all the billion plus people who inhabit this country. Sure, you do share a few things. This sharing could be flexible, though. Not restrictive and constrictive as that particular inciting idea, Patriotism!
 
Indian punjabis, and Pakistani punjabis share a lot of common cultural elements than say a punjabi and a madrasi. As do all bengalis, eastern and western [or poschimis :D] . 
 
Here is an idea. Not feasible in today’s time at all, but feels good to think about. Why not have governance just on the basis of economies? Resources are distributed all over the world. Cultures have arisen primarily [among other things] on the basis of trade and local environment. Let open borders facilitate this trade of goods and ideas [and people?], let governance be the sole purpose of political boundaries. Lets Identify ourselves with our culture, language and heritage and yes, trade and not with boundaries set in stone. 
 
 
I understand there are many problems with this idea. One being that of Laws and regulations, and who decides. Another being that we have inbuilt tendencies to covet and acquire pieces of land with maximum resources, and many more. This is just a naive idea, in LaLaland, which leads to low fighting, and more development 🙂
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