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Patriotism and National Pride Essay

Pride (without complacency and with an awareness of imperfections) is important in spurring individuals and a society on to greater achievement. The loss of faith in the achievements of the past, history and traditions can be an important factor in the decline of a culture or a civilization. a sense of national pride and purpose that enables residents in a particular area to rise above the divisions of race, politics, ideology, class and the like. It is patriotism that unites the people and enables them to rise above narrow sectarian and other interests.

A sense of unashamed pride which does not degenerate into jingoism or imperialism is essential for the growth of individuals and the development of a nation. A sense of national pride has spurred achievements in science and technology (the space race), sport and in economic development. Pride in the past and patriotism (within bounds and without complacency) are essential to real human progress. Is Patriotism Dead?

Many of our people will offer no salutes, feel no sense of pride, and pledge no allegiance to the flag. Some will not respond because of indifference or calloused hearts. Others will be working to tear the fabric of our national life to shreds; to worsen, not heal, our sickness; to destroy, not to build; to bring disunity, not unity, to the nation.

For them, patriotism is dead; love of country is archaic. Has the time come for us to abolish what our forefathers created? Has their vision of liberty, justice, and happiness proved unattainable?Are we ready to say that the mythos, the heroes, and the folk tales that have bound us together as a people for almost two hundred years no longer enthrall us? Are we willing to forget our common heritage, dilute our sense of fraternity and destiny, and dissolve the cohesiveness that made us one?

We are faced with grave and challenging problems in our national life. We see many things we dislike, and can point to many injustices that have not yet yielded to truth and righteousness. But even as we acknowledge the defects we cannot forget the victories. The slaves have been freed; universal suffrage has become a reality; startling advances have been made to assure all our people of life and liberty as well as the right to pursue happiness.

Indians need not gloss over the nation’s defects or sweep its failures under the rug. They need not claim that their country is always right. When it is right, they will support it; and when it is wrong, they will love it and work to correct it.The day that patriotism ceases, that day we will have ceased to be a people Patriotism is not dead; our nation is not finished.

Let us rally behind our flag; let us love our country with all its faults; let us work to improve it with all our strength; let usdefend it with all our resources; let us hand it on to generations unborn better than it was when we received it; let us instill in our children the hope of our forefathers for the ultimate fulfillment of their dreams. But above all, let us tell them that the greatness of America lies not simply in the achievement of the ideal but in the unrelenting pursuit of it

The feel of patriotism
The nation celebrated its 60th year Independence recently. one can see the visual medium rolling out exclusive shorts as a mark of tribute to the heroes who fought for our Independence. It was a summit of sort, when one could see most of the big names summon together to play or sing the National Anthem. The minute one sees that visual, it is definite he/she could feel something happening within themselves. A look at the majestic flag gives a feeling that we are the citizens of the Independent India.

For a second one could feel all the struggles, trials and tribulations our leaders in the past have undergone to obtain it. I was one among those who felt very proud that I am a citizen of Independent India and I was able to feel a sense of pride when I just took a look at the flag. But, my mind paused for a second to think how many of us are really patriotic? only a handful was the answer. Are the schools imparting enough amount of patriotism into the minds of the young ones during their school days.

For the little ones, Independene day means nothing but a public holiday and a few choclates given at their schools once the flag is hoisted. Beyond that, do the teachers feed the kids with the required information on freedom stuggle and the pioneers who fought for it? Nope. I felt sorry when a kid, pointing out to the portrait of a poet, whose writings worked wonders for the freedom struggle, asked who that man was? This is not a joke to laugh at but a matter to think about.

Neither the teachers nor the elders at home make an effort to teach the young ones about those great leaders who were responsible for our Independence. Another incident in the bus in which I was travelling made me feel why on the first place we got Independence. The military rule suits us best. A man was smoking inside the bus, and a few women including myself, showed our objection for that. His immediate reply was, what is this? This is Independent India and I am not allowed to smoke here?

This is strange! This is just a small dose of such incidents happening on a daily basis. everyone is sure to come across such incidents or characters. It is saddening to note that the world is heading towards destruction with such characters roaming about in the public. when will we get the sense of patriotism and realise the struggles underwent to obtain freedom is a million-dollar question. If this situation persists, it will not be shocking if the younger ones ask who is the father of the nation and who is Jawaharlal Nehru? what a plight that would descend on the Nation then?

The structure of patriotism
Every social group has its own notions of loyalty. The institution of family embeds loyalty to the family as a social group. When a son and his wife and children separate from the rest of the family or when brothers divide their property, the neighborhood reacts with sorrow and not glee. Caste associations emphasize the benefits which come from an active participation and cooperation between different members of the same caste. Tribal groups, too, emphasize similar benefits from collaboration.

The notion of patriotism is different from such forms of group loyalty. The difference lies in its close affinity with the state. Patriotism is not based upon kinship or of shared descent like in families, castes and tribes. Patriotism is based upon the idea of a nation and its central institution, the state.Patriotism in modern India is thus qualitatively different from the love of one’s community that was to be seen in ancient and medieval India. Its relation to one’s country has changed with the change in the social structure of the state and the nation. To a great extent the pre-modern states and countries were based upon the rule of one or a few social groups.

The Gupta period was dominated by the Guptas and their kindred and allies. The Mughals saw the domination of the Mughal biradari, and their supporters who included the Turks, the Iranians and several other groups like the Rajputs. Modern India is based upon the ideology of equality of all. While there continue to be several hangovers of the past to be seen today, the basic character of the state and the nation have changed.

Modern India is based upon the idea that all its citizens are equal and that its rulers represent the will of not just a few, but all of the different communities that make up this country.

This nation is based upon different foundations than most of those which went before it. Its legitimacy lies in its being able to satisfy its various component communities that their interests will be safeguarded by the Indian state. Irrespective of the religion, caste, community, sex of the individual, the state is supposed to represent each and every of them. The modern nation has its appeal because of its being able to mediate between and reconcile often conflicting interests. The state is considered legitimate when it speaks with the same voice to all.

It is the coming together of so many diverse groups which lends strength to the country. The strength of India lies in its being able to weld together a large and heterogeneous populace into a common force. Any country in modern times which seeks to progress and develop must find ways of attracting and retaining the loyalty of its constituent groups. In modern nations this is done by everybody voting to select their rulers and the creation of a bureaucracy based on selection through merit.

A modern state, with its universal appeal to its people, has many advantages over the older kinds of nationhood and statehood, with their sectional support bases. The universalistic modern state is what the most powerful countries of the world have. It is through this social form that resources
are used most efficiently and the diverse forces of a country focussed for the benefit of everybody. Patriotism in a modern country cannot be created on the basis of ideas that appeal to only partisan groups or some sections of society. The naked use of force to coerce acceptance of the nation is not a characteristic of a society based on reason and democracy. The content of patriotism in a modern country

The transformed structure of patriotism leads to a change in the content of what patriotism would mean in everyday practice. Modern patriotism and nationhood is based upon symbols that all can share. By definition this excludes symbols that pit religion against religion.

Patriotism in a modern country must be expressed through universal symbols. These are all around us and yet are ignored. The streets of a neighborhood are a truer symbol of nationhood than a place of worship. They are used by all and paid for by the contributions of all. Yet, they remain filthy while people pool money to build distant places of worship.

When universal symbols are not altogether ignored here, they are attacked by all kinds of distortions. The symbols of the rich are enthroned as the symbols of the entire nation. The tragedy of the many poor who have been thrown out of their homes by big dams does not arouse us. The tragedy of the middle-class Kashmiri Pandits who were forced to leave their homes does.

The latter are called refugees in their own homeland. The dispossessed adivasis and rural poor who did not have relatives that they could flee to in Delhi do not attract national sympathy. Nor do the Kashmiri Muslims who had to flee Kashmir, in spite of their outnumbering the Kashmiri Pandits.

Clearly we are still in the process of moving towards modern nationhood. The model of modernity which Indians must aspire towards cannot be the same as that in the West. We are far too heterogeneous to ever become the kind of nation which fascist Germany once aspired to be. And our forms of production are still not capitalistic enough to become the kind of melting pot of identities which the USA was.

We must define our own modernity. That universal framework of Indian reason must be the framework through which our nationhood and patriotism must be defined. It must be a patriotism which seeks with Gandhiji the happiness of the poorest of the poor as the index of our national development. It must be a patriotism which sees the freedom of the smallest of the minorities as the index of our social development.

It must be a patriotism which comes into action every day, through a conscience that sees lying to customers, exploiting labourers, cheating on tax, paying bribes, adding sand to cement, oppressing the poor, paying obeisance to the powerful, all these daily acts of betrayal of the people as treason.

Every secular space in a modern country teaches a lesson of patriotism. But school education is a special area for our concern. It is here where most young people come together crossing the old boundaries of religion and caste. It is here where the new nation is being constructed. That makes it even more necessary to be cautious about the introduction of religious values in schools.

The kind of values which we seek must be in tune with the universal appeal of our country. Where the values being taught emphasize freedom of thought and truths that are shared by all and not just a few. The modern idea of India is about equality and the transcendence of social barriers, not about narrow dividing walls. It is high time that we rethought our school experience to try and create a land where the patriot is she who risks her life to protect an unknown stranger, and where the traitor is he who kills his friend in the name of his god.

Pride (without complacency and with an awareness of imperfections) is important in spurring individuals and a society on to greater achievement. The loss of faith in the achievements of the past, history and traditions can be an important factor in the decline of a culture or a civilization. a sense of national pride and purpose that enables residents in a particular area to rise above the divisions of race, politics, ideology, class and the like. It is patriotism that unites the people and enables them to rise above narrow sectarian and other interests.

A sense of unashamed pride which does not degenerate into jingoism or imperialism is essential for the growth of individuals and the development of a nation. A sense of national pride has spurred achievements in science and technology (the space race), sport and in economic development. Pride in the past and patriotism (within bounds and without complacency) are essential to real human progress. Is Patriotism Dead?

Many of our people will offer no salutes, feel no sense of pride, and pledge no allegiance to the flag. Some will not respond because of indifference or calloused hearts. Others will be working to tear the fabric of our national life to shreds; to worsen, not heal, our sickness; to destroy, not to build; to bring disunity, not unity, to the nation. For them, patriotism is dead; love of country is archaic.

Has the time come for us to abolish what our forefathers created? Has their vision of liberty, justice, and happiness proved unattainable?

Are we ready to say that the mythos, the heroes, and the folk tales that have bound us together as a people for almost two hundred years no longer enthrall us? Are we willing to forget our common heritage, dilute our sense of fraternity and destiny, and dissolve the cohesiveness that made us one?

We are faced with grave and challenging problems in our national life. We see many things we dislike, and can point to many injustices that have not yet yielded to truth and righteousness. But even as we acknowledge the defects we cannot forget the victories. The slaves have been freed; universal suffrage has become a reality; startling advances have been made to assure all our people of life and liberty as well as the right to pursue happiness.Indians need not gloss over the nation’s defects or sweep its failures under the rug. They need not claim that their country is always right. When it is right, they will support it; and when it is wrong, they will love it and work to correct it.

The day that patriotism ceases, that day we will have ceased to be a people Patriotism is not dead; our nation is not finished. Let us rally behind our flag; let us love our country with all its faults; let us work to improve it with all our strength; let us defend it with all our resources; let us hand it on to generations unborn better than it was when we received it; let us instill in our children the hope of our forefathers for the ultimate fulfillment of their dreams. But above all, let us tell them that the greatness of America lies not simply in the achievement of the ideal but in the unrelenting pursuit of it.


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