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Tuesday, 1 September 2015
Patriotism Beyond Communalism
With the Indian tricolour fluttering everywhere from the Red Fort to the neighbourhood school to the bonnet of a swanky Mercedes to a hand-pulled rickshaw, patriotism seems to know no barrier. However, with vested interests trying to pit patriotism against religion and vice versa, the innate feeling of national pride is under siege of manipulation.
If one end of the spectrum is hell-bent on coercing every Indian to wear the badge of patriotism on his/her sleeves, the other will remind its constituency that their religious allegiance take precedence over national loyalty.
The voice of the sane patriot is lost in the cacophony of 'Go to Pakistan if your religion doesn't allow you to prostrate to Mother India' and 'Our religion doesn't allow idolatry in the name of patriotism'.
Have we allowed the fanatical elements to communalise patriotism? Have they been successful in setting up a conflict of allegiance between the two most important domains of one's identity?