Guiding Light: Importance Of Symbols Of Patriotism

Guiding Light: Importance Of Symbols Of Patriotism

Swami Brahmavidananda SaraswatiUpdated: Thursday, August 17, 2023, 10:44 PM IST
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Our Independence Day was celebrated with pomp, grandeur and detractors saying that it is a waste of money. These are not unnecessary activities but an outward expression of our patriotism and commitment to the country. Are such external symbols necessary? Definitely! A lot of our life is based on symbolism. Why do you keep a photograph of your parents or your family in your purse/wallet? Since there is love in your heart there is no need for all these things, one may argue.

When I was in school, flag hoisting was a grand event. As scouts, we would march all over town to the sound of bugles and drums carrying the national flag. The national anthem would be regularly played in movie theatres and everyone respected it. The government decided a few decades ago that all these external symbols were not necessary and stopped many functions, except for cursory flag hoisting in schools. Even the national anthem in movie theatres was stopped. An interesting fallout happened.

They found that they were not getting enough officers for the armed forces. There is a direct connection between lack of patriotism and less enrolment. So, they restarted the whole thing. The detractors refused to stand up for the national anthem saying that the high court's ruling says that it is optional. However, when a high court judge enters the room, they insist that everyone has to stand up, but you don't have to stand up for the national anthem. Tragic.

A country like ours surrounded by all types of enemies and some internal ones cannot afford to not have patriotic citizens. It is the patriotic citizens that really build up the nation. I am not saying that one cannot leave the country for better prospects abroad. But ask - what can you do for your country, even if earning a livelihood abroad, with a citizenship of foreign countries for practical purposes?. Without patriotism we can never build a great nation. Hope you see the importance of our symbols and practices of patriotism and happily practice these not only on 15th August but throughout the year.

The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at aarshavidyaf@gmail.com

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