A word we would hear atleast once everyday. Patriotism is subjected to a strong emotion and love towards your country. When most of us think of patriotic people the first thing that flashes in our mind are the armed forces, the Army, Navy and the Airforce. Then may be the freedom fighters who helped our country attain independence. Well this is great, these people are the epitome of patriotism but it doesn’t end there.

There as always been much talk about patriotism being seen as a property of a citizen that can be measured by his deeds. If you know and sing the national anthem everyday, you are a patriotic person. If you know the names and birthdays of the freedom fighters, you love your country. If you know who or what our national bird/animal/symbol/sport etc etc is then you are worthy of being called a citizen of the country. Is that all true? Knowing all this is a great thing. But if you don’t, does that put a question mark on your loyalty towards the nation? Is there a dictionary or encyclopedia that you can read up and some examination you have to go through to prove your dedication for the country?

Well, I don’t think so. A Country is not just about the army and the leaders who attend the parliament sittings everyday. Please don’t get me wrong, they are very important but they do not define the lives of everybody else in the nation. A person who works hard breaking stones in a factory or construction site and feeds his family is a patriotic person. He might father a son/daughter one day who would I am sure he would send to the best school possible and they would in turn be the pilots and engineers of the future. He is helping the nation grow and that’s patriotism.

This holds true for every common man, celebrity, business man, writer, musician just about anyone who has a skill. A Skill that can be used to destroy people’s lives but he chooses to use it to improve theirs. Even an NRI who has never been to India since may be a decade is a patriotic person because he does great work in a foreign country and represents our country there. Our presidents might meet once in a year but he reaches out to numerous people and is seen as a citizen of a particular country who is so far away from home but still chooses his profession to improve people’s lives. People who are no where related to him. That’s patriotism.

You don’t have to take a bullet down your throat to prove that you love your country. A Simple gesture in your daily life is enough to do that. It doesn’t matter what your religion is or which caste you belong to. What matters is that you are there when the nation needs you. You are true to what you do and continue doing it without harming anyone. If we all do this I don’t think we would ever need the army.