Essay On Patriotism and Nationalism
Patriotism means love of one’s country. Patriotism is a common virtue. There is hardly any one who does not love his country. If there is, he is not fit to be alive. Sir Walter Scott says that such a man will die “Unwept, unhonoured and unsung.”
One who is patriotic will be ready to make any sacrifice for his country. He will never live selfishly for himself alone. A soldier for Instance makes the supreme sacrifice of his life for the sake of his country. Great men like Gandhi, Nehru, Bose and others are famous for their patriotism, it was their patriotism which made them carry on the national struggle for independence. They made many sacrifices but never gave up the struggle for freedom.
One can be a patriot by keeping a proper image of one’s country before the eyes of foreigners. A patriot will never do anything to lower his country in the eyes of others. He will never run down his country or criticise his government before foreigners. He will try to project the best image of his country when he comes into contact with people of other lands.
Patriotism is not the same as nationalism, though a patriot may also be a nationalist. The famous poet Rabindranath Tagore, himself a great patriot, said that patriotism is more important than nationalism. A patriot loves his own country, but he does not hate the people of other countries.
A nationalist might consider his own nation important and may or may not hate the people of other nations. A patriot is international in his outlook. He is broad-minded and tolerant. He is a citizen of the world. A nationalist may be narrow-minded. He may think in terms of his own country and may hate all those who are not his countrymen. So patriotism is preferable to nationalism. But both may be considered the two sides of a same coin.