Patriotism means the love for one’s country. My country right or wrong is the motto of a patriot. Patriotism gas created heroes out of men of mud. Inspired by this powerful feeling, many have won fame and glory for themselves and their country. History tells us that all through, it has been a strong commenting force. It has made men rise above provincialism and casteism and sacrifice their own narrow interest for the sake of their country. In has given rise to nationalism. Patriots have lived for their country, fought for their country, and died for their country.
Nationalism encourages love for one’ own motherland. It removes the sense of selfishness and narrowness and inspires the feeling of heroism and sacrifice among the people for the achievement of common ideals. Nationalism also encourages a healthy sprit of fellow-felling among people and help preserve ‘unity amidst diversity’. The nation thus makes progress in every direction.
Indeed, love for one’s country is a good thing. But nationalism becomes an evil when it gives rise to hatred for other countries. Such fanatical patriotism has been the root cause of modern wars. Many are the crimes that have been committed in it name. Pride in one’s own country has often give rise to a feeling of one’s won superiority as compared to the people of other countries. Nationalists have often looked down upon others. They have often considered themselves to be the chosen people of God, whose mission was to civilize other peoples and nations. Thus nationalism has given rise to patriots run mad. They caused the second world war and so much misery and suffering to humanity. They symbolize the evils of nationalism. In recent times, nationalism has made the Chinese aggressive and violent.
Patriotism might have been useful and necessary in the nineteenth century, but it is certainly not enough in the present day world. Owning to the swift means of communication invented by science, the globe has shrunk and the entire world has become like one big family. All humanity is one today. National barriers have broken down and the world has become like a big bazaar in which man moves about buying and selling with perfect ease. Nationalism has outlived its day, love for one’s own country must now be replaced by love for the world. We are no longer Indian or Chinese, but citizens of the world.
Patriotism may be good, but it is certainly not enough today. It must be replaced by internationalism. While loving the good in our own country, we must also love what is good in others. The view of the poet Kipling, that East and West can never meet, no longer holds true. Increased contacts are resulting in greater appreciation of the cultures and ways of living of each other. The two-the East and the West are now co-operating and working together in number of fields. They are learning much from each other. Mutual trust and confidence has increased and a number of treaties regarding the reduction and banning of chemical and nuclear weapons have been signed by the two super-powers. Russia and America have been drawing closer, slowly but steadily. All these facts indicate that they would come closer together still with the passing of time. The two have already met and their meeting is good for the future of mankind. Internationalism means world peace and prosperity for mankind; narrow nationalism is bound to lead to total destruction.