What is the meaning of India? What is the meaning of patriotism? We are taught in school to love our country, to be patriotic. That 'spirit' is instilled in all of us from a very young age. I don't recall a single person telling me what constitutes 'loving your country'. There are many viewpoints that I've come across, including,
-> Protecting the heritage and culture of the country is love for the country
-> Protecting the spread of foreign influences is love for the country
-> Shooting down (figuratively) people who criticise India is love for the country
-> Preserving local languages is love for the country
You get the drift. The problem is, I can't seem to agree with any of this. I don't really care for India's culture and heritage. I don't care so much for languages. I do argue with people who unnecessarily criticise the country, but I agree that this country is deeply flawed. I'm all for the spread of foreign influences. Do I hate India? I don't think so. I just can't figure out what it is about India that I love. There is so much cynicism everywhere. So much 'chalta hai'. So much 'it's somebody else's problem'. What do I love? I don't really know. I do know that it is a hopeless, unyielding love. But why?
I have no answers. Until I do, maybe I'll look at the lakhs of people who died for the idea of India. I don't know what their ideas were. But whatever they were, they were worth dying for. While I look for my own idea, maybe I'll manage with the fact there were once ideas worth dying for.