During the World Wars, we used to fight openly and hate and bloodshed. Millions ordinary civilians lost their lives in the battlefields. That got exposed over the decades and everyone realized, only losers are people and not the rulers. Rulers thus lost power to engage people into war.
That resulted in Cold Wars era, and all fightings became covert. UN, diplomacy, spy agencies, destabilization, psyop, disinformation, false flag attacks, proxy wars, economic warfare, electronic warfare, etc.
All of that got exposed as well, through time and thanks to the whistleblowers. Rulers started to lose backing of people again, for such covert tactics, for the same objective of fighting. Now, it seems, the establishment is taking the route of overt fighting again, arousing hate and justifying it as a necessary evil, as both overt and covert tactics were exposed in the recent history, going back to overt, since many have forgotten history, and we see people falling for it. The values we learned over the centuries are being brought into debate again: bigotry, racial profiling, intolerance, divide and conquer, world wars on boundaries and nationalism, forced laws, building walls, ethnic cleansing, fighting based on religions, disrespect, fascism, etc.
If you’ve followed the tit-for-tat escalation of India and Pakistan recently, resulting from growing public protest in Kashmir territory, further aggravated by the media, patriotism on both sides of the border got reinvigorated. Thanks to the hate-mongering leadership of India, equally reciprocated by the ultra-nationalists of Pakistan.
If patriotism is genuine, here are simple litmus test questions to prove that:
- 1. Would you throw garbage outside the perceived boundary of your own property (house) or a car or shop or office? Meaning, as if outside your property is enemy territory (not your country). Keep it littered, dusty and insanitary, it doesn’t matter me but my country folks.
- Given a chance, would you flee out of country for good? Majority of the population would probably. Because we aren’t ready for sacrificing our personal or family life, at the expense of correcting issues of the country.
- You cheat everyone everyday, as if they’re your enemy and not Pakistani. You hike prices during Ramazan (holy month), for your fellow nationals, that you boast to die for. Because actually you don’t give a damn about the people.
- You ignore open gutters daily, step on newly carpeted or cemented road, steal street lights and don’t care a bit about public property (which is Pakistan’s property), because it does not belong to you or any other person but Pakistan. And Pakistan mean nothing to you, you let it be.
- You can check our true patriotism, by looking at the condition of government buildings and everything that they use. Their punctuality at work, sense of public service and not doing your job are typical behavior. You consider government job as a free money without doing any work, because you think there’s no one at loss except the country paying you the salary or the damage done is only to Pakistan. Pakistan’s property or money means free property, because we don’t give a damn about Pakistan.
- You vote your feudal lords, in fear of poverty, prosecution and hunger, or you vote based on racism to support your community, disregarding the fact how much that helped the politicians destroy the country. So, without education, we’ve lost our patriotism as well.
I know there are some good, educated and patriotic people left in Pakistan, but majority seems a sad case. So, when majority chants jingoistic slogans in favor of Pakistan and against India, that doesn’t make me feel any happier but scared. Because I know, it’s not driven by the love of your country, but the hate and revenge against others. The most patriotic people would be our army-men, because they can’t survive without it.
That’s why I’m not moved by any such empty rhetoric on either side of the border, trying to rally public hate in the guise of patriotism. It’s same old tactic of hate and fear to garner public support for wars on both sides of the borders. Read my other post (India and Pakistan – War Hysteria), how poor these two countries are and how much they spend on defense for the past 6 decades instead.
Probably, it’s just as they say: ‘Dash bakhth ka nasha’? (from hindi movie)
Education! Education, first, not even patriotism.