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Patriotism Is Not Nationalism

Mar 12, 2011 1:39:06 PM - thesundayleader.lk

This is in response to “Sri Lankans Have To Support Sri Lanka?” published in The Sunday Leader last week. So you would heat your seat for eight long hours cheering for a team that is fighting for the so-called national pride and call it patriotism! Should it not be that patriotism reflects in contributing constructively to the community, especially in times of crisis and loving our brother as we love ourselves? Neither watching cricket nor cheering for our homeland is a crime, but when it becomes the yardstick to measure one’s patriotism, it calls for scrutiny and humour.
Most often than not patriotism being connected to sports and war is just appalling. Why can’t your patriotism reflect on constructive contribution towards your nation? Why can’t you express it by bringing the perpetrators of Lasantha’s killing to justice? How can you be an Ambassador of patriotism when you have issued a demolition order against the homes of hundreds of your fellow citizens? The very regime that incarcerated the ex-patriotic General Fonseka, their partner in crime, calls for its civilians to stand by its nation at a time of what? All for the sake of our profligate ‘national pride.’
A passport or an unaccountable birth in some strange land does not call for patriotism. It is what that nation offers its people that determines their love and awe for it.
When the leaders of the nation are the worst role models of patriotism, when they decide to act otherwise by neglecting their brethren, looking down upon them as insignificant creatures while they drive through VVIP areas in their civilian sponsored Audis and Defenders, you don’t expect anything better from their fellow citizens.
A handful of Muslims do not represent the masses. Not even our corrupted Muslim politicians. Patriotism cannot be shoved down the throats and most importantly hoisting our national flag does not necessarily imply that we would die for the nation.
Abu Nana