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  • Aksharaa Korrakuti

Can You FEEL India?

What is patriotism? Is it striving to achieve more? To bring the country that gave birth to us glory? Is it simply the feeling of respect towards the national flag and the national anthem or the feeling of gratitude that we feel when we pray for our brave soldiers? Simply defined, Patriotism is the feeling of love, devotion, and sense of attachment to one's country. It can be the passion with which you speak your mother tongue, the joy with which you celebrate festivals of culture or the determination with which you represent your country.

However, patriotism alone does not define the powerful feeling of love that resonates within India's borders; the feeling of respect for one's countrymen that gave us independent India as she stands today. That is described as Nationalism. It is the feeling of oneness within a community, which is the true essence of Indian culture. The special bond shared between all the people of India who grew up with tales of Krishna, Ram, Sita, Muhammad and Jesus, the same intoxicating culture celebrated with Diwali, Eid, Christmas, Bihu, Ganesh Chaturthi and more, and the same respect felt for our elders. It is this very feeling of nationalism that led renowned freedom fighters such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Dadabhai Naoroji and Raja Rammohun Roy to strive for the development of India, even as we were crushed under British rule. It took this feeling of love for one's religion and culture to spread among the India sepoys of the British army for the first ever war of independence to begin. It is a feeling that incites, evokes, and angers us, all at the same time.

Today’s generation sometimes forgets the true meaning behind patriotism or nationalism. We view it as something we all must feel, as a responsibility. As something that is forced onto us at a young age. However, if we were to peer into the minds of the youth almost 200 years ago, these feelings were a privilege. They were felt with pride and resolve coursing through their veins, determination to make India a free country overcoming everything else. To recreate that feeling, on this 75th Independence Day, our respected Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji has honoured India through the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign which urges people to hoist the Tiranga in their homes. Effortless yet impactful, “the idea behind the campaign is to connect with the masses and infuse a sense of nationalism and patriotism” says Financial Express. As we come close to celebrating the 100th Independence Day of our beautiful country, we must continue to follow the same strategies that nationalists used back in the 1850’s to inspire feelings of nationalism and look back at our rich culture of sacrifice, will power and strength. We must feel India! How? By sustaining the importance of freedom in our minds, faith in our words and pride in our souls.

Jai Hind!

United we stand, Divided we fall!

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