Patriotism means in essence, the love of one’s own country. An individual citizen who loves his country and is loyal to it at all cost, even at the cost of his own life is, a patriot. A patriot is one who is always willing to sacrifice all that belongs to him at the altar of his country. This is the measure of patriot’s extreme love for his country and in common terms it is called patriotism. India has seen a spate of several patriots in the early decades of the 20th century. When the motherland was writhing in pain under foreign rule, these patriots took birth and helped the country to come out of the wilderness of foreign domination. They sacrificed their lives, their pleasures, their families at the altar of freedom for their motherland from the shackles of foreign rule.

In Oct, 1930, Jawaharlal Nehru, from the Nainital Prison, wrote to his dear daughter, Indira thus, “We have India’s honour in our keeping, and that honour is a sacred trust”. Keeping the honour and the name of the country ‘ever high and ever flying’ is the fundamental duty of every citizen. A nation can leap forward only if its citizens are patriotic who are ready to live and die for their motherland. Basically, it is putting national feelings above personal feelings and national concerns above personal gains. It is living and dying for one’s motherland. It is the deep fervour coupled with the spirit of working for the advancement of one’s country.

The spirit of patriotism is not merely a noble sentiment within the heart. If it is so, then it is only sham patriotism. True patriotism calls for certain concrete actions and external expressions. First and foremost, it requires offering our valuable services when national integrity and independence is threatened by external forces or neighbours. It demands offering material and moral support in the fight for national freedom.

Patriotism does not always mean that you have to sacrifice your life for your country; contributing good service towards the country and its people is also equivalent to your sacrifice. Mathunny Mathews has set a great example of patriotism. Mathunny Mathews was an Indian, a resident in Kuwait, and was one of the people credited with the safe airlift evacuation of about 1, 70,000 Indians from Kuwait during the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Only celebrating the flag hoisting ceremony on 15th August and 26th January, posing for photos with the flag, and posting on social media doesn’t imply that you are a true patriot. A real patriot is a person who has a true love for his country. He fights against the atrocities upon his countrymen by insiders or outsiders of the country. Patriotism is the most important thing for the development of a country. As patriots think about the country, its growth, and countrymen’s improvement, it positively impacts the development of the country. A sense of patriotism helps to reduce corruption and riots hence the country develops effectively