In recent times, the concept and definition of the word patriot has changed in India. New words such as hyper-nationalist have entered our lexicon. A new language of patriotism and a new set of behaviours are now prescribed for people wishing to be seen as patriotic. Here are some commandments that the new Indian patriot must follow:
The important thing is not be patriotic but to appear patriotic. Social network statuses, display pictures and comments in social media must reflect this at all times.
The fervor and frequency with which you chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai will determine your commitment to your nation. Also it will be your ability to make people stand for the national anthem (including the old, infirm and disabled) that determines your patriotism, not your empathy for the less privileged in society or your efforts for the betterment of our communities.
The nation's biggest self proclaimed patriot Arnab Goswami’s show, the bullying and haranguing that passes for debate shall be watched each evening without fail. That particular style of hectoring anyone seen as not toeing line (the line is a mythical one that exists mostly inside the modern patriot’s head) must be adopted.
….because how much one hates Pakistan and Pakistanis is the true measure of one’s patriotism. One must also develop the ability to sneeringly say “Go to Pakistan (or Porkistan because that is ha-ha funny)” as frequently as required; whenever the patriot is stuck without any reasonable comeback in an argument.
Your enemy’s friend is your enemy; China is Pakistan's friend (because it is convenient for our giant neighour to be so right now) so it is our bounden duty to hate them as well (so long as it is convenient for us, that is).
Baying for war is the sign of a true patriot; but enlisting to be a part of the armed forces? Not so much. Why one may die on the battlefield!
You must demand proof of patriotism from others (particularly certain communities) and troll them if they do not produce that proof. Trolling, abuse and ad hominem attacks don’t come naturally… they have to be learnt.
You will shut your eyes to the fact that the nation and the people in power are two different things. You will also forget that our elected representatives can and must be questioned and held accountable in the interests of this very nation.
You will take every bit of criticism of the government, or anything Indian; constructive or otherwise and interpret that as a direct insult to the motherland and use that to whip up self righteous indignation.
You will put up the national flag in your car, salute our men and women in uniform and ask for the boycott of anything you perceive as ‘anti-national’ but you will continue your merry way; still littering, spitting, urinating in public, breaking traffic rules at will, bribing someone it is expedient for you, and breaking any rule/law… so long as you're sure you won’t get caught, that is.
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