Bangalore: A first of its kind All-India Patriotic Forum, which aims to ignite patriotic feelings among the youth and children, was launched in the city on Sunday. The forum will have its principal office in Bangalore and will spread to other places in the country. Deccan Chronicle caught up with AIPF president Retd Maj. Gen. M.K. Paul and here are the excerpts of the interview.
Why do you think there is a need for such a forum?
Being an octogenarian, I have been observing generations over the decades, and I feel that sense of patriotism that existed in the 1930s is extinct among today’s generation. Now, we remember our patriotic heroes only on occasions like the Independence Day, Republic Day and that’s it, and later everybody is back to their own lives.
I felt there is an immense need to rekindle the spirit of patriotism among our countrymen, especially the youngsters and children. No organisation exists for patriots, and that is the reason for this forum to come into existence.
What is the aim of this initiative?
Like-minded octogenarians throughout the country felt that that there was a need for such a forum. Those who love their country and countrymen unconditionally will never tolerate any injustice meted out to the country or its resources.
The primary focus will be effective mass education as we felt that patriotism has waned because of lack of education. It’s strictly a non-political and secular forum. Volunteers from all sections of society can be part of it.
How can one become a member?
For students up to 21 years of age, the membership is free. For a youth member until the age of 35, it is Rs 200 per year. For state members, it is Rs 500 and other state members it’s Rs 1,000 per year. Life-time membership for those from the state is Rs 2,500, and for those from other states it is Rs 5,000. For members from rural areas, it is Rs 50 per annum, while life-time membership is Rs 100.