War and distress call for a strong sense of patriotism; we have proved time and again.
The recent attack in Pulwama has stirred similar feelings of angst and unease which seem to be confused with patriotism. The incidents that have followed the suicide attack in Pulwama which costed the lives of 44 CRPF jawans is a cause of concern.
To state a recent example, the attack on Karachi bakery, popular for their biscuits, made headlines on Friday after being attacked by miscreants who threatened the workers for having named the bakery after Pakistan’s capital. Karachi Bakery took to twitter to clarify the misunderstanding and parrot the ignored history and clarify that they have their roots in Hyderabad.
In other news, a Zomato agent filed a case of sedition against three students who he accused to have raised slogans in support of Pakistan (“Pakistan Zindabad”). It was treated as a false case after the accused filed a counter complaint against the agent for having misbehaved with them and having created a ruckus after overhearing a political conversation.
It is the need of the hour to stand for your country in such crucial times. We talk to youngsters in the city to know how they feel about the recent happening and how they define patriotism.
‘No’, says Ubaidu Rahman, an IT professional when asked if violence is the right way to tackle the problem. “Youngsters today are easily misguided by the false news circulated through social media platforms. There is also a pressure for one to express their feeling of patriotism. We should be able to talk about the situation, agree to disagree to come to solutions that are long-term and sensible. Going around the country protesting against stores and dishes, and harassing people is no way a solution. It is foolish, uncalled for and ridiculous.”
Sujith K Sam, a student of Data Science, believes that a lot of what is happening today is a result of the shift in the way media portrays incidents. He says, “It is sad to see what is happening and I firmly believe that the attack was a result of people blindly following propaganda, maybe a result of negligence. The influence of media cannot be denied either. People have access to information (whether false or true) and are quick to react to it. It is important for us to stay calm and think sensibly rather than jumping into conclusions. It is the need of the hour.”
So what does patriotism really mean to our youngsters today?
Prithvi Chandavarkar, a lecturer from Jain College says, “Patriotism to me is knowing and believing that my country is special, unique and different. When you mistake that for a sense of superiority and power is when the problem occurs. And yes, there has been a huge shift in how television portrays situations today and that does have a major influence. We have moved away from a time when media told us what is happening to them demanding what should happen. I’m not sure how right that is.”
While we agree that external influences can have an impact on how we react to situations, Roopesh BN, a psychologist emphasis on a person’s need for belongingness and a reaction that can be triggered when this is challenged.
He says, “Humans have a ‘we’ feeling and a ‘them’ feeling; or what we call the in group and the out group. This is applicable to various aspects, be it religion, language, caste, geography or nationality. A person belonging to a particular caste or religion will feel a sense of belongingness with people of the same caste or religion. When a threat is posed, they unite to defend themselves. That is exactly what is happening now. It is indoctrinated in us from our childhood. While this can be the basic driving force, other external factors like media, maturity, exposure and social pressure can also add to the cause and create a ripple.”