Silent Patriotism

Vizzmaya Jalal, Class 6, St. Francis ICSE School, Mumbai

Since she was little, Mira saw people act extremely patriotic on Independence Day, giving motivational speeches and creating inspirational art on special occasions but once that day was gone, they went back loving their life more than their country. Hence, she always thought that superficial patriotism was what every citizen felt. She wondered what was special about living in a country that had so many problems such as poverty, pollution, crime etc. She too, wanted to hop on the ‘Study and Settle Abroad’ train.

One day, Mira’s parents died in a car accident and she was grief-stricken. Now, she had to live in a village with her grandparents and wasn’t sure if she would be able to adjust there. Her grandparents were very loving and they gave her all the comforts possible. One night, during dinner, she told them about her dream to go abroad. When asked why, she replied, “This country is not worth wasting my life for. No one would be stuck here if they had a better choice. All this patriotism is just drama.” They quietly nodded as she went to bed.

Next day, on the way to her new school, her grandfather showed her a huge temple near the river and said, “People from many countries come to worship here. They come here once a year to get away from their stressful life and attain some peace. Look at those fields behind the temple. Crops are grown there in the old and natural way without any chemicals, which is now called organic food and we export these edibles abroad. There are barely any refrigerators and air conditioners here and solar panels are being fitted everywhere. Internet connectivity is getting better but it is switched off in the night to avoid excessive absorption of radiation. Foreigners come here to shoot documentaries and for tourism. Children and adults here don’t suffer from serious illnesses and herbal medicines are used to treat all ailments.”

Mira was trying to understand all that she could see and hear, when suddenly, he asked her if she knew who was responsible for this metamorphosis of their village, Mayan. Her puzzled face showed that she had no clue. He said, “A couple who grew up here and went abroad to study on scholarships, came back, got married and settled in the city to make more money, just so that they could transform their village, which was like a mother to them, into a place with all the facilities, as this would ensure that nobody would have to go abroad and live like a foreigner in another country for a better life.

Gifting your motherland the true essence of independence is by stopping her children from being torn away from her and giving them a better life here itself. That is real patriotism. True patriots silently work towards their goals and these two were none other than your parents. Do you still question the patriotism of the people of this country?


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