Beliefs, Religion and Reason – A perspective of Hindu Atheist

March 15, 2009


Filed under: beliefs — Aniket @ 12:41 pm
Tags: , ,

Racism is when you stand for supremacy of your race. Wrong!

Regionalism is when you favor a Kannadiga over a Bengali. Wrong!

Casteism is when a Brahmin boy wants to marry a girl only from Brahmin caste. Practised, but still wrong!

Nepotism is to favor one’s own kin against the merit. Wrong!

Then why believing in national supremacy, cheering for one’s own nation in event of war, appeal to emotion on national grounds aka patriotism is good? Is patriotism the last surviving form of groupism which is still widely regarded as a virtue?

I’m not proud to be an Indian, I am not ashamed of being an Indian, I just happened to be an Indian.
Is there something wrong having such an attitude?



  1. oh dear i totally echo your sentiments…so beautifully put..

    Comment by dina — March 15, 2009 @ 8:12 pm | Reply

  2. Hmm..I think you are right.

    Comment by Solilo — March 16, 2009 @ 2:40 am | Reply

  3. no,there is abslutely nothing wrong..
    we just are

    .thats it..

    Patriotism ..maybe you are talking of the jingoistic one?

    Comment by Indyeah — March 16, 2009 @ 1:42 pm | Reply

  4. Aniket,

    I think you are asking a splendid and insightful question. Let me hazard a response.

    You must support your country 100% of the times. And your government only when it deserves it. – Mark Twain.

    Patriotism is a word whose utility has been co-opted to glorify blind devotion and blind obedience to a political class. Similar to religious dogma, this is a case of political dogma. To silence political opposition, patriotism is periodically trotted out. But we must be able to disrobe this imposter and reveal him for the fraud he is.

    For instance, standing up to your government to oppose an unjust military action taken in the name of your country is a case of staunch Patriotism. And I see nothing ignoble about it. What we need to do is to intelligently expose the intellectual bankruptcy of the false claim of “Patriotism” when what they actually mean is “blind obedience to a political class”. We need to reclaim the word and restore that sentiment to its original nobility – i.e. Love of one’s country.

    We also need to be wary of false extrapolations like cheering one’s team and cheering one’s government. Rooting for sporting win does not carry the same moral and ethical implications as political chauvinism (or “national supremacy” as you called it). Let us not be beguiled into thinking that these 2 are points on the same continuum.

    Comment by myminddroppings — March 25, 2009 @ 4:10 pm | Reply

  5. Im not proud to be chinese. Im not ashamed to be chinese. I just happen to be chinese.I thought I was the only one who felt this way haha.

    Comment by Andrew n — April 4, 2009 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

  6. @myminddroppings

    Thanks for your thoughts and sorry for late reply.

    You make an interesting point. Falling for political chauvinism is one thing and having sense of attachment to your country (and fellow countrymen) is another. But to me patriotism, even in its purest for as in ‘love for one’s own country’, still sounds restrictive in some way. Should it be love for your country of birth or love for your country of residence? Do people switch their loyalties as swiftly as they change their nationalities on their passports? Should there be any loyalty to any country at all? There is absolutely nothing wrong if you don’t have any sense of attachment to any one country more than any other country in the world. You have feelings for people who have some direct relation or contribution to your life. Caste, Community, Country as such have done nothing for you to have that sense of attachment to any of them. But this sense of attachment (i.e. love) is systematically infused in our minds during our childhood days. As a result, we learn to differentiate – this is *my* country, these are *my* people, I love *my* country.
    Love blinds reason – love of any kind.

    Edit: I’m not saying that there is anything wrong if you love your country. I’m just saying it’s not a great virtue even if you do. It’s like saying ‘vegetarianism’ is higher moral standard, though there is nothing wrong in being a non-vegetarian.

    Comment by Aniket — April 5, 2009 @ 10:13 am | Reply

  7. Aniket,

    I agree with you. There is no need to be ashamed to love your country – but there is also no need to feel superior about doing so. I came across this pic which aptly describes my position.

    Love and manic possessiveness are 2 manifestations of the same sentiment. One is admirable and the other is just plain unhealthy. Most people understand there is a profound difference between these 2 states. We should have no difficulty in admiring one and denouncing the other. However we often find ourselves at pains to do so with regard to patriotism and this is because we have ceded conversational ground to the “self-styled uber-patriots”. These guys have laid siege to the words “patriot” and “patriotism” and we are tempted to throw the baby with the bath-water.


    Comment by HolyDude — April 8, 2009 @ 8:16 pm | Reply

  8. Well, quite suprisingly I’ve raised very similar issues, in albeit a longer post along with an attempt to explain the genesis of such feelings of groupism:

    Would be glad to have your comments there.


    Comment by panchalkc — June 3, 2009 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

  9. You are not the first one to feel this way. Socrates said, “I am not an Athenian or a Greek but a citizen of the world”.

    Comment by RR — September 29, 2009 @ 9:09 pm | Reply

  10. and i thought i was the only one who thinks like this. most of your posts are same as my thoughts great to find this blog…

    Comment by ravi — December 16, 2009 @ 3:26 am | Reply

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