How can man die better
Than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his Gods?
Patriotism is love of our mother-country. It is quite a natural feeling. The country which gave us birth, and where we have been brought up has the sweetest associations for us, and hence it is endeared to us by the closest ties. Some nations, as the Germans, call their country the fatherland, other, the motherland; both these terms show with what love and affection we regard our home.
East or west, home is the best. Our country appears to us to be the best on earth. Even the savage negro would refuse to part with the burning sands of his arid regions.
Patriotism is a noble sentiment. It gives us an interest in the fortunes of our country and fills us with pride at its achievements, past or present. Under its influence, men have been led to perform the most heroic deeds which adorn the pages of history. The self-sacrifice of the Spartans at the Pass of Thermopylae in defence of their country will remain for all time an inspiring example of patriotism. The histories of all civilized countries abound in examples of heroism displayed by the people for the sake of their mother country. Nelson uttered a great truth when he said, ‘England expects every man to do his duty. Every country expects of its people such devoted and dutiful service in return for the motherly care it has bestowed on them.
In the Great War, numerous noble examples of patriotic self-sacrifice in the interests of mother- country came to light. In the Russo-Japanese War, it is said that an old lady committed suicide in order that her only son, who refused to enlist in the army with a view to remaining with his old mother to serve her, might be free to go to the front. Such patriotism is noble, indeed.
There is a kind of false patriotism which is bad. It teaches us to love our country hy hating others, to exaggerate and to take false pride in everything, good or bad. pertaining to our country, to shut our eyes even to its defects and shortcomings. We should love our country by all means, but we should on no account hate others. We should learn from others, and appreciate and admire, and if necessary, imitate what is good and noble in them. True patriotism should teach us to do all we can to uplift our countrymen, to encourage manufacturers and industries, to make our people happy and prosperous. Mere exuberance of words or rhetoric in glorification of one’s country is not true patriotism. Love of our country must be combined with the spirit of service, but it must be borne in mind that both this love and service should be guided by the light of knowledge and wisdom.
Pakistan needs true patriots, men imbued with the spirit of sacrifice and service, ready to lay down their all at the altar of their motherland. Pakistan is a poor country, is educationally, industrially, and politically very backward, and in all these directions there is need of true, earnest patriots who may work for it disinterestedly to raise it morally and materially to its rightful place among the nations of the world.