Do we really need jingoism?

My grandfather never really liked the popular song “Sare Jahan Se Accha’. His view of nations and even individuals was that we should not put anyone down to make ourselves sound better. “Sare Jahan Se Achcha” in a sense, that conveys we are better than other nations was a negative viewpoint. This viewpoint, according to him, was unhealthy competition and was just a jingoistic song. india This used to lead to a lot of discussion of patriotism, what it means and why we should always promote one’s own nation and so on. Looking back, I do realize what he said makes a lot of sense, Why should we compete putting others down ? Should we not just compete with ourselves, our values, our vision, our view of the world? This is not to say that the song itself is not worth remembering. In 1905, instead of delivering a speech, Iqbal sang Saare Jahan Se Achcha. The 27-year old Iqbal viewed the future society of the subcontinent as both a pluralistic and composite Hindu-Muslim culture… Initially, Iqbal had written… Religion does not teach us to bear ill-will among ourselves We are of  Hind, our homeland is Hindustan. .. That changed due to changes in the scenario. Ironically, the nation started fighting internally and the enemy was all within. Though we had stalwarts of non-violence, we turned to violence among each other. Hence, due to differences that arose between communities, Iqpal did not remain of the same views but the song and what it stood for remained as one of the most popular songs of India. This comes from the fact that we in Hindustan, appreciate and believe in differences. Differences indeed are the way of the world and we cannot force everyone to be the same. This is the reason why people of all faiths   felt safe in our country. This is the greatest treasure we have and should never compromise on. India is probably the only country in the world where people belonging to different religions, castes and creeds, speaking different languages, having different cultures, different modes of living, different clothing, different feeding habits, worshiping different gods and deities do live together in harmony This was and still is an amazing achievement. No matter what the travails we have faced, this is the history of our land. Let us never compromise on this and preserve the pristine beauty of our nation and what it stands for. Even if Iqbal’s views changed, let us not change our viewpoint of all the faiths living together harmoniously in our nation. Right now, there seems to be one more era of “us” vs “them” that can be overcome only by understanding the true nature of our country, the strength of which has always been togetherness. As far as my grandfather’s viewpoint is concerned, I realize now that he was right. Jingoism of any kind is not at at healthy. The only way we can truly become great is by letting our values speak for themselves and not just by singing jingoistic songs. This independence day, let us all commit to the values of a pluralistic and composite culture

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