Patriotism [ দেশপ্রেম ]
Patriotism is the noblest of all virtues existing in the human world. Patriotism means love for the country. It is an indomitable sense or penchant that is totally based on selflessness and unalloyed affection for the motherland and fellow-human beings. Those who possess this great virtue are called patriots. They are, needless to say, the true human beings who believe in altruism and humanism.
They are in the possession of a great heart. A patriot is a completely exceptional figure. Patriots never think about self-interest and material gains and they try to uphold the public interest. As they are the true warriors of our society. They always work for their motherland and compatriots without expecting anything in return.
Patriotism requires some virtues such as lion heartedness, determination, vigour, vitality and above all a true feeling for country and humanity. It is a virtue that is never taught at any training centre. This feeling is inborn and divine. So, it is aptly remarked that. “Mother and motherland are superior to Heaven.”
Patriotism and the History of Bangladesh:
The history of Bangladesh is a glaring example of patriotism. Our country was colonized by the Pakistani occupation force. We had to undergo suffering and exploitation owing to their misrule. They engaged themselves in rooting out the existence of Bangalees. That’s why they exploited us in every respect and left us bankrupt. But the patriots of our country were not to be dominated.
They took arms in their hands and fought bravely to save mother and motherland. They besmeared the streets of our motherland ‘Sonar Bangla’ with their blood. The Pakistanis could destroy our lives and property but could not destroy the immortal sense of patriotism in our freedom fighters. This divine sense of patriotism ignited them to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their country.
The sanguinary war of liberation, which snatched away the blood-red sun of our liberation, exemplifies patriotism in the fullest sense. Our freedom fighters are the real patriots and are still alive in our hearts. They have gone down in history as ‘heroes’. On the other hand, some of our own people conspired against us and collaborated with our enemies are remembered with utmost hatred. They are called Razakars, completely different from the patriots.
Patriotism and World Religions:
Patriotism and patriots are held in high esteem in the main religions of the world. According to Islam, love for the country (patriotism) and humanity is a highly valued quality. A patriot who lays down his life for the country will be rewarded by Allah and he will certainly go to paradise. Everyone should come forward to defend his/her motherland when she is dishonoured and overtaken by other countries.
In the same way. other religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity also encourage patriotism and advise to be ever ready to work for the motherland. In Hindu upanishads, there are many episodes in which patriots are highly honoured. These religious episodes contain or propagate the moral that it is the duty of everyone to work for country and remain ready to sacrifice in time of danger.
Patriotism and Literature:
Patriotism occupies a very important place in literature. Poets, novelists and writers are patriots in the sense that they talk about their love and genuine feeling for the motherland in their literary works. They raise their voice against racialism, colonialism and imperialism through their writings. They adore their motherland and mother-tongue in their respective literary works.
These writings ignite/kindle a sense of patriotism in others. In 1971, poets inspired our freedom fighters through their songs and poems. We were lucky enough to have Kazi Nazrul Islam, our national poet, who raised his fiery voice against all sorts of oppressions and guided our sons to supreme sacrifice for motherland and mother-tongue.
His famous poem ‘Bidrohi’ expresses his heart-wrenching love for the motherland and his dream and vision of an exploitation-free society where people will be free from the heartless lash of colonialism. The poem ‘Bidrohi’ is powerful enough to evoke a sense of sacrifice in order to build a new society.
We cannot but mention Rabindranath Tagore, Sufia Kamal, Sawkat Osman, Shamsur Rahman Johir Rayhan, Munir Chowdhury, Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, Zahanara Imam, and many others, who have expressed an unmixed feeling of love for motherland and mother-tongue. We become really enchanted by the natural expression of Rabindranath, when he chants:
“My Bengal of gold, I love you
Forever your sky, your air set my heart in tune.
As if it were a flute.
In spring, oh mother mine,
the fragrance from your mango-groves makes me wild with joy Ah, what a thrill!
Sufia Kamal, one of the most prominent poets of Bengali literature, also expresses her genuine feeling of affection for motherland in her poetry. In her poem ‘Jonmesi Ai Deshe’, She loves her country so much that she desires to die in the comfortable lap of motherland. She says,
“I have been born in your lap,
And desiring to die here too.
[Jonmesi mago Tumar Kolete Mori Zeno ai Deshe.] In English literature, Wordsworth, poet of nature, ‘wanders lonely as a cloud over the hills and vales’ and enjoys the natural beauty of her motherland. Thus in his poetry, he expresses his love for his country.
The patriotism of Great Personalities:
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Ziaur Rahman, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and many others, have had a niche in the temple of fame by virtue of their patriotism. They have become great because of their sacrifice for the sake of country. They fought to last drop of blood for the welfare of country and fellowmen. For instance, Nelson Mandela, though he had to pass his youthful days in the dark cell, has never stopped his fight/struggle against racism. He is a great leader who has set an example of the patriotism before the entire world.
Motherland is compared to mother. As a mother brings her children with care, a country, in the some way, helps a human being to grow up by providing him/her with her bounteous gifts: air, water, light etc. So, both mother and motherland are equally adorable. It is our bounden duty to work for our motherland so that she can stand upright in honour among the nations of world. Moreover, we should always have resolution to make supreme sacrifice to defend her from the attack of enemies. Our sacrifice is the only way by which we can express our gratitude to our mother and motherland.
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