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So do you have national pride?

July 17, 2008

Are we Indians more critical of ourselves than those of other nationalities? And if we are, does that mean we are not patriotic? Well, I don’t think being critical is being unpatriotic, but perhaps not having pride in our country’s achievements is on the borderline of being unpatriotic.

I want to share this comment by Suchin before I continue

…we are losing on the cultural values we had for many years. this is directly related to patriotism, since the sense of pride for our country is missing…every one seem to bring out their patriotism at the times like our orissa floods or kargil war or say Gujarat earthquake. why this dies down when we are confronted with people from other countries asking us weird questions about India? why don’t we have answers for them, instead we tow their line and belittle our greatness? we can do this because we do not feel the attachment to India anymore.

I do agree with him that letting others know of our achievements and being proud of them is important, and its not enough just to donate money for good causes. However, as I know little about how Indians who live outside India speak about India to foreigners, I can’t write about that.

What I do know is a little something about what Indians in India say and feel about India. I think that they have a very fierce pride in their country, although they are equally fierce in their criticism. I am only referring to urban Indians and that too those whom I know and have met in India. It is very difficult to know about this in a broader sense, beyond my own world.

Therefore I looked for an opinion poll to see if it would bear out my feelings that Indians indeed have great pride in their country.

I did find an opinion poll conducted in 2006 amongst 34 countries by the reputed National Opinion Research Center (NORC) in the United States. Unfortunately India was not surveyed. The survey measured national pride in two ways.

  1. Asking people about their pride in 10 specific areas of their country: its democratic system, political influence in the world, economic success, social security, science and technological achievements, sports, arts and literature, military, history and fair treatment of all groups in society.
  2. Asking people to what extent they agreed with such statements as: I would rather be a citizen of my country than any other country in the world ; Generally speaking, my country is a better country than most countries; and I would support my country even if it were in the wrong

I think the second would be a better indicator of national pride than the first, because the answers to the first would depend on whether those various factors are present or not. If they are not present in the country and the person still says it is so, I think it shows a bluffing and boastful attitude rather than patriotism.

However there wasn’t much difference in the scores of countries on these two counts. In (1) the United States was first, followed by Venezuela, Ireland, South Africa, Australia and Canada. Russia, Sweden and Japan were low on the list! In (2) Venezuela scored first, followed by United States, Australia, Austria, South Africa, Canada, Chile, New Zealand and Israel.

Most European countries were in the bottom two-thirds and ex-Socialist countries scored lower than the other European nations. East Asian nations fall in the bottom half, with the exception of Philippines. The “new” nations had lower levels of “national pride”.

I wondered how India would score. I know if I took the survey I would say I was extremely proud of our democracy, our growing political influence in the world, economic success, science and technological achievements, military and history and arts and literature. That is 7 out of 10. But 10 years ago I would have scored 4 out of 10 as India was not a growing political influence and not was it a growing economic power.

So, I don’t think this can be an indicator of patriotism. Some people might even downplay these factors (as the Japanese have done and that’s why they got low scores) because of cultural factors (the Japanese consider it “boastful” to talk in glowing terms about their achievements).

As to the questions asked in the survey, I would say Yes – I would rather be a citizen of my country than any other country in the world , Yes, Generally speaking, my country is a better country than most countries; and Maybe I would support my country even if it were in the wrong (depending on what it was).

Here’s another interesting survey which was India specific and also conducted in 2006. 1,616 citizens in urban India were talked to. Here is the graph:

Just as I thought, most people are proud to be Indian. The answers to other questions show us that this survey was indeed conducted exclusively in urban India!

However, I was rather shocked to know that 55 percent of the people surveyed thought that the justice system treats the rich and poor fairly, and as many as 34 percent of people were undecided! I wonder if people deliberately lied?

The cynicism about fellow Indians is evident in the answers to the question two – 58 percent of people thought that it is other Indians whom we need to be wary of when it comes to security issues.

Also, its clear that we Indians still yearn for government jobs with the security and perks, even if it means less money!

People also seem to be complaining about the falling religious and cultural values and I see that around me as well.

Related Reading:The difference between Nationalism and Patriotism
Social Trust in different countries of the world
Dual Citizenship – pros and cons
Indians believe their judiciary to be tainted

37 Comments leave one →
  1. July 17, 2008 8:40 am

    More important than whether we are proud of India or not, the question is: are we (and the way we run things in this country) right or wrong?
    In more issues than is excusable, this country is horribly wrong. Human life has no value, by and large, dishonesty is rife, as is corruption and bribe taking. Women and children are treated horribly, as are certain castes and creeds. We have no tolerance (unlike our boast) for adverse opinion or even different tastes (example: movies, books, websites).
    We have only ourselves to blame, because we want the Government to do everything for us. Unfortunately, in the bargain, we forget that the basic duties of the Government (law and order, protection of individual rights, etc.) in our pursuit of milking the system for maximal narrow gains. In the end, national pride is then blind and subjective, without backing up with objective facts and reasons.

    I agree with you about the freedom of speech which I feel Indians are very intolerant about. I realised that after I started this blog and found people frothing at the mouth if I said I didn’t like a movie! 🙂 What people fail to understand is that it is possible to disagree without putting down the other person, without making personal attacks and without insulting! If you do any of these things, it shows intolerance.
    Also I agree that we should not ask the government to do, we should do. And yes!! Keep rationality as the main guiding light! – Nita.

  2. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    July 17, 2008 9:45 am


    In a country of well over a billion (1,000,000,000) population, of which just around 30% is urban, I wonder about the claim of the BBC-Globescan poll that a sample of 1,616 Urban Indians is “representative”. I admit I have not pursued the link to “methodology” which follows from your link, but prima facie the thing seems very questionable. Perhaps someone well-versed in statistics should comment on this.

    And in a day and age when Urban India is all gaga about globalisation, I also wonder whether being patriotic or having national pride holds any meaning at all.

    vivek, ofcourse its not representative! but is there any other larger survey you know about? I personally see this as a good point to start a discussion, and though in the realms of theory, I still see it interesting to discuss. About whether having national pride is relevant or not, now thats another idea! 🙂 – Nita.

  3. July 17, 2008 9:49 am

    11% actually said they weren’t proud of being Indian?? Damn!! Now, if a country conducted this survey and found that a certain percentage were not proud to be citizens of that country, and that the country would take extremely strict action against them, that is taking nationalism to the extreme… I think this is the major difference between religious governments like the Taliban and other (apparently) democratic governments like our own… I won’t say that religion has no role to play in the way our country is run, but for all its misgivings, I think ours is probably the richest country heritage-wise and the most beautiful country in the world…
    Of course, my opinion is borne out of some experience of living in the US, but I can safely say that Indian, in general, are prouder of their country than the westerners are…

    Nikhil, when you say:

    I won’t say that religion has no role to play in the way our country is run, but for all its misgivings, I think ours is probably the richest country heritage-wise and the most beautiful country in the world…

    I agree whole-heartedly! – Nita.

  4. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    July 17, 2008 10:11 am


    If, as you say, it is not representative,then it should not claim to be representative, which it does.

    That is a term used by most of these surveys but in any case, they can say what they like, we are not saying it! We have a healthy scepticism don’t we! 🙂 – Nita.
    p.s the word “representative” is a techical term used in market research. It may seem misleading but that is how it is.

  5. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    July 17, 2008 11:40 am


    I take it in its original statistical sense. Market research tends to be causationally motivated.

  6. vivek mittal permalink
    July 17, 2008 11:46 am

    \\I wonder about the claim of the BBC-Globescan poll that a sample of 1,616 Urban Indians is “representative” \\

    Interestingly 540 MP’s represent entire India…

    This world is not perfect, it is not theoretical nor is there anything standard about it…. we need some ways to standardize this world

    For example..we’ve kept retirement age for people 58 Yrs, which is applicable to everyon…but there are many who can work very well till say 75, and there are some who cant work after say 50 (Chronological and biological age varies from Individual to individual)…..But we had to standardize it, so we kept age as 58

    But our way of Standardization, should be logical….

  7. July 17, 2008 12:17 pm

    You people are right about Freedom of speech, I told my friend I didn’t like the movie TZP and it was a tear-jerker, and he threatened to throw me out of the window of the moving car. But then I thought, people have freedom of action too.

    and both lie with the powerfuls, physically and otherwise.

    haha thats funny! I haven’t had that kind of threat! 🙂 – Nita.

  8. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    July 17, 2008 1:03 pm

    //Interestingly 540 MP’s represent entire India…//

    Yes, but each one represents a particular constituency, usually comprising a less diverse segment of population — economically, socially, ideologically (you name it) — than this poll claims to represent.

    And both within and below parliament there are several tiers of representation — the state level legislative assemblies — local government bodies etc. And of course you have nominated representatives as in the Rajya Sabha and the Legislative Councils, so there are enough checks and balances, even though they may not always function perfectly.

  9. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    July 17, 2008 1:05 pm

    //…we need some ways to standardize this world…//

    A very frightening thought.

  10. July 17, 2008 1:42 pm

    All countries have good and bad things. We can feel very proud of some of them and really ashamed of others…
    National pride i think its quite inherent in every person, even someone talks bad about his/her country, he/she might not like if others talk bad about his/her country (Its like: u like to criticize your family, friends…but not like others criticize ur own family and friends!).
    India its a great country, I’m not indian but i feel proud of India because i love your country and culture, many things have to change and improve but for me, its for sure the most amazing and magical country in the world!!!

    I remember to hear in india many times (said by indians):
    “India is the best!”…so I always had the vision that indian people are very proud of their country.

    Francina, as you say all countries have their pros and cons! About national pride being inherent in all, I don’t know. I have seen some people quite indifferent, but yes they are the minority. And these 1-2 people I knew have migrated out. They didn’t hate India, but simply felt nothing for it, no love or attachment. – Nita.

  11. vivek mittal permalink
    July 17, 2008 2:31 pm

    Mr Khadpekar

    I dont understand what’s frightening in that…i was talking about the social aspect, which we need to make our life simple…as we have made a way to get to know the pulse of the people by surveying a small group of people…..otherwise it would have been impossible to know the opinion of the people on so many issues….so, here we have standardized that, to get to know the opinion of people, we can believe to some extent on a survey on a much smaller group of people

    Same example i gave about fixing the retirement age, here we have standardized that 58 would be the ideal age to retire for everyone

    Also Govt gives pension to the widow after death of it’s many cases some other relative dependant on the employee would be more needy …but here too Govt has standardized

    So, without standardization of many of the aspects of this arbitrary world/nature, we could not develop our society..

  12. vivek mittal permalink
    July 17, 2008 2:47 pm

    About the subject topic

    I do believe that every human being has national pride by nature…because the nation represent the roots and identity of a person, from which he/she feels connected

    Many of us may not discover their national pride until they find themselves among a group of people of different nationalities discussing (positely or negatively) about their country

    That’s why i felt very odd in a post on this blog about
    Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw , when he was praised for being a patriot
    I know it was written very casually and author didn’t even notice it…but i personally feel very uncomfortable when someone is praised for being patriot..because i feel every human is patriot by nature..rather i would praise him for doing something for our country which i could not do

    Vivek, I don’t think everyone has national pride, but most do, yes, thats true. I have met people who do not feel connected to India and not all of it is due to some trauma. Talking of trauma, I know someone who was caught in a riot and who decided to leave.

    About Manekshaw, this is the meaning of “patriot”
    elook dictionary

    one who loves and defends his or her country

    From another source,

    One who loves, supports, and defends one’s country.

    And from merriam-webster dictionary:

    one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests

    The word “patriot” has a strong meaning. I would not call just anyone a patriot even though the person is patriotic. In fact I would not even call all army or defense people patriots, even though they probably are because somehow that word itself has a strong connotation for me. So that was why it was used. Nita.

  13. Guqin permalink
    July 17, 2008 2:55 pm

    Nita, I find this type of survey more confussing than informative: If child Mozart lived in Madonna’s house, he would think: I hate music! But this is because he loves music. In a similar manner, one can find some Chinese people the same time the most and the least proud of their country. Of course, there is a difference between love and pride, I regonize that too: Some proud ones don’t love their countries, some loving ones feel bitter about their countries, and that leads us to questioning the meaning of pride…But I also think that the longer period of time one considers of her country, the more her love and her pride for it coverge in meaning.

    Gugin, True, there is a difference between love and pride, and I think both are important. One strengthens the other and I think its difficult to be proud of one’s country if one does not love it. I am not sure whether it is possible to love one’s country and not be proud of it either. If one loves one’s country enough, the pride does come, because every country has something to be proud about!

  14. July 17, 2008 4:37 pm

    it would be tough for m to think of myself as one from another country…I love india 🙂 as a nation as a land for its secrets …i have never been outside India,so i can’t say much 🙂

    Thanks Vishesh – Nita.

  15. July 17, 2008 5:30 pm

    Interesting research, Nita!
    I am sure, that most of the Indians are proud to be Indians – although India had an exceptional experience of being “under” a totally different nation (British) for such a long time – this fact might have had a much worse impact that it really did. I believe it is mostly due to the powerful ancient traditions and spiritual roots of India. There are so many things to be proud of for you!!

    I also like the criteria from the survey you mentioned “I would rather be a citizen of my country than any other country in the world ; Generally speaking, my country is a better country than most countries; and I would support my country even if it were in the wrong ” – that is really the best to find out what you true patriotism is.

    Axinia, yes we Indian are very proud of our ancient traditions, but our regional identities are very strong because we were never one nation until the British came. – Nita.

  16. July 17, 2008 6:08 pm


    I might be guilty of being sentimental, but I always felt loving ones country was akin to loving ones parents. First there is the wide eyed belief that they are the best, and can do no wrong, then comes the comprehension, that, they are not always right, but still a belief that they are mostly right, then a teen age rebellious idea that they have no clue about the rest of the world and how to keep up, or care about you. Then comes the idea that, we share some responsibility, and may be one day, we will be able to look at the good and bad, with the eyes that has seen it all, and still has hope that the future is great. Patriotism is perhaps a youthful zeal of showing affection. But perhaps a love for the nation requires growing up from just mere loyalty to acceptance of everything, and still finding warmth, and fellowship.

    Thoughtroom, thats an apt comparison, parents and country. Not for nothing do we call out countries motherland and fatherland!

  17. vish permalink
    July 17, 2008 6:37 pm

    “Generally speaking, my country is a better country than most countries; and I would support my country even if it were in the wrong ” – that is really the best to find out what you true patriotism is.”

    Then why are we blaming the Nazis?

  18. Anil permalink
    July 17, 2008 7:05 pm

    To have a sense of pride we really need to have a sense of history which we lack. We were at Ajanta Ellora some time back and I observed the utter lack of interest shown by the am janata in the achievement of our forefathers. This is our national trait. how can we have pride in what we are. But there is a lot to be proud of if only people were interested.

    At the other end of the spectrum are the poor. Who cares about national pride when they are looking for the next meal.

    To have a national pride requires some amount of perspective as to what is happening around you. I feel we are geared to look inward (social hygiene is a good example of how we forget garbage once it is out of our house) how can you have pride in things around you when you dont care about them in the first place.

    Anil, I too noticed that at ajanta ellora many people came just for a round, rather than real interest in our history. – Nita.

  19. wishtobeanon permalink
    July 17, 2008 7:53 pm

    I really don’t know what to say. I love my country inspite of all its faults – I know that, but about national pride, I am not sure. I am proud of certain facts about our country – the cliched ‘unity in diversity’, some people(NGOs) that try to bring about social and environmental changes(improvements) inspite of the severe obstacles they face, the tolerant attitude of majority of the people, the beautiful and diverse heritage in terms of art and architecture etc. But, if my country is at fault, I would readily acknowledge that it was wrong just as I would acknowledge a serious wrong doing of one of my family members. Like someone had written earlier, I think national pride is best expressed by doing something for your community, following rules and regulations, not littering the streets, helping out and volunteering in your neighbourhood or town or city and not doing certain things like destroying public property or the environment. I am an Indian living abroad and I don’t say anything bad about our country and I don’t think anyone would do that purposely (maybe I am being too naieve).

    wishtobeanon, I agree acknowleding the reality is not unpatriotic but many jingoistic people think burying their head in the sand is virtuous! And really doing something is the test! – Nita.

  20. July 17, 2008 8:40 pm

    According to me, being critical means showing more love towards the country. I am being critical because I want my country to improve in that aspect and that shows an affection towards the country rather than hatred. But that is just me.

    Also, I am an Indian staying outside India and I am really proud to be an Indian where ever I am. Whenever I speak to my American Colleagues I bring forward a lot of good things about our Culture and tell them things like how our spices in the food has medicinal benefits and how we grew all that.

    In this age of globalisation, only the sense of the country needs to be there in one’s mind, where ever he may be living. Duty makes them physically present elsewhere but culturally we are still Indians and we follow being Indians.

    As always, an Insightful post.

    Thanks. However I do not look down on those who don’t feel connected to India. It is their choice and if they are living in a foreign country, they can become loyal to that country. The people I don’t have much respect for are those who have no loyalties to anyone or anything, except themselves! – Nita.

  21. Ravi permalink
    July 17, 2008 8:52 pm

    It is true that Indians not only intolerant towards freedom of speech but also they are hypocritical. The survey bluntly reflects it. How could one (except a dumb ass) thinks that our judicial system treats poor and rich people fairly? Indians do not take their religion seriously? Wow! What are they kidding me? We don’t often see a Hindu marryin a Muslim or either way. How many people die due to religious riots every other day in any country other than India? I m not sayin that others are good but they are equally bad. If they is an extreme then compared to the western world we are more extreme.

    Surveys do not work for India cause we are different. Western countries have that uniqueness in them like in their color, religion and language. We don’t have them so whatever these surveys give out is so wrong.

    I m not proud of being Indian. What! You heard it right. Sometimes I did regret it. As soon as you born in India you have to fight for everything right from school admission to job application. Eventually it turns every Indian to calculate almost everything including your mom’s love. Once you start calculate things you would lose knowledge and wisdom. After going through all that pain in school when you graduate you would have a hard time to get into some relevant job. You would end up an IT job which you hate then what is it with the knowledge I have acquired in my major all through the graduate school? Why would Indian universities do not offer courses that provide employment? And farmers life is miserable. They don’t get power and water in time for agriculture now they r not even getting seeds!!! Life of an Indian women in public is pathetic and I bet you all know that.

    Indians are more selfish. Our streets reflects it. Everyone keeps their home clean but not their street. Is it possible to stay for at least 5 minutes in any railway platform? No matter where u go u get bad smell you don’t find it in most other countries. Oh please don’t blame it on over population …then wat’s up with the spitting and overflow of drainage channels! Does has this problem?

    We all regret for being born as an Indian. Face it! Rather than saying “I love India” 1000 times we can at least bring some change. If you feel proud of India then you are just being complacent and neglecting the duties you must perform to see a better India. Don’t fool around by saying “Mera Bharat Mahan” Do what you need to do…nobody gives a shit to how much you love your country like any Idiot can love a girl, get married and produce kids. Show your love to our country by contributing to its economy and make it prosperous.

    Ravi, thanks for that frank answer. Not many people will admit that they feel this way. – Nita.

  22. Ravi permalink
    July 17, 2008 8:54 pm

    PS: This is entirely my opinion and I think we should really love our country. I would rather love than pretend to love India.

  23. Ravi permalink
    July 17, 2008 9:09 pm

    I was referring to China when I mentioned the spitting and overflow of drainage channels.

  24. July 17, 2008 9:17 pm

    i am in awe of the Japanese for almost everything they do (except for not apologizing after the “rape of Nanking”) they seem like a great nation…..

    Indians shame on US….thprr thprr thprr 😛

    and everybody “why so serious?”

    serious subject! 🙂 – Nita.

  25. July 17, 2008 10:56 pm

    India as an independent, united single nation state became a reality only on 15th August 1947. If you leave the immediately previous 75 years or so, India or Bharatvarsha was more a social and religious reality than political.

    Our identity was limited to the kingdom or place from where we hailed. A pan-Indian identity was unheard of. History has been a silent spectator to this truth.

    Sixty years or so constitute a human lifetime but is a small period when viewed against the backdrop of our ancient roots.

    We are still learning to be Indians but the change is visible and irreversible. You look at the generation which saw India getting independence. They were subjects and had a tough time coming to terms with freedom. They were meek, submissive and had no confidence in anything Indian. Six decades later the current generation is confident of taking the world on.

    There is a much to criticise and a lot more to change but why forget what we have achieved in this period. Considering the historical perspective, our achievements are fantastic and in some cases awe inspiring. No shame in feeling proud for that. In every field we have amazing achievements to our credit.

    We are our own worst critics. This is also symptomatic of the “Lack of National Pride” malaise afflicting us.

    Fellow Indians – we deserve much better from ourselves.

    Frankly, these surveys seem so biased that at times I feel these are doctored to point towards pre-decided conclusions. The trash bin is the right place for such reports. (A file would be a better place….)

    Mavin, thats true in India we have strong regional identities! From what I have seen it is people from and english medium background who more often have a pan indian identity although all those from an english medium background do not. I have rarely seen anyone who has studied in his regional language, whether Hindi or Tamil, to have a pan Indian identity. Thats just my observation. – Nita.

  26. July 17, 2008 11:03 pm

    //I would support my country even if it were in the wrong// I think this question is an indicator of frog in the well attitude rather than national pride. And about the insecurity from other Indians, thats the biggest problem. I feel people are somehow becoming more region proud, language proud and then country proud. I think NRIs show more national pride than the Indians here. Maybe because of being in a foreign country, all the same country men tend to group together overcoming their regional differences back in India.

    True, one should not lose one’s moral sense at any cost. However today I think the greatest danger is from naxalites. true, we have people without a pan indian identity but they are not violent usually, I mean their cause is not violent. – Nita.

  27. Ravi permalink
    July 18, 2008 12:10 am

    NRI’s aint different and they aint behave different. Each group have their own celebrations its really rare to see all region/culture Indians hang out together. Moreover in american parties its very common to make fun of India and Indians. Way to go for indians to be called “refined race”…lol

    I have met NRI’s who hate India. I think its easier to hate something when you don’t need it. – Nita.

  28. Ravi permalink
    July 18, 2008 12:12 am

    But NRI’s arent as racist as Indians at least they have some courtesy which our countrymen lacks.

  29. Manoj permalink
    July 18, 2008 12:24 am

    Well, I think this is a topic that can be discussed at length! 🙂
    I think for any growing economy preserving its culture and values is quite a challenge. The whole concept is just like a balloon. The more you tend to grow the more are the chances to get burst out. But then, growth is always inevitable for the kind of economy we are.I feel the diversity of our country is the biggest boon and the biggest bane as well.Rising regional intolerence and Jingoism are the consequences of this diversity. As Indians, what we all lake is an “Identity”. Our culture within is far more diverse that we do not have a common identity. Metaphorically, each kind of culture in our country is a flower. What we lack is a common thread. The well educated class and the midle class, in my view, do know their ethics and stick to their culture. But, unfortunately, the people who rule the roost in our country do not belong to any of these classes 😀

    And on the other side of the coin we definitely have people who belittle India among foreigners. I personally came across such people here in US.You would be surprised when I say that I came across people who wantedly belittle India even when a foreigner praises of its culture and the colourful people.

    I remember reading some where about Kalpana Chawla that she felt great people have no nationality and World is the place for them. Yet she never let down her mother country, India. She was always there to help the poor children in Karnal, Haryana. So it is still possible to each one of us to stick to our culture irrespective of the volume of our growth. It is only that one needs to “discover” the umbilical cord to ones nation/culture wherever in universe you are!

    And finally, let me tell you one funny thing which is not exactly relevant to this topic, but does stand as a great example of how confused we are 😀 When I typed the words “colurful people” above, I was confused as to what spelling of “colour” I must use. Should I use the British one or the American one (color)?

    Thanks. Manoj you are right! The diversity of our country is the biggest boon and the biggest bane! And about the spelling, I get confused all the time! 🙂 – Nita.

  30. July 18, 2008 9:13 am

    I would just copy paste the same comment I gave for Suda’s post
    Dont get me wrong when I say I am not patriotic, for me its has a very different meaning, not what the politicians talk about.

  31. July 18, 2008 9:14 am

    oops here is the comment. (if its already there, please delete this one)
    India was haunted by terrorist sfor decades now, we never lost our charisma, our economy is growing, poverty is diminishing… the so called middle class is now a major contributor in our economy.

    Forget the bureaucrats, the corrupt officials, the money mongers, the fraud politicians…. India is still shining.

    I would say we as a country would still have a all the pitfalls, but then in 60 Years we have grown so much (considering the number of people we are supporting) like no other nation has done every before.

    Suda, I am not patriotic, I don’t believe in people who say you should love your country by loving the flag, the anthem… . If you do something for the country that’s love. I would say other than paying taxes and helping in small NGO’s I haven’t done much for the country. Let’s help the people out, let’s help the country grow.
    When I say country, it’s the people I mean. The boundaries are something that the politicians and hardcore religious fanatics created. To me helping people irrespective of boundaries would be love.
    I am not patriotic, but these terrorists are making me one. !

    Xylene, I know what you mean, one should have that action oriented approach. But I think you mean you are not nationalistic. You are definitely patriotic if you feel the way you do! – Nita.

  32. Vikram permalink
    July 18, 2008 10:14 am

    Nita, I do have snippets from more such surveys. They are from a paper ” ‘Nation State’ or ‘State Nation’ ? India in Comparative Perspective ” by Juan Linz, Alfred Stepan and Yogendra Yadav.

    The State of Democracy in South Asia survey conducted in 2005 (5387 samples) indicated that 61 % and 28 % of Indians were very or quite proud of India. (CSDS)

    The survey further indicates that Tamil Nadu (92), Punjab (92), Mizoram (74), Muslim (89), SC (88), ST (82), non-literate (78] were all proud of India.

    The major exceptions were Nagaland and the Kashmir Valley (this was in a 2002 survey).

    Thanks Vikram. That was interesting. But only 28 percent proud? I guess they must have measured India on area specific issues, well to some extent at least. Not at all surprised about Kashmir and Nagaland…I guess some states must have brought the average down. I find these surveys extremely interesting, even if I enjoy going deep into them and trying to find flaws! – Nita.

  33. Ravi permalink
    July 19, 2008 1:18 am

    I skipped Independence day celebrations all through my school citing fever, head ache only to escape the hot sun. I don’t even stand while playing our national anthem cause I don’t believe in things like that. Respect must be in your heart and you don’t have to do over action in public to show that you are one of those Ideal citizens that mother India needs 🙂

    Attending Independence celebrations has no meaning even in my book! 🙂 – Nita.

  34. July 19, 2008 8:52 am

    Much has been said about India and Indians but one observation that Suchin made is striking.

    //why this dies down when we are confronted with people from other countries asking us weird questions about India? why don’t we have answers for them

    Well, we may be blindly proud but we suffer from a huge information hole about our own country. Our history in schools is politicized, our religion is not taught (I dont mean preaching, just awareness), we have very few things in common with each other. Each state is almost like a different country. Then there are caste differences. Seriously, what makes an Indian an Indian? The passport?

    I know what Suchin is talking about because people in other countries *do* have very curious questions about India. Its upto the individual to choose – either learn about your country or be shamefully ignorant yet verbally proud.

    Priyank, you are right. Somehow I missed that very important point! Ignorance is very common! – Nita.

  35. vivek mittal permalink
    July 19, 2008 9:19 am

    Dear Ravi

    Of course attending independence day celebrations or things like that are no parameter of loving the country

    But Ravi, in your comment on another post, you spoke about bad things US media wrote about India…..Then tell me one thing, won’t you have felt proud had the US media praised India, wont you feel good at all?

    If Yes, that is what i was talking about, by default every human is a patriot, whether they show it or not, whether they realize it or not..and if some people dont, they are exceptions

  36. Vikram permalink
    July 20, 2008 1:38 am

    Nita, I wrote “61 % and 28 % of Indians were very or quite proud of India”, i.e. a total of 89 % of Indians were proud of India. I am sorry, I wasnt very clear when I wrote that. In fact in another survey India ranked behind only the US and Australia in national pride.

    As I wrote above all the states except Nagaland and Kashmir Valley were proud of India.

    As for specific issues, Indians (across lingusitic, religious and caste) were very proud of the democratic set up. They almost all indicated that democracy is always preferable to other political systems. Lets hope that in the coming years Indian democracy can justify this faith.

  37. Ravi permalink
    July 21, 2008 9:41 pm

    Vivek M

    Definitely I would feel proud if US media writes good on India but it depends on what they write on. Like if they write about our culture, dressing or something which we inherit then I don’t really care. If they praise on our accomplishments like ICBM or economic growth that makes me feel proud cause we did something marvelous to get appreciation. So you see the difference… I don’t simply like India cause I born there.

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