Patriotism isn’t limited to the field for cricketer Gautam Gambhir. Recently, he took to Twitter to say that patriotism should be a way of life.
In a conversation with HT City, he says, “Putting any external force (which challenges our sovereignty), in place, alone is not patriotism. Paying taxes, helping the needy, respecting women, discouraging corruption, keeping our country clean, respecting the constitution and simply doing our own job with honesty is patriotism. We need to make it look ‘cool’ to our younger generation.”
He explains, “Have we understood the value of freedom from our elderly who were part of the freedom struggle? Are we ready to pass the baton to our youngsters?... I may not be able to pass on all the freedom struggle tales that I have heard from my grandfather to my daughter. It’s imperative to keep the national pride high throughout the year, and not play Maa Tujhey Salaam only on Aug 15th or Jan 26th, and transit to Laila o laila the next day.”
H adds, “I found this trend disturbing because I feel it’s only on these days that there is a sense of connect, sense of belonging, sense of patriotism. Why can’t we celebrate patriotism every day?”
He suggests, “It’d be great if we could have the national anthem or a patriotic song play on the TV and radio stations everyday at least once.” Interestingly, after his tweet about it, Fever 104 has acted on his suggestion. The radio station has requested the listeners to send in their favourite patriotic songs to be incorporated in the regular playlist.
The cricket ace shares, “I’ve thought of writing letters to the faujis to thank them. For starters, let’s just say thank you whenever we see a soldier, take an autograph or click a selfie. I am already doing it.”
.@RadioMirchi if romantic songs can b played everyday, no harm playing patriotic songs at least once a day! Is it that big a call???— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) January 27, 2017
Does Gambhir owe these strong emotions to his stature of being an Indian cricketer and having represented the country globally? “It is not about being a cricketer or a soldier and nor I think it is lacking in any of my fellow Indians. It’s just that we have got confused. We come out pumped seeing a Hindi movie based on India-Pakistan clashes or even the way India-Pakistan cricket matches are being sold, shows how we equate patriotism to Pakistan bashing. Surely, we should put any or all external forces in place who challenge our sovereignty but to me that alone is not patriotism.”blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en">
.@RadioMirchi on ur Republic Day parade tweet. Won't mind seeing respected jawans everyday, every hour, every minute...& in a loop.— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) January 27, 2017
Besides these small steps, Gambhir feels there’s a lot one can do. “I don’t want to sound preachy but I think a lot can be done. I have been thinking about writing personalised letters to the faujis to thank them and also tell them how much we value their presence. For starters, let us just say a big thank you whenever we see a soldier, take an autograph or click a selfie with him. I am already doing it, by the way.”
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