The Rising Problem of Fake Patriotism

When we talk about patriotism, we were told in school that it is a duty that needs to be done to show our love for country. For the last few years however, this love for country has been perverted and degraded into something that people couldn’t even imagine.

If I can recall, there was a movie I’ve watched last year. It was called “All Quiet on the Western Front” which was based on the novel of the same name. It gives a detailed amount of a German soldier in World War I and how he was disillusioned by the brutality of the war.

The major theme of the movie was the loss of patriotism among the soldiers. And towards the end of the movie, they weren’t fighting for anything.

The reason I’ve brought this up is because for the last few years on the internet, there has been a rise of patriotism. And for the most part, it just seems so fake, selective and often times very hypocritical.

There are always cases where some politicians, celebrities, corporations, media or other people in power or influence talk something patriotic. Most of the time, they don’t really mean it. They’re only saying or doing something patriotic just so they can advance their interests.

They know people are very emotional regarding topics like patriotism. So they try to do everything to manipulate, influence and trick their emotions so that they could get what they want. They’ll just guide to do their dirty work under the disguise of patriotism.

And god forbid, if someone makes a simple criticism against these influential person, they’ll use patriotism as a shield. Then they’ll make their people to attack that person and call him names like deshdrohi, anti-national or just go to Pakistan. This leads to constant online harassment, mob mentality and outrage culture. And it could harm a person’s psyche very badly to the point that it will lead to something very tragic and regretful.

It is really unfortunate to say that the Sedition Law has been oversaturated and misused a lot. Ever since the Kanhiya Kumar Case, the Sedition Law has been used as a mere and pathetic excuse to suppress a dissenting opinion.

And yet, people like Hindustani Bhau, who started off as a meme is revered by thousands of teenagers. All he really does, is just verbally abuse anyone and send death and rape threats to women in the name of patriotism. And he’s doing all of this while sitting in his car.

Another example I can think of is the YouTube subscribers feud of Pewdiepie vs T-Series. There were literally who were attacking Pewdiepie and his fans, all in the name of patriotic cause. They are doing this just because he made some jokes and diss-tracks about T-Series and India.

People don’t realize are just supporting a soulless corporation like T-Series just because it is Indian and they wanted to surpass a foreigner in subscribers. It can also be noted that T-Series is just abusing its power and influence like copying one of Ritviz’s song Udd Gaye or just making terrible remakes of their old songs like Masakali.

In the aftermath of Pulwama, Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut preached and lectured everyone about patriotism. She also talked a lot about Pakistan too. It’s funny, considering the fact that her movie Manikarnika was a hit in Pakistan. It just goes to show her hypocrisy, when it comes to making bucks.

It’s a same thing with celebrities like Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, John Abraham etc. Fast forward to 26th January 2021 on Republic Day, Akshay Kumar released a mobile game called FAU-G a battle royale game in the post PUBG ban era. In my opinion it is just a lazy attempt to exploit patriotism for money. It is just a pathetic cash grab of a game trying to chase trends made by PUBG, Fortnite, Apex Legends and Call of Duty Warzone.

At this point, I feel like Dhruv Rathee is right. “Patriotism is indeed a last refuge of a scoundrel”. Because every time when someone tries to debunk an argument made by a wannabe patriot, he or she just use the patriotism card to deflect the argument. This is not only sad but it is setting a dangerous precedent for the upcoming generation.

There is nothing wrong on being a patriot or loving the country. But it is wrong if people are using it as an excuse to get what they want or try to run away from actual issues that require the attention it deserves. Thus I hope people realize soon enough.

This article has been written by Anish Bachchan, a law student currently studying at Amity Law School, Noida.

Law Corner