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This enigma called Nationalism

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A lil something broke inside me today
As I scrolled through my timeline
I felt like I was being persecuted
For just no fault of mine.

How did it turn out this way Lord
For neither reason nor rhyme
What did I do to become so sinful
How did loving my country become a crime.

Nationalism was like that fuzzy feeling
Of loyalty and allegiance to your mother
When did they change its definition
To mean superiority over others

Einstein called it a disease Lord.
“The measles of mankind”
de Gaulle thought it meant hatred
For people other than your kind.

As I introspected on my vocabulary
I learnt I’ve been naive all along
For even your sentiments are secondary
But Your diction just can’t be wrong.

If for what I feel I can’t be a nationalist
Then those at the other end of the spectrum
Just can’t be called as anti national
There just must be another term.

To know you I must first know me
So I decided I had to take some time
To put my thoughts out on paper
To turn my sentiments into a rhyme.

My nation to me meant my people
And the bond we shared so strong
And even though I wasn’t born there
It’s where I’ll always belong.

My nationality was my identity
Wherever in the world I would roam
We stuck together like a clique
Like people from one home.

To me nationalism meant respecting
Her land her flag her every sign
Realising her every stand was paramount
Than any contrarian opinion of mine.

To ensure my ramblings
Don’t appear as a hollow note
I’ll even go as far
And add an anecdote.

I never believed in the splitting of Kashmir
I thought Aksai Chin should be ours
My country took a different stand
And so very grudgingly I must concur.

For Kashmiris are my people too
You fight for their right to decide
But why stop with those living there
Include the Pandits who were ostracized.

If a nationalist is what I am not
Then I must google to find my name
I guess I can call myself a Patriot
I wish you could claim the same.

I hope you find your own label
For I have nothing left to say
I’m just going to end my rant
With a “Bharat Mata ki Jai”

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