23 January, 2021

A Nation Within 4 Temples

The millennia-old idea of Bharat has been gripped in confusion since Indian independence. Now is as good a time as any to clear the haze.

Illustration by Sajith Kumar
A Nation Within 4 Temples

Patriotism, nationalism, nation and country are not ind­ependent concepts. They are so inter-related that none of them can be comprehended in isolation. Patriotism is not just love for a piece of geography. It is devotion to the idea of one’s nation—in which a territory, people and their history, culture and ancestry converge. A nation needs territory, but it is not equal to just territory. Also, not all nations’ nationalism is alike. An organically evolved nation is the collective consciousness of a people with shared history and values. Here are two contrasting examples of nationalism for a closer inquiry— the US and Israel.

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