Is patriotism overrated? What is patriotism anyway? An irrational love for ones country irrespective of regional, ethnic, religious or cultural differences. Why is patriotism? It is obvious. To build a 'nation' one must have people who relate to one another so that they can see beyond the short boundaries of personal/familial interest and look towards the interest of the group as a whole. Ideally, the relation can be ideological in nature. However, historical evidence and the knowledge of human nature leads to the conclusion that as humans are irrational beings, thus they can be governed by principles of irrationality. This is done using the concept of patriotism.
Patriotism (or nationalism, or social-nationalism or national socialism or nazism... see where I'm going with this?) is but a name for the Universal Method. Now the Universal Method goes by many names and flavours that differ subtly from one another in their means of execution or agenda, but essentially they are the same. The chief ideal shared by practitioners of and believers in the Universal Method is the ideal of the One and the Other (or the Not One). Indians are no strangers to this policy having first-hand exposure to the methods of 'Divide and Rule' from their erstwhile rulers and from caste-based vote-banks etc. But I digress.
Patriotism is illogical. Why should I love my country? Because I was born there? Isn't it rather like being forced to love ones family? What if I was born in Pakistan? Would it be right to love Pakistan in that case? Or the USA? My point here being that like religion, patriotism is largely determined by ones birth and not ones choice. To take an analogical example: would a girl raised by abusive parents be compelled to love them merely because of the circumstances that led to her being biologically related to them? Then why are we compelled to love our country despite all the abuse it inflicts upon us? (It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss those various wrongs but I will try and touch upon those issues later)
Why can't things like religion and patriotism be matters of educated choice rather than compulsory conditioning from birth?
Intelligent comments encouraging rational debate are welcome, please don't write stuff like: "Stfu, m Indian nd I luv mah countrie so shutt uppp u!" and the like.