Patriotism: A Vague Word for Bangalis
So, the other day I was hearing this while passing by elementary school, “Vabi, my boy only can say Dog and Cat. He doesn’t even understand what Kukur-Biral is. Hihi!” Then with some more of such examples like that. Her Son is so bad in Bangla! And She was telling that with such pride! I couldn’t even comprehend the point. A Legendary American Football player Walter Payton once said, “If you forget your roots, you’ve lost sight of everything.” I really cannot understand, how come denying your own roots and origin might make you feel proud of yourself. Is not it more shameful? Not to be brave enough share your true identity and forgetting your direct ethnicity. I have been to places and let me tell you – The first thing everyone is going to ask you is, where you are from and how it is like there. If you fail to clearly paint the picture and present things optimistically, they will not dislike your place. But only you. It is the greatest shame not to know much about origin, the more it is to deny about it.
May be I went a bit emotional over there. But the actual point is, how can our new generations will grow patriotism if they only learn to oppose and deny their identity of being a Bangladeshi in the first place? And specially if it is from their parents? To our guardians, yes it is important and a great news that your child is very good in some second language. Specially, if that is international language – English. But please! Please also teach them to value their origin. Without so, they will never be committed about their life or learn to care about personal identity. It might not affect them in early life, but soon it may hit them as a self-bewildering question. Believe it or not, this is the core fact and technique the evil master-minders use to tweak the brains of the innocent. By confusing and tricking them in forming some sort of entangle twisted mindset to become their puppets. That’s how, these type of children one day become extremists in later life.
Our school systems are doing about the same shitty job. Of course it is important to focus on math, science, and English as well. But also teach the young minds about the values of their country. Just some textbooks cannot teach one’s ethnicity. Encourage them to be curious about their country. Make them spontaneously get introduced with their culture. Kids these days will never feel the fun of playing Latim, Gollasut, Hadudu, Kanamasi, Biscope, or even Marbel games. Cause most the school doesn’t encourage any true form recreation but text-books only. Most the academic institutions even do not have any kind of literature books in the library! Then again, how many libraries even do we have? Also, only few schools properly celebrate annual cultural days. Even history books are written as boring as possible. Pages of dates and text. No picture or commentaries. The history teachers put the extra salt in their as well, by being boring as hell. Histories are meant to teach and encourage. Not to be memorized line to line only to fill in the gaps question. Least they should be introduce with the significance of Vasha Andolon, Muktijuddho, Bangabandu, Sher-e-Bangla, Suhrawardy, Vashani, Nazrul and what the word ‘Shahid’ actually means. The sacrifices, the glories and the steel pride. If they cannot learn to appreciate or love least one aspect of their country or culture how can they ever be a patriot? Because of this, when a high school student is asked at Shahid Minar on Ekushe February what is the occasion, they reply in camera with confidence, “Shadhinota Dibosh!”. They will never feel Bangladesh, but see it as just a piece of muddy humid land on earth. Writing about these only making me sad.
Hence, with such environment and influence most grow with a mindset of abandon the country for good. The feeling that, ‘This country can never prosper!’, makes them defy their country. From the poor to middle-class, everyone has such mindset nowadays that, if they could just leave this country for good they would be able to do great many things! Why wouldn’t they? Even our politicians and medias praise abroad countries, as if those are heavens. Then, is Bangladesh nothing but an insignificant 3rd world green country? A “Bottomless Basket”? They sing the chorus in harmony, “Exactly!”. And some of the spoiled rich people. Well, except their meat and blood, nothing else represents their country. There are few exceptions too. The valiant soldiers, some security enforcers and most of the culture concerned artists, musicians or literature. Their contributions still kept the map of Bangladesh as a unique, and a place of its own nation. But their numbers are decreasing too. In the absence of newer generation to carry on their torch.
These cause the void of patriotism in the countrymen. A good man not only takes care of himself, but also of his surroundings. Patriotism is the first core thing that may turn someone to reach out to others, to help. They learn to think about others. They care for their people, and their country. They stand to not only protect their own honor, but as well of the pride of their identity and origin. Without such teachings a country can never prosper. Often, neither the person. There will not be Ygritte in everyone’s life to remind that, “You know No’thing!”. Nor there will be scene of ‘Braveheart’ where some leadership figure like Mel Gibson will give speech in the battlefield. One needs to tend his roots and keep it alive as possible till the last breath. Again, we are not trees. We move around. Some even settle far far away one day. But never forget from which seed you came from. You are responsible to carry out the name of your forefathers, culture and your country. Honor the names, protect its values and care for anyone or anything that can be related to those. Only then you can call yourself a patriot, and a Bangladeshi.