“patriotism” is it a paradigm shift?

What are the first few words and thoughts you get once you hear the word “patriotism”? Some of the following might be in your list; country first, terrorism, supporting the army, fighting for the country, defending the country, etc right?


Yesterday one of my lecturers, namely Mr. Ravi Suriyaarachchi challenged everyone in my HR class that, we are not patriotic. Now the thing is Mr. Suriyaarachchi is someone whom I respect a lot for the qualities he have. He is the marketing manager of Abans and he does lecture to a large audience of students across the management field. A soft spoken, humble man, who appreciate every one responsible for his success and retain only 10% of the credit he get for himself.


However getting back to the topic, we were discussing about the working conditions of employees and he took the example of an military personnel and said that, they are a group of people who undergo the most worse working conditions. Then suddenly he asked “how many of you have contributed to the api wenuwen api” programme?” and it was stunning to see no hands coming up. He got angry at this point and asked “how many of you’ll are working?” more than 90% of the hands came up. Imagine his face?


Then he said “all our youth are up there fighting to save our country from the terrorist and you’ll don’t even just contribute 100 buks for them” he also said “don’t you’ll even care for our patriots dying up there?”. I don’t know what you think and what do you think is right, but I certainly know that, yes, it’s our own youth who is dying there! That’s very true! But however said and done that doesn’t mean that you need to give them whatever you can, does it?


Well for me, I think that, these military personnel are victims of a political system made to achieve their own gains. Whether it is the CBK’s Government or whether it is the MR’s Government, and even RW’s Government for that mater. I personally feel sorry for these youngsters, out of which some might not have had a chance, but to join the army just to find a way of income to live? You never know.


Mr. Suriyaarachchi also said that “terrorist should be wiped out, and the best way to wipe out these terrorist is by means of war”, well yes, I agree with you, this is a debatable topic and my personal view is that even terrorism cannot be won by a war. People need to come face to face, sit and talk, understand what each other want and them come to a consensus or compromise, if you can’t then negotiate a deal.


However whatever said and done, if I cannot tell the government that, they are doing wrong, not help the forces or say that the war is useless for that matter, does not make me a non-patriot? I personally love this country, don’t want to see any sort of divide, I don’t look down on any one and simply do not let down the country, and certainly not contributing to “api wenuwen api” doesn’t make me a non-patriot? Does it? Looking after the people dying for the country is something that the government needs to take care of, because all these problems are just because of them and their action in the past and even in the present and it’s high time for them to realize all these.


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