India, our home country with a rich heritage and a timeless tradition needs no introduction. Our country led the world by example in various fields and aspects. We had a unique “Indianness” which differentiates us from the rest of the world. It is this ‘Indianness’ which the world admires and tries to emulate us. India isn’t just what we see during the introduction of a movie where it is used to fill the void in the celluloid where it just pans to the Taj Mahal, zooms to the Gateway of India or vrooms through the India Gate, show serene locations and end up with the art and architecture of our temples and mosques. That isn’t just India. India is much more. It is beyond 3.287 million square kilometres we have. It is the people in our country who defined the greatness of our country beyond boundaries.

It’s people of our country who turned stone into sculpture with just a chisel and a hammer.  It’s people of our country who turned the world’s attention with their inventions. It’s people of this country who turned mere investments into mighty profits. It’s people of this country who turned seeds into food. It is people of this country who gave the world a diverse and mouth-watering cuisine. It’s people of this country who taught the world. It’s people of this country who advocated us how to live. It’s people who turned ideas into art, painting, and literature. It’s people of this country who showed us direction and light in times of darkness. Well, who are these people?

In our land of over a billion people we can easily identify those people. A fair share of them have contributed their share in making our country great. These people have already defined the idea of India by doing things which they are good at. It’s our responsibility now as citizens of India to live up to the idea of India. The good thing about the idea of India is that it doesn’t ask for anything extravagant or anything out of the box. It just has one prerequisite which is to exist and let people different from you also exist in harmony. The idea of India urges us to do things which we can do no matter how small they are. As long as we aspire and perspire to achieve what we aspire with honest efforts, we will surely make our country great.

It’s not the same way that people exhibit their love for India. Few protect our borders from illegal infiltrations and foreign invasions. They sign up to die for the country. That’s their love for the country. They are our mighty armed forces which stand tall exhibiting an aura of courage and strength. Their love for country is truly unconditional . Then we have our peasants who feed our country irrespective of flood or drought. The erratic conditions won’t bother our peasant as he will go on with his work with or without any support. Their love lies in the food we eat. Then we have bureaucrats who safeguard the constitutional framework of our country. In safeguarding that framework and in serving the people lies their love for the country.

In representing and winning for the country lies the spirit and love of a sportsperson. He or she dedicates his/her entire life for sport and masters that sport and exhibits the skill on the world stage. Professors and teachers impart moral and technical intelligence and nurture the future citizens of our country and in that nurturing lies their love for the country. Politicians come up with sound policies and schemes which help to make people’s lives better. Also in making sure all sections of the society are accommodated without any communal tensions lies the love of a politician’s love for the country. However, politicians love for the country is rather scarce.

As citizens, our love for our country lies in abiding by the rules and regulations laid out to us by the constitution. We need to put our convenience behind the constitution rather than putting our convenience ahead of our constitution. We as citizens have been pretty generous with our politicians who hardly deliver anything, so why not be generous and show our gratitude towards constitution which gave us a lot without any fancy advertisement. Mere doing for the sake of doing doesn’t mean we are living up to the idea of India. And what exactly is this true love for India?

True love for our country lies in fighting against the pollution in the Yamuna which is tarnishing the beauty of our Taj Mahal, not fighting over whether Taj Mahal was called Tejo Mahal making it a Hindu-Muslim clash. True love for our country means standing by the departed souls of our martyrs and paying homage to them rather than politicizing their death for petty political gains. True love for our country believes in the concept of “Vasudaiva Kutumbakam” which means the world is one family. That family includes people of all religions and faiths without any discrimination. That is what people who truly love the idea of India do, not by removing Muslims out of the NRC bill of Assam. True love for the country doesn’t lie in the disputes over masjids and mandirs. Nor does it lie in the lies of hate mongers and communal orators. It doesn’t gel well even in the newsrooms filled with pungent political propaganda. Journalists love for the country lie in reporting facts and giving unbiased news rather than spreading blatant blunt views.

True love for our country lies with people who want the country to be in peace, not those who want to see it in pieces. It lies with the people who inculcate the idea of India by waving the flag to the voices, ideas, ideologies, criticism, political commentary, debates, discussions and many more without silencing the voices by taping their mouths with a tri coloured tape. True love for the  country lies  in  questioning our  government  for  a  better  quality  of  life,  health,  better infrastructure, and better education not in mindlessly clapping for the government for every white lie being served as a welfare scheme. True love for the country doesn’t lie in lying that stem cell was invented in ancient India or saying we had internet during the Mahabharata era or saying Indians invented plastic surgery. True love lies in acknowledging our indigenous scientists and their innovations not in giving sops to dubious self-proclaiming god men.

True love for our country lies in respecting women and treating them fairly not by holding a procession in favour of the rapist of an 8-year-old girl. True love lies in equality and the respect we show towards other genders. True love doesn’t lie either in the discrimination on the basis of caste or in the emboldening of a particular religion as superior to others. True love also elopes with reason  when dumb  acts  and  practices like  astrology, vaastu,  numerology, and  many more obnoxious practices take centre stage in people’s lives by subtly attaching these dumb activities to religion. True love also doesn’t exist with people who hold the sticks and stones that break the harmony of this country writing riots in the history of our country with blood.

One’s love for the country can’t be confined to chanting slogans or holding flags. It lies in the simplest of actions which urges us to be united despite our differences. Fulfilling our needs instead of greed. It lies in respecting all religions, faiths, sects, genders, castes, equally. Stop falling prey to cruel communal creatures who try to dense the divide between religions, regions or castes is what our love demands. It’s our duty to sense this and stay united and true to our conscience to let our love for the country flourish without any blemish.

Love is in every corner of our country, only the people in condominiums with vested interests have hate hovering in their homes. So beware of them as hate is contagious.

Live and let love live in this great land where hate is also won by love.