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How Nationalism is Sprouted From National Character




It is widely known and followed that the traits, when any hiring in the public or private sector takes place, one is expected to carry, are veracity, diligence, integrity, etc.
Have we ever found out the inclusion of “National Character” among the required criteria at any workplace? Does it mean an individual not possessing it will not pose any serious threat to the continuous growth of a nation?
Firstly, it is essential to know what national character is.


National character

The term, National character, implies characteristics, habits, ideas, views and aspirations shared by a nation’s members or, more precisely, a majority of its members. Sometimes, The perceptions of national character are derived from mere personal experiences or some prejudices existed among a particular society. It must be understood that national character cannot, by any means, be confined to a geographical boundary chosen from a country to measure the whole nation’s character, after all, it is a yardstick which generalizes the expectations and expressions of people of the whole nation. 

Why a nation need national character,Nationalism,Patriotism 

Then term tends to portray an image of how its people approach in a specific situation on the basis of how they have done in the past. Perceptions are held on the basis of common characteristics found among the citizens of its country, for example, Japanese are said to be diligent, in the same way, Indians are deemed to be emotional worldwide.






How it defers from nationalism


Sometimes, nationalism and national character confound each other since both the terms are, somehow, associated with the characteristics of a sovereign nation. The term, nationalism, emphasizes that an independent nation should govern itself without any interruption or interference from any other nation. It also holds that the centre of all the political powers must be in the nation’s governing body. Nationalism seeks to preserve characteristics, ideas, expression, or better, traits mentioned under national character’s definition.

Cultural Diversity

India entails an enormously diverse culture. People from different caste, colour, religion and creed add numerous dimensional to society. 
Culture Diversity, Culture,tradition


Such diversity is bound to leave an impression on people’s nationalism, constructing the scope, how broad or how narrow, of their mentality. In a country, where north Indians and south Indians are entirely different, it becomes extremely difficult to measure their character as a whole.

Self-centred approach

It is always very often seen that people turn a blind eye to a nation’s perspective if that, in any way, seem to affect their luxury. A person jumping traffic lights is just an example of this behaviour.
It must be understood, somewhere or the other, every individual’s growth is associated, directly or indirectly, with its nation’s. To illustrate it let us draw a small comparison between Japan and India’s

Self-center approach,being mean
Img Source: Quoteseverlasting.com

economic statics versus their respective population :

                                    Japan

              India
          Population
   12.68 crores (2017)

          Population
130 crores approx
           GDP
4.87 lakh crores USD ‎(2017)
           GDP
2.6 lakh crores USD (2017)

The demonstration of the given statics was an attempt to reveal how an individual, if dedicated to a country’s well-being, can add a significant value to the nation. Though Japan’s incredible progress entails many more dimensions, this also carries a huge significance.  

Ways to instil national character into its people

Education

There have been debates worldwide that the study of national character should be included in the formal academics. The great Indian spiritual leader, Swami Vivekananda, during his stay at Almora, India, on being asked, by Ashwini Babu -an ardent disciple of Shri Ramakrishna Paramhans - how to infuse strength into the hearts of people, exchanged rather intriguing views with him. I am quoting them as they are :
“I understand you are engaged in some educational work. That is real work. A great power is working in you, and the gift of knowledge is a great one. But see that a man-making education spreads among the masses. The next thing is the building up of character. Make your students’ character as strong as thunderbolt. Of the bones of the Bengali youth shall be made the thunderbolt that shall destroy India’s thraldom. Can you give a few fit boys? A nice shake I can give to the world then. (Source:Pg:576,The life of Swami Vivekananda by his eastern and western disciples).
These thoughts, expressed in 1897, are still relevant, and will hold the same significance for posterity.

Upbringing

Being a responsible citizen of the country, every parent needs to understand they should inculcate in their children national values, along with social and moral ethics, since it will decide how the culture and economic fabric of the country stands upon.


Upbringing,Role of parenting in building up a great nation

In the end, I would like to emphasize that changes will be brought about when we treat our nation as our family-who we are responsible to take care of- and not just a neutral land.

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