Sparking a Conversation: Ethos of National Anthems

In the next video in our ‘Sparking A Conversation’ series, Ali Khan Mahmudabad explores the ideas behind a country’s national anthem. Should it be law to stand up and sing one’s national anthem, or should such an act stem naturally from people who feel love and respect for their homeland? A certain country’s sense of nationalism does not exist without any context, much like the rules and traditions of several main religions. It follows that a country’s national anthem is also contextualized based on issues faced by that country at the time it is written. While Germany has a militaristic anthem stemming from the invasion of France at the time it was made, India’s anthem highlights the diversity of its citizens, as it was created during the British rule, a time when the nation had to come together and fight.However, while national anthems may be symbols of patriotism, it is not necessary for people to feel love or respect for one’s country when it is played. Such a love or one’s country must be brought about organically, such that a person, purely out of love and respect for their nation, willingly rises when the anthem plays. True nationalism only comes from someone’s own volition, and not in fear of an FIR.

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