Planet earth, inhabited by over 7 billion people across six continents, is changing except for the land water ratio for the past three centuries although in some parts land reclamation is taking place that is being more than matched by landslides, soil erosion, and flooding. Notwithstanding the physical changes such as climate change, global warming, deforestation, rapid urbanization and others, people are adopting new behaviors, inculcating new values and subsequent lifestyles, especially with the globalization momentum, there is no stopping of either event. Often cited as “dynamic” this phenomenon is applicable to the positive as well as negative outcome of these events, more prominent and frequent in the past one hundred years or so. Though nature, in spite of its furies, does maintain its overall balance in the maintenance of the physical space of this planet, the same cannot be said of humans. Humans, particularly the rulers, are unpredictable, cruel, insensitive and ruthless that forced innocent people of this world to near extinction in the two great wars within a span of less than fifty years. Considering the latest mindset of global and regional leaders, becoming too self-centered and devoid of compassion, it is near Impossible to gauge the extent of harm or devastation the modern leaders can inflict on the human race.
These ‘modern patriots’ have not only given a bad name to classical patriotism but also creating a state of fear and insecurity with their self-styled ever changing definition of patriotism that they concoct. While the United States has of late taken a stand of ‘make America great again’ and dismantle many collaborative arrangements even with the industrialized nations, and regardless of its impacts and consequences that reach far and wide, Russian Federation (Former Soviet Union) seems to be intent on acquiring its lost glory through strengthening of its military power. The people of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island, took no time to exit the EU that they helped found and nurture in the past 70 years. There the UK leaders seem to have favored sovereignty and independence over economic benefits. The change does not end there.
In Asia itself the two emerging economies, India and China, seem to have taken different courses but keeping economics well in sight. While China is trying to realize its dream through the newly revived silk road, named as “Belt and Road” connecting Asia to Europe through Africa, India, apart from its own version of silk road—India-Japan-US, is trying hard to modernize its infrastructure including the financial one. At first glance it appears that the era of collaborative cooperative infrastructure is being replaced by ‘we, ours and us’ and thus fully focused on nation building at any cost to others. This is a cause of greater concern since no one nation can progress forward in any field without the cooperation of its neighbors, regional actors and ultimately the international stakeholders. As its stands this is a sure recipe for impending disaster.
The winds of change have swept over every nation and narrow nationalism or ultimate patriotism is not only causing pains to the friendly countries but also its own people. Nevertheless, the developed as well as rapidly developing nations appear to understand and upkeep their national interest which they hold very dear to their heart and do anything possible to protect it. Many poor developing countries seem to be losing sight of what is best for them and act in such a way that they inflict insult to injury. Take the case of Nepal, a relatively smaller country of South Asia.
It was not long ago that a leader of an NGO boasted in public during a seminar that he was able to get appointment with an influential country’s member of the EU where the head of state of Nepal at the time failed. How can he be so naïve that insult (rejection) to a head of state is an insult to the country that he belongs to? There is no dearth of wise men in Nepal who make predictions on a daily basis. A recent article in an Indian online paper states that the present PM of Nepal has promised many things to Indian PM but he will not fulfill any of those promises. Is he doing any service to the nation by openly challenging the credibility of an elected PM of Nepal? Or could it be the modern patriotism in-the-making?