Nationalism is a concept that involves a feeling of extremely strong attachment towards one’s own country.
Due to one or more than one object factors like race, religion, language, literature, culture etc., there grows in a people a strong feeling of like-mindedness which endows them with the quality of nationality.
This feeling of oneness prompts every member of the group to feel themselves as equal partners in the pleasure and regret, justice and injustice, pride and humiliation of the entire people. In such a situation, in their feeling of nationality mingled with their patriotism grows into a political ideology, it is called nationalism.
Thus, nationalism finds expression through political aspirations. When the sense of self-identity increases, every nation raises the demand for establishing its own state. Materialization of this demand results in the establishment of the nation-state.
Nationalism is a great democratic ideal which continues to live as the strongest force and continues to inspire struggle for national liberation in different parts of the globe.
It stands for the nation-state and love for the nation-state, and advocates that every nationality has a right to have its own state.
It maintains that every distinct human group possesses some special qualities which must be preserved and developed for the common good of humanity. This can be achieved only if that group is free to develop its own laws and institutions.
Actually, the great ideal of nationalism?live and let live?has opened the gate of human development. This particular sense of unity has enriched the world’s storehouse of knowledge by giving inspiration man to create newer arts, literature, fine arts, etc.
National wealth used for the common interest has established man’s legitimate rights at the international forum by paving the way for his economic emancipation.
Merits and Demerits
Merits of Nationalism
Useful for overall national development.
Forerunner of national independence.
Useful to establish democracy.
Extension of co-operation and fraternity.
Ensuring of internal stability.
All-round development of human civilisation.
Lessening of the possibility of war.
Complementary to internationalism.
Demerits of Nationalism
Distorted form of nationalism.
Creator of imperialism.
Propaganda for racism.
Against healthy culture.
Source of misdeed and misfortune.
Against world peace.