On Patriotism: Real and Irrelevent

India GateLike me, you probably watched the cricket last summer. Although born in England, I feel I have earned the right to support India. After all, I’ve suffered enough haven’t I supporting England in the football. But oh no. I choose to support India in the cricket just as England trounce them. Should have stuck to India in the football and England in the cricket. Anyway, when else do I get the chance to support India in sport – the land of my ancestors? And surely, as any Man Utd supporter in Thailand will tell you, you don’t need to be born in the team’s neighbourhood to support it. Anyway, in supporting India I am not against England, just with India. All this is just me showing that my IQ is significantly higher than Norman Tebbitts – no it really is.

But what of patriotism? Patriotism should be made of greater things.

They say when you will something – the even the Gods join in. So it is I decided a few weeks ago to see what I could do to help eradicate child sex slavery in India. And as I made that personal decision, so it was persons came out of the woodwork to help – as if the Gods had joined in. This past week, at a Law School reunion, together with a fellow Barrister, with whom I studied Law and went to Bar School and worked in Washington DC, we decided that we would seek in the next five years to end child sex slavery in India. We both turned 40 this year and it seemed a worthy thing to do. The kind of thing barristers do. Thankfully there are many organisations undertaking this task. But actually – it is worrying there needs to be so many organisations undertaking this task. And then to my horror I discover it is not just in India but in England this happens too – as Kapil from this paper pointed out to me.

So as the media looks up its own behind because a few precious minor celebs had their boring and trivial voicemails hacked. And we justly enjoy (depending on who you support) the cricket, what of the things that matter? What of the child sex trafficking in England? Our Police Commissioners are too busy resigning over phone messaging systems sadly.

Why does England need the likes of RowForFreedom.com – a group of ladies rowing the Atlantic to raise funds for charities to combat this sex trafficking? Why is all Parliamentary Select Committee work not halted until this scurge is eradicated.

And what of in India – where I surmise their politicians care a heck of a lot less about their country measured by the levels of corruption – how will they ever eradicate child sex slavery?

So it is, I am sorry, but I cannot with pride salute the England or Indian flags in the cricket – because in both my countries – this problem exists. But instead of whinging, it is for me to get on with doing something about it.

So join me, whether you are an English or Indian patriot or a patriot of both countries. Do me a favour and look up these sites and do something that will make you more proud of your country than their winning a cricket match ever will.

The site I want you to visit: http://www.rowforfreedom.com

About Alpesh B Patel

www.alpeshpatel.com

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