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Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Letters

Orwell's warning about nationalism

I am a Canadian of South Asian descent, who was living in Canada during 9/11. In those uncertain and terrifying post-9/11 days, my family and I were constantly on edge and felt we had to prove our loyalty and patriotism - even in Canada. It was truly a climate of 'you are with us or against us' and there was no grey area in between, no space for opposing viewpoints. I feel the same sentiments today when I look at what is happening in Bangladesh. George Orwell described patriotism as the "devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people." Conversely, he described nationalism as the feeling that your way of life, country, or ethnic group is superior to others and warned this feeling can lead a group to impose their way of life on others. That is something worth pondering over, whatever one's political affiliations.

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