In spite of our advancing ages, we are still reminiscent of our younger days. It is none other than the national anthem heard through school campuses in the vicinity of our dwellings or while passing near schools. Its lyrics had ever been on our lips some time in the past. While listening to it, I cannot help entertaining the thought of the past. Nearly half a century ago, we used to willingly and whole-heartedly sing it in unison every morning assembly hour in our school days. Some sang in whisper with a few students closing their lips, but there could be the sound heard even outside our school compound. The words of the song are meaningful and it is not an exaggeration to say that it was really sweet in our ears. It is unarguably the most effective song that instils the spirit of patriotism in us, not forcefully indoctrinating the spirit into our minds. Comprehending the essence of the anthem fully will help us learn to love our motherland. Throughout the history, our forefathers showed their patriotism and gained the Independence. We savored the fruits of the freedom gained by our ancestors’ efforts.
Although we had no chance to depict ours in the same way, we too had the latent huge reserve of that spirit in us. Patriotism is not the thing to be repeated in public. When it comes to showing it, we will never be conspicuous by our absence. This is not our rhetorical attitudes toward the motherland. We need to reciprocate the gratitude of the country by being dutiful to the nation. It is the most important thing for us to never ever betray our country intentionally or otherwise. As known by all, patriotism means love for one’s country and willingness to defend it. We must also keep it in our mind that blind patriotism or chauvinism can lead to xenophobia and racism which nobody accepts in our civilized world.
The lyrics in our national anthem composed in 1940 and adopted in 1947 by Sayar Tin highlight our rights as well. As described in it, for our country to be a just fair and independent one, we need to have a clean government and good governance so that we can enjoy peace and tranquility. And equal rights will be granted to us. Here, rights and duties need to be adjusted. Failing that, administration will be in chaos and we will not be able to get out of vicious circle of the evil. Our national anthem can be said to be a roadmap for all of us residing in the country including our government. As long as independence exists, we can develop our country. Not to lose our independence, in other words, for any aggressors not to offend the sovereignty of our nation, we are all responsible. In Article 385 of the Constitution of Myanmar, 2008 it is definitely stated that every citizen has the duty to safeguard independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and in Article 386 as well it is clearly written that every citizen has the duty to undergo military training in accord with the provisions of the law and to serve in the Armed Force to defend the Union.
In a developed country like the Republic of Korea, the mandatory military service system has been exercised for years, to be exact, since 1965. Its citizens are not bellicose jingoists but they are ready to safeguard their land. It is time for our leaders to deeply think about what we shall do to protect our mother country and sovereignty from aggression of subversive elements.