A citizen’s duty to be a nuisance to the government of his state
At a time when a lot of people feel loyalty to a leader or a party is a form of nationalism, this quote by JBS Haldane (a British born biologist who became an Indian citizen) is worth remembering. This was in response to someone calling him a world citizen (in 1962):
No doubt I am in some sense a citizen of the world. But I believe with Thomas Jefferson that one of the chief duties of a citizen is to be a nuisance to the government of his state. As there is no world state, I cannot do this. On the other hand, I can be, and am, a nuisance to the government of India, which has the merit of permitting a good deal of criticism, though it reacts to it rather slowly. I also happen to be proud of being a citizen of India, which is a lot more diverse than Europe, let alone the U.S.A, the U.S.S.R or China, and thus a better model for a possible world organisation. It may of course break up, but it is a wonderful experiment. So, I want to be labeled as a citizen of India.