1) Blasphemy and Sedition are two sides of the same coin. They are both devices, coined by bullies, to beat others with. The only difference is that one uses the label of nation and other of religion. So there is no difference when you call some one anti national and exhort action or when clerics call some one infidel and issue fatwas. If you hate bullying by others don’t do it yourself.
2) Dark Ages were termed so because free thought was suppressed in name of religious conformity. A nation becomes great not by the fervor of its patriots but by intellectual breath of its thought processes. So the choice each one of us must make is to be inclusive and modern or to be exclusive and medieval.
3) In roman times, gladiatorial contests were organized to distract people from asking hard questions about social realities. All high decibel TV debates and verbal combats today are modern version of those bloodlust contests. We will be better served as a nation by asking hard questions about poverty, hunger, judicial reforms, educational reforms, LGBT and women’s right, child mortality rather than sparring over hoisting of the tricolor.
4) Never trust your govt to tell you the whole truth. Govts are not into truth business. They are into population management business. They will tell you things on a need to know basis and secondly will put a spin on them to suit themselves. So citizens should educate themselves on government policies and their contexts if they want to know the facts of a situation.
5) In times to come most wars will be fought by Robots, Drones and Artificial Intelligence Machines. Also wars will be privatized as is already happening in middle east where large number of private contractors are doing combat and intelligence duties. So pride in having a large standing army, is an idea whose time is at best, limited. A much better patriotism indicator is robustness of democratic institutions and general wellness of the population.