Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saare Jahan Se Acha..Ye Tiranga Humara…

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My India, My People and My Flag

"At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new…India discovers herself again."

- Jawaharlal Nehru
(on Indian Independence Day, 1947)

“When in despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love

have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it always". - Mahatma Gandhi

Jai Hind! It’s me the rectangular shaped raiment divided into equal horizontal colours with a blue wheel of 24 spokes in the middle. I distinguish our India from other countries. I am your very own national flag, the tricolour!!

15th August being one of the most historic days for our beloved country, when I see most of the population engaged in enjoying, performing, dancing and singing around, I would also want to confirm my presence by contributing my thoughts and feelings with you. Firstly I am overwhelmed with honour and pride to know that one of the citizens initiated to amend certain rules of [Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 and violation of flag code 2002.] After facing little opposition of FIR and complaints, he finally succeeded to announce that not only the ministers and VIPs but every Indian citizen can unfurl me with respect, honour and dignity even after 6 pm. Just one thing you need to make sure is to illuminate the surroundings or you might violate the Flag Code of Conduct.

My First Look

I have traveled for 63 years now since my recreation and have observed several ups and downs to grow older. I was officially adopted on July 22, 1947, a few months before India received independence from Britain on August 15. It was the nationalist political party, the Indian National Congress, whose efficient members designed me after long discussions and fuming arguments. Did you know I was initially introduced on August 31, 1931 as the national flag? And I looked absolutely different then. Red colour symbolizing strength was at the bottom, saffron for victory in the middle and green at the top for boldness and enthusiasm. Eight lotuses at the top symbolized provinces of British India and the sun and moon at the bottom represented Hindu and Muslim. Vande Mataram was inscribed in the center in Devnagari.

There were several changes made even after that with a Gandhi’s charkha that’s now become the blue wheel. The final and first national flag for independence was designed by Venkiah Pingali of Andra Pradesh, it was hoisted on August 16, 1947 at 8.30 am which then unfurled on August 15 since 1948.

Anyway I know that’s not much in your interest but there are ofcourse a few ecstatic and hard feelings that I want you people to know.

Today I Complain

Though there were certain strict rules inscribed to express love, respect and devotion to me just like what Hindus do to their Gods, Muslim does to his Allah and other do in their respective cultural Gods. It was said that:

-Under this flag there is no difference between a prince and a pauper, rich and poor, man and woman. Every Indian should rise to salute the national flag. (And what do they do when there’s an urgent need to maintain peace and harmony? They run holding me in groups to discriminate between the religions and batter those who overlook me!)

- The Tiranga must not be used as a drapery in any form whatsoever except in State / military funerals.
(Drapery? For God’s sake there are some Matajis who use me as foot-mat!!)

- The Tiranga must not be draped over the hood, top, sides or back of a vehicle or a train or a boat. (Dude! I am being printed on faces, as tattoos, pants etc.. No, am not being arrogant to receive full fledged respect from the citizens because I know it couldn’t be received forcefully. But I believe our constitution allows right to freedom of speech.)

- The Tiranga must not be used or stored in such a manner as may damage or soil it.

(Oh Please! don’t you realise they burn me almost daily in Kashmir or whenever and wherever some riots takes place?)

- When the Tiranga is in a damaged or soiled condition, it may not be cast aside or disrespectfully disposed of, but shall be destroyed as a whole in private, preferably by burning or by any other method consistent with the dignity of the flag. The other proper way to destroy the Tiranga could be immersion into the Ganga/lake or buried with due respect.
(No, dear people I am actually being sold out least in Re1 on the street square before and on August 15 and then dusted/ stamped/ shed/ dustbin-ned and everything after that. Didn’t you realise it yet?)

- The Tiranga must not be used as a portion of a costume or uniform of any description. It shall not be embroidered upon cushions or handkerchiefs or printed on napkins or boxes.

(Well I was imprinted in saree of a famous sports celebrity to touch her feet with other national flags of various countries. Yes, it created quite a hullabaloo around)

- The Tiranga must not be used in any form of advertisement nor shall an advertisement sign be fastened to the pole from which the flag is flown.
(Well sometimes there was too much of it to sensationalise and grip the sports star like Sachin Tendulkar who was accused of
sporting the flag on his cricket helmet below the BCCI emblem. He later changed it and placed the flag above BCCI emblem.)

Dear People…

I, the flag of India feature three coloured bands. The top band is saffron [representing courage and sacrifice, the second is white representing purity and truth, and the third band is green standing for faith, fertility and chivalry.] In the middle of the flag is a blue chakra signifying growth and development.

So, why don’t you just accept me as your national flag and not some sort of designed raiment to be draped or played and painted around? And dear people, I would be treated honourably around the world only when my own citizens would nurse me delicately. Don’t throw me away in the mud or stamp me after the day of freedom is over, because I represent you and you represent me through out the year anywhere and everywhere. Let me feel the feeling of sophistication that you tend to express but unknowingly disregard me most of the times.

There are a few refined ways to fold and preserve me that they usually do at Wagah Border. The same is followed by the neighbouring country Pakistan too. I believe the kind of discipline followed at Wagah Border could shake the soul of enemies to the core. Well, the simple ways to fold me up are:

1: Work with a partner to fold the flag of India. This will help you avoid having the flag touch the ground or anything else near it.

2: Hold one end of the flag with both hands while your partner holds the other end of the flag. The stripes should face up.

3: Fold the flag in half keeping the fold parallel with the stripes.

4: Fold the flag three times in the other direction. Each of the three folds should be equal in size to the other folds.

5: Keep the flag of India in a respectable place and handle with care. It should not be placed on the ground, on a table or in any other manner which might be deemed as disrespectful.

So, I sign off with an enthusiasm to be unfurled on all the buildings, houses and offices depicting the grace of my country and citizens today. Happy Independence Day!!


UB said...

Amazing post!Well written.

Rashmi... said...


Anonymous said...

Jai Hind!! Lovely

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