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Thursday, January 22, 2009

The National Flag! Do we really respect it?

Dear Folks!
Sanjay Pethe writes a column named ‘Third Eye’ in the supplement ‘Viva’ of a Marathi daily ‘Loksatta’. As the narration accompanying the heading of this column rightly says, his latest article “Rashtradhwaj! Rashtrasadi? Rashtraphete?” is really an eye opener!
I try to translate his massage here.
“There had been few vendors selling kites on the roads for four-five days after the nation celebrated the festival of Makarsankranti. Since yesterday I do see these replaced by the tricolor clothes- tea shirts, dupattas! On the blue backgrounds of the tea shirts are printed the images of our tricolor national flag! And these are sold for the ‘quality’ price ranging from Rupees 50 to Rupees 100!! Does the people wearing these items are boasting their pride towards the nation!! It really aroused my anger!!!
Those who just don’t have the common sense to pick up the national flag which some body has thrown on the road, how would they boast such pride? The ugly demonstration of the tricolor tea shirts or the tricolor turbans seen in the audiences at the cricket match venue is just ridiculous! Don’t they feel ashamed of it? Mandira Bedi, the ‘idol’ of the TV channels has crossed all the boundaries in that sense. Do you remember her appearing with the tri colored Saree on Set Max channel at the time of the cricket world cup? It was totally a shameless act! Punnet Nanda who had designed the Saree must be expecting the utmost laurel ‘Bharatratna’! This was just like celebrating a fancy dress day on the part of Mandira Bedi. She has satisfied her whim of wearing the tri color!
But do we know who has designed our proud tri color? Whose was this idea?? How many of us do really know??? The Government has the conscious to declare a public holiday and offering tribute to the person who has designed the law structure of this country; it does have the same for the father of the nation with an added tribute of a dry day too! The text books do have the lessons on the great works of these respectable persons! But our Government didn’t find any necessity of introducing the designer of the tricolor flag to the nationals of this republic nation, one which is known to be the biggest republic of the world! This is shameless!
Mr. Pingali Venkayya is the person who has been the master brain behind our tri color, it is his idea! Pingali Venkayya hailed from Macchhalipattanam, Andhra Pradesh. He died in 1963 and we don’t have a monument in his memory! Many years after his demise our Government offered family pension to his daughter. We have a Padmashree for a lady singer who sings the poems of one of our PM in her beautiful voice! A cricketer who scores 35 centuries gets greatest laurels in this country but any ruler or any Government not at all have thought to commemorate the person who had designed our national flag! And the designer of the national Saree of Mandira Bedi, Mr. Puneet Nanda gets an acclaim- may it be good or bad!! Every national including me should feel ashamed of this!!!
We do have the code of conduct for our national flag but it seems that it is just meant to décor our great IPC! Else if the national flag is being insulted every now and then why shouldn’t one term our Government as a hermaphrodite?
On a visit of a former Pakistan President Parvez Musharraff, the plane carrying him had flagged India’s tricolor upside down. My photographer friends had clicked it and spread it all over as national news! If they had clicked the photo upside down with the plane and Mr. Musharraff looking upside down and would have printed the photo and the news all over, the Pak nationals would definitely have furious. But why then my photographer friends had not shown the shrewdness and the pride for the nation at that time to print the photo with our national flag rising in proper manner? Who would have got insulted if the photo would have depicted the tricolor in proper manner?
The national flag is not a mere piece of a cloth! We should remember this from the bottom of our heart! It should become a part of our subconscious! Our text books should have a separate lesson on Pingali Venkayya and on our national flag. The misuses and abusers of the flag should be severely punished. The Khadi and Village Industries Corporation should be the sole body manufacturing the tricolor national flag.
I am an ordinary citizen of this country and it compelled me to write on this topic as I observe that there is a definite differentiation for punishing a layman and punishing a celebrity on account of such misbehavior.
The republic day is approaching and many a citizens would get overloaded with the emotion of national pride. Some would paint their cars in tricolor, some would have a tattoo of it on their cheeks, some would wear the tricolor and some would resist the scorching sun rays entering their homes by putting tricolor curtains. Some would cut the tricolor cake to celebrate this occasion. But does anybody realize that they are insulting our national pride by performing such acts?
Or the law making and observing bodies would able to judge these insults?
I doubt! I really doubt! But I appeal the sensitive nationals of this great nation! Let us be agile on this day! To those all who get attracted towards the tricolor as a fashionable item or a fashionable design I appeal, let us remember Mr. Pingali Venkayya, the creator of our beloved tricolor at least on the auspicious days of 15th August and 26th January!”

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