In the last few days I have become very proud of Delhi people. The support that has poured in for the gang rape victim (she has been symbolically named Damini) is very uplifting. Images of young kids full of passion, idealism and love for justice is immensely inspiring. I am very happy that my country is in good hands.
While watching the images of protest on the television, it suddenly hit me that there is no symbol of India that can be commonly used by its citizens. All symbols have been appropriated by the government for their exclusive use and are not available for free use by the citizens. The display of Indian flag is governed by the Flag Code of India.
I call for the movement. "Free and save the Indian flag"
Free and save the Indian flag from the government of India. Today, the Indian flag symbol cannot be used by the citizens in any form. Make a dress of it, you shall be arrested. Put it on your shoes, you shall be arrested. Make an underwear of it, you shall be arrested. Make a cap of it, you shall be arrested.
The government jealously guards the symbols of our nation. The truth is that the symbols belong to the people. India needs a unifying symbol and the flag is a very good good example of it. See how the bonding happens between the disparate groups of Indian cricket team supporters when their faces are painted in Indian colours.
In our daily lives, such use of Indian symbol is missing. The Indian flag symbol is a symbol of unity.
In our everyday life, we come across use of many non-national symbols. However they tend to be taken in a divisive or non-inclusive manner. You visit a shop and more often than not, you shall spot the religious symbols prominently displayed that are dear to the shop proprietor.
These overt display of religious symbols often act as inhibitors to those of different faith. The bonding does not happen to that extent, as it should happen. But imagine a situation in which the shopkeeper, while displaying his faith's symbols, simultaneously displays the Indian flag prominently as well? The possibility of a connect happening goes up manifold.
Let all Indians be made free to use the Indian flag symbol in whatever manner they wish to use it for.
Critics of this idea will raise the issue of the insult to the idea of India by the possible desecration of the flag. But this is a hollow argument. If there is a group of people who are unhappy with the government, then let them express their anguish and anger even through the ultimate act of burning the flag.
We can look to the United States of America for inspiration, where the American flag is used in any manner in which the American citizen desires. In fact, I have seen a few Bollywood movies in which the Indian actors are donning the American flag and prancing around in it. No such thing is permitted for the Indian flag! America has not weakened due to such a use of their flag. Neither shall India become weak.
Instead of getting worked up in rage, the society should examine the cause which led to such a desecration of the flag. The desecration of the flag should make the government and the society engage with the protesting group and only good can come out of such an engagement. Slowly and steadily the society shall become a better place, and as a consequence, India a better country. The protesters who would have had burnt the Indian flag, would also find solace under the same flag, once they realise that justice has been done to them.
Let's free the Indian flag.