Monday, August 15, 2005

Get closer to your flag

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore at olympics

Rakesh sharma took it to space.

Ram's post on flags and the independence day triggered me to write this post.

What does a flag represent?.Is it something sacred,something patriotic, something that symbolizes the sacrifice of all those people who died to protect this nation?.Or is it just a piece of clothe with a beautiful design.

In our country where everything from cows to coconuts are elevated into a sacred thing, the flag also got elevated to something very sacred.We called our country as bharath matha, gave some weapons and seated her on a tiger or a lion and made the country into a goddess.And promptly the flag also took a place in the hands of the devi.The flag was taken away from the citizens and was given to the god.

There were times when an indian citizen cannot fly a flag on days other than republic and independence day.The reason, the govt didn't want the sacred flag to be misused.

The people in the govt didn't show there patriotism in taking efforts to take back the parts of the country occupied by pakistan or china, or in stopping the many million peoples who are infiltrating into the country.They showed there patriotism by keeping the flag a sacred thing and keeping it away from the common man.

I vaguely remember a scene from the movie "American President" where talking about someone who has burn't USA's flag.The president says that he is happy that he is providing that freedom to his citizen.He is happy that the citizens of his country have that freedom and are exercising that to raise a point.That came as a shock to me.Rather than considering a flag as a important thing as something to remember the sacrifices of our leaders.He was placing an individual's freedom above the sacredness of a flag.

i was irritated to know that in our country we can't even hoist the flag on days other than independence and republic day till a few years back.But it all changed because of an idealistic young man.

Naveen Jindal an industrialist, filed a case asking govt to permit every citizen to raise the indian flag in his house/company.He won the case.But that wasn't the end.The govt of India appealed against the judgment which allowed him to hoist the flag.
On January 26, 1993, he hoisted the flag at his Raigarh factory. The next day, it was no longer there. When questioned, the factory manager explained that the flag could not be displayed daily. Jindal was shocked and furious; he ordered the manager to hoist it back.

"The flag looked so good," Jindal remembers. "It was a symbolic way of showing our love for our country. Psychologically too, it was great. The workers felt they were working for their country, not for a company. The one common thing that bound us together in our office was the flag."

Raigarh's collector, superintendent of police and other senior government officials would occasionally hint that Jindal was not allowed to display the flag. None of them, though, could counter his argument: "If I cannot fly my flag in my country, where else can I fly it?".More

But some people are sceptical that the flag might be misused.Like the incident where designer malini ramani made a strapy knee length dress resembling the flag.There was lot of protest to it.It was an incident that told that we dont have the maturity to see the flag as something other than a sacred one.Why do we get offended on a so called misuse, can't some one be patriotic by huging or feeling the flag over his/her body, by being closer to it??.why do we always keep a distance from the flag??

Narain Karthick

Now that the restriction on use of flags has gone with the Flag code introduced in 2002.There will be more incidents of so called MISUSE of flags.But strangely even those purist who dont want people to misuse the flags by commeners, dont seem to fly it in there houses or offices.

Now you can fly the flag not only on independence and republic day , but all through out the year.Even the govt's ban on the use of flag symbols by sportsmen was lifted last month.So excersice your right indians, Get closer to your national flag, let it fly on the independence day and every other day of the year in your home and office. Cherish the freedom that this nation has given to you, give importance to the flag depending on the context in which it is used.


Naveen jindal and his yuva hindustani site
The supreme court verdict in pdf
jindal the sportsman

very nice compilation and a spirit raising post senthil.
Superb post, Sen. Although I don't agree that the flag can be burnt by the citizens (isn't it about a country's pride?), I do agree with the other points.

"The flag was taken away from the citizens and was given to the god."

Very true. Perhaps this is why the Sangh people used Vande Mataram as the Hundutva mantra. I doubt whether they have understood the spirit in those words. But I also think linking religion to the nationalism was necessary in those days of freedom struggle. Because the un-educated ordinary people would easily fall for the religious reasons more than the patriotic reasons. But these images can make a feeling in the citizens who believe in other religions that India something that is not for them.

So that was a clever decision from our ealry leaders to relate patriotism with religion. The same happened in the USA in the times of 9/11, I guess. They saw the terrorist attacks as a threat not only to the USA but to the Christianity also. Several churches and the president himself used the situation to unite the countrymen.

As for the flags, yes, USA has much freedom in this case. I have always envied them when I see how they display the flags in their houses, offices, factories etc etc... (no, not the undies) :-)

We should be free to do the same. And as you said we should use our right to do the same. I plan to print the flag on the coffee cup I use regularly.
this is a superb post, senthil.

appreciate the research & efforts gone behind this, to reiterate the point which you wanted to tell.

agree with you 100% on the importance of having 'Our own nation' feeling thru the flags.
Can't agree more with you - has been reflective of so many discussions that i've had on this topic..

As usual, religion kooda sethu oru vaaru variraka - paravala po ;)

iam not advocating flag burning :).I just told it as an example.

Again we cannot keep going to our past and say why everything from our eating habits to general well being has been clevely mixed to religion by our fore fathers.We have matured, we have been enlightened and its time we came out of those bindings.

And as u said it does distance another religion person doesn't it..

coffee cup.. way to go jo :)


thanxs... the philosopher itself giving permission to me.iam glad :)
Great post senthil
Happy Independence day

Jai Hind
Senthil ,
I wld agree/disagree on few points .

1.Ur reference in the comment section that our fore father mixed ....- that ,i feel is HINDU way of living( it might also exist in other religions ,iam not disagreeing on that here ) .We attribute everything to god and i consider this as a great thing to do .From alower form of Ego to a more Higher form .

INDIA is not just a geographic boundary ,even NRIs feel for it - Its a force , a life force that should be there with each one of us .It is our general concept that we represent a force ,energy as godesses .I don't see anything wrong in this as far as you you say that this has to be followed by every body .

2.I do have some reservations of about our Indian Flag is used,though JIndal's effort is remarkable .Its difficult to say whether somebody wearing indian flag as her panties respects the importance of flag or not - It is a bit subjective expereince .So as such ,we assume that people use it in a matured way .

I don't think patriotism manifests only if you display a flag though its a proud thing to do .When we pay Bribe to Customs to bring in our latest CamCorder worth $600 ,our patriotism falls flat enough .

3.Freedom - Its again a tricky issue of where to draw the line .If some body wants to roam Nude in Public ,its considered as a nuisance - Why ? Why can't this be taken as acase of a man /Woman wanting to live how he/she wants ?

I would say we can sacrifice a certain amount of freedom for maintaing the sancity of certain things - is it not agreater thing to sacrifice some of our induvidual freedom in the best intrests of our nation ?
Any case ,i should appreciate you senthil ! Very nice post on Independence Day ...A discussion like this may or may not happen among Indian Bloggers ( again ,not sure )

I remember Virumaandi dialogue here ...

'Santhosham na enna nu Manushanuku theriyar thila ...Athu Illama poguthu parunga paarunga ..appa than therium ....'

It can be extended for anything Nation ,Mother ,Father ,Wife ,Fiance :)

(Senthil ,eppa vathu Kamal hassan ku koncham credit kudunga )
Happy Independence day Senthil!
Sen, Very true! Everyone has a right to express their feelings for their country through the flag. I don’t think anybody will misuse it intentionally!
Anyway, feel great to read such a post on country!Happy independence Day!

That is completely are stopping someones reasoning power and you are asking him to do things blindly.See the result , now nobody knows what are the importance or inner meaning of any rituals.they are doing it blindly.

First of all why should someone or something be elevated to something it is not.why should everything be seen with a religious glass that what it is ??.

"We represent a force, energy as goddess".Who are the we here? are u talking about hindu's?.Dont u know that india is the home for the second largest muslim population in the world.And you would have read jo's comments how are they supposed to feel abt it.

Atlast you tied the cow in from of the tajmahal :).You talk about everything and end it with kamal hassan.sorry iam not accpeting.I will find 10 dialouges like this in every vijayakanth and vijay movies.

thanxs and independence day greetings.
Sen ,
1.Seeing everything through religious angle gives a higher meaning to it .

That religion need not be a HINDU ,you can see however is comfortable to you .But the concept is the same .
Thats why you will find lot of people in ARt ( esp music ) attribute music to God or Higher power - be it a form or formless .

2.I have never said that it should be seen in that way .Yes ,i took the liberty of being a HINDU - Why at all should i not identify myself as a HINDU ? Iam not afraid that this will swallow the patriotism in me .My religion grew in this great nation and not anywhere .

3.What is the blind reasoning you are referring here ?Elevating the Nation as a Godesses is a thinking - there is no ritual here .Suppose ,if u personfiy the nation as a MOTHER ,will it not give greater attachment to my nation - Treat it with more care .What is the thing iam misisng here ?

I would challenge Jos comments that in those days it was done ,because of un-educated ordinary peopele ,etc ....Can you explain to me why Swami Vivekananda did it ? We are a nation of deep religious and spiritual values which we have maintained over the years .

1.Seeing everything through religious angle gives a higher meaning to it.

Shouldn't we c premananda as a higher form of ego??.We dont have to see everything from a snake to a dog as a higher form and name it as Adhi seshan or Al seshan.Its just primitive man, this is what the tribals in the jungle of africa are doing.

I wont be surprised if you advocate building a temple of bharath matha in a sacred place and making yathra every year on august 15th.This is the exact reason why we have zillions of god.

Country and religion are two different things.Mixing them will only lead to downfall, as in the case of many countries.You are talking the same way a mulla in pakistan is talking.Just replace the wrod hindu as muslim.
Quite thought-provoking! I have to admit that Malini Ramani kind of acts does enrage me. But thinking about it, when some people are misusing and abusing the country, misusing(which differs from individual, ofcourse) a symbol doesn't seem such a big deal! Infact, it might seem crude but if burning a flag helps a person to release his anger instead of doing that to property and person, so be it!!!

BTW, post 9/11, the fluttering of flags on cars, houses etc. here did make me emotional even though I don't belong here!!
"Post 9/11, the fluttering of flags on cars, houses etc. here did make me emotional even though I don't belong here!!"

exactly,see the american flag is used in panties and pyjamas too.But the nation raises to occasion and gives the respect during 9/11 etc.That is the sign of matured citizens, who see the flag in different contexts.
Very nice post. Very thoughtful.

Flags are still considered scared for many Indians(like Me). It speaks a volume about our country. We can hoist the flag like amerians in our house year long, but make sure we dont go beyond out limits - like our fellow americans..
Take care
thanxs swaps
wonderful post
pics of flag except the one on a lady's dress good
thanxs uma
Sen ,

I don't think you have taken any pain to read why we have zillions of God - There is a reason behind that .

It is highly impossible to think of a god/power /Unknown entity without form .Somehow you will get a form .Even communists who deny god ,worship lennin ,stalin ( have seen in calcutta ) .Form is necessary - Every human is of different type .The form itself is never claimed to be god ,its representation of god .Just as you represent the character as 'lust' as snake in Art !A form represents somethings ,it has meaning and its the best form of worship for lot of people -however u try to hide this truth !

Ur argument makes me to think that my ancestors are bunch of jokers !

If some body wants to consider that his nation is his god ,whats our problem as far its not compelled on us ?

Mixing country and religion will never bring downfall if you give equal respect to all religions .

I don't think we should just blindly copy americans whatever they do !
Sen ,
You are confusing with an goal and its means ...Seeing everything as God is the highest form of worship - but that does'nt mean that u pretend that u see everything as god ....You can't assume that - its arealization which comes by practice ..

You can see Premamanda as God ,if you are able to - It does not mean u see the premamanda who rapes women ,kilsl people as GOD ..It means that what is deep inside premamanda beyond his filthy mind is GOD ..This is a realization !!!

There is big difference between the two !!
i dont want to talk about gods and forms.To put it simply.It is wrong to see a country as a god.Cause a country is a country and nothing else.I see a dog as a dog, cat as a cat, vomit as vomit and blood as blood.To see anything beyond that means we are ignorant or in a illusion.
God nu thaniya oru person illa ....Its like peopel seeing film as God ,art as god ,music as god ..its in the same way - Onga logic padi partha evanga yellam ignorant a ??
Your statements

1)"It is highly impossible to think of a
god/power /Unknown entity without form .Somehow you will get a form ".

2)" God nu thaniya oru person illa ...."

"people seeing film as God" ?? Are u talking abt the creator giving respect to his profession.If that is the case u can straight away use the word called respect, rather than seeing it as god.

Seeing things as what it is not is ignorant, if not being in a illusion.We keep our pooja room clean, our temple clean, but we dont care about public places.The result of elevating everything to godly status is we dont have the basic decency or cleanliness.But we are still clean when it comes to gods.The only solution by your assumption is to eleveate streets, footpaths and other public places to godly status.

Ramki it is simple rational thinking.
Sen ,
Elevating the country to God and keeping our roads dirty has no relation - I see absolutely no rationale behind this .

Chumma god nu sollitu emotion a aaga sollala like our VHPs .....WHen i say God ,it one and only refers to an unknown force that ties all citizens- whether you want to give a form to it or not is one's own personal choice .. .If under the name of God ,temples are clean ,how do you think the roads become dirty just because the country is elevated to the status of God ?

I don't think any body considers nation as God - Nobody worships in this way - If that had been done 'properly ', i don't think we wld have been pushed to such a state !!
that was a general example i gave to explain how people are ignorant, by elevating things as god.It Doesn't have anything to do with country.

We are making mistakes with the fundamental itself by elevating certain things to god.we assume that only godly,sacred things (pooja,temple) have to be clean.By doing that we dont understand the fundamentals of cleanliness.

Similarly by seeing the country as a hindu god.You have already mixed religion with the country and you are making mistakes in the fundamentals of democracy.There is a constitution, there is a democratic framework for this country and if you want the diverse people of your country to have a united view of the country then you have to see it as it is and not with your own glasses.Then there will be 1 billion different views of the same thing.
Again , i don't say that roads can be clean if and only if you consider Country as God - that is just by product !!Fundamentals of cleanliness kum religion kum sambantham illa !!!!

aAll i say is that if we understand religion correctly ,honestly we can love our country better !!!

BTW ,i never said HINDU god or so - that was ur statement ....Everybody can see however he likes !!

If peopel are diverse, then their opinion of how they want to see their nation will be different - Everything should be fine ,as far as this is not thrusted on every one .

While a girl can wear the flag ( or boys - i don't care in this ) as her inner garments and enjoy that - equally i can feel frustrated about that and consider that as an act of disrespect - Everbody can have their own opinion !!!!
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