“THE National Flag indisputably stand for the whole nation, its ideals, aspirations, its hopes and achievements. It is the most solemn symbol of a country. Be it a head of the State, King or peasant, salutes it. A piece of cloth called the National Flag stands for the whole nation, its honour and glory. When it goes up the flag mast, the heart of a true citizen is filled with pride”. These are the observations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in a case of Union of India vs Naveen Jindal 2004 (2) SCC 510; Apparently the flag therefore forms a sacred image of the nation and demands dignified usage which is governed by the Flag Code of India 2002 and other laws relating to the national emblems, viz. Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950. After the introduction of the National Flag code, 2002, members of the public now have the fullest freedom to hoist the National Flag. The only restrictions imposed are those which are embodied in the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and the Prevention of Insult of National Honour Act, 1971. The right to hoist the Indian flag is the acme of the right of expression of an Indian citizen. National flag in intended to project the identity of a country and foster national spirit.
The Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha undertook Rashtriya Ekta Yatra, “Tiranga” from Kolkata to Srinagar on of January 12, 2011 with a strong determination to hoist the Tiranga at Lal Chowk on of January 26, 2011 with the sole motive to discourage separatism and to promote nationalism, unity and to remember the sacrifices made by great Indian heroes for the sake of uniting India and to keep up the spirit of sovereignty of India.
The incident of preventing the leaders of Opposition Shri Arun Jaitley and Smt. Sushma Swaraj, in Jammu and Kashmir in connection with the Ekta Yatra of the BJP youth wing has highly been condemned and was a huge blow to the nationalist thinking and to the sense of patriotism and at the same time is a serious threat to democracy in India.
The repressive action of the Central and State Government was able to thwart the very endeavour of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha yuva yatris to hoist National Flag at Lal Chowk, Jammu and Kashmir which was an attempt taken by the youth to reawaken the nationalist fortitude in Jammu and Kashmir. This whole episode definitely proves the weakness of the Central Government and the State Government in their method of dealing with separatism. It was indeed wrong and immoral to refuse the yatris to move ahead under the concocted pretext of vitiating the peaceful atmosphere in the State which in the contrary has given boost to the secessionists, which in turn will definitely send favourable indication and will encourage the anti-nationalists to continue with their terror activities in India. Kashmir is an integral and inseparable part of the Indian territory, this formed the message from the Ekta Yatra.
It is very much unfortunate and degrading that for petty political gains nationalist sentiments are being subsided and political supremacy is being highlighted. The Central Government is required to promote patriotism rather than condemning it. This episode of reproving the Ekta Yatra by the Central and State Government may have brought a temporary sense of satisfaction to the ruling party of having been able to condemn the step of generating nationalistic environment by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha but it is for sure that the whole Country shall have to pay a heavy cost for the same in terms of compromising with the nation’s pride and sentiments and for the disrespect shown to the National Flag, on the eve of Republic day.
It was rather strange and utterly shocking that at Lal Chowk, Jammu and Kashmir though have witnessed the unfurling of the Pakistani flag last year but unfortunate enough that very Indians were restricted and obstructed from exercising their Fundamental Right and were not given a entry in the State of Jammu Kashmir and thereby were not allowed to hoist the National Flag on the auspicious eve of Republic Day. Indians in their very own mother land, India had to struggle hard for hoisting their National Flag nothing can be more untoward and unpleasing and shameful than this. This attitude of the Central and State Government is therefore highly culpable and will definitely set-up a wrong precedent for the coming generation will change their perception and understanding of nationalism and nationalistic feelings.
Time has come when every citizen especially the youth of India to raise their voice against this despotism and fight for their right and for the pride of the country, for the Tiranga.