There are some things of which one is seriously confused or fails to understand. The matter of the tri-colour Indian flag or Tiranga has become a matter of concern in recent times.
Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi started the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ movement, the national flag had become hugely popular among the populace. One way or other, the flag has become a matter of pride for many Indians so much so that many are showing respect to the flag in their own way.
As part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the government has initiated many programmes like the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign, selfie with with Tricolour, MyGov quiz for students, among others, to promote sense of collectiveness, brotherhood, to keep the spirit of freedom alive and also to enhance the feeling of patriotism.
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After violence broke out in the state, Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited the state though a little late. However, he was welcomed in Kangpokpi and Churachandpur with the tri-colour held by men, women and children in a show of patriotism and deep obeisance to the flag.
It was so beautiful with the small flags fluttering by the roadside as Amit Shah arrived in a helicopter and made his way from to the venue of talks. With the kind of welcome that he received from the Kangpokpi public waving the Indian tricolour, we thought he would have succeeded in convincing them to take a step back in the interests of peace and normalcy and further negotiations.
However, the Union Home Minister’s appeal to the Kuki groups to open the highway was snubbed by the Kuki protesters violently.
Later, as he blamed the Kuki-Zo infiltrators from neighbouring Myanmar for the present conflict, he was asked to apologise to the Kuki-Zo community for the statement. Even as they were angry with the Home Minister, their sense of patriotism and loyalty to the Indian Union did not waver as they celebrated Independence Day on August 15, though in an awkward way.
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As the official district level function was held at Tuibong Peace ground, the ITLF celebrated it at Lamka ground. Yet, every contingent who took part in the Lamka ground parade dipped the national flag when they saluted the ‘VVIP’ taking the salute.
It is required of everyone to follow the law and code concerning the National flag. The code says that the (National) flag shall not be dipped in salute to any person or thing. It means showing disrespect to the flag and liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or with both. Later on, the organisers did apologise for the mistake.
However, the use of the national flag in other occasions had not waned. Protestors blocking the highways and roads are seen with the national flag in their hands. Perhaps, they thought that they would be shielded by the flag from lathi-charges and tear gas shells fired by state and central forces.
It is not only among the Kuki protesters, but among some protesters in the valley also. What they do not understand is that, blocking the highway or road traffic is beyond the law and the flag does not protect or shield them.
(The views expressed are personal)