I Salute Thee, My Pride, My Tiranga

Malavika Krishna.K, IIK Young Reporter
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

It will be necessary for us Indians- Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Parsis, and all others to whom India is their home- to recognize a common flag to live and to die for.
-Mahatma Gandhi
It was during my summer vacation last year that my mom took me and my brother to the school where she spent her valuable 3 years of teenage. I could always make out from her words that it was there she gathered all those qualities in her as an individual. It was that school library which made her fall in love with literature. The school was meant for the kids of staff working at the prestigious organization named Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Limited (FACT), where my grandfather served for 4 decades of his life. As we were on vacation and was there in Kochi, she literally insisted to attend the flag hoisting ceremony held on 15th of August, at her school premises along with me and my brother. At first I was wondering what was so special about hoisting a flag in a school. Very soon I got my answer. Though conducted at the premises of the school, it was a tribute made by FACT family to our nation and the whole proceedings was led by the students starting from the procession of the school band, the National Anthem played, to the final disperse. The Principal, teachers, higher official of the organization etc. grace the function and the chief guest receives the salute at the parade by NCC, Scouts, Guides, CISF team camping at FACT headquarters etc. Looking at the Tiranga high up in the wind we could feel the patriotism spreading in the air. I felt that such a grand hoisting ceremony is very important in a school because it teaches us the principle of love, culture, patriotism, respect, discipline and pride from a very young age.

A flag is not a piece of cloth on a long pole, but is to be portrayed as a symbolic display of cultural pride and identity of a country. It represents the hope and ambition of its people. Everybody is bound to respect the country flag because it gives its citizens the message of our country and the tales of sacrifices towards independence.

The Indian national flag is tricolor or Tiranga which comprises of three distinct colours. The saffron on the top stands for courage and sacrifice. Saffron also holds the bond of unity of its people irrespective of caste, creed, etc. White color in the middle stands for truth, purity and peace. It also represents knowledge and tells its citizens to follow the path of the honesty. The green at the bottom symbolizes faith, fertility, greenery and prosperity of our country. It teaches us to protect our environment. In the centre of the white band there is a navy blue wheel which is known as the Ashoka Chakra or Dharma Chakra. There are 24 spokes in the Ashoka Chakra and these spokes represent each hour in a day. They also represent the 24 Dharmas. The Ashoka Chakra stands for the motion and progress of our nation and tells us to follow the Dharma or principles of life. The navy blue indicates the sky and the ocean which means the universal truth. What better message can we get from a flag than this? But these symbolisms did not sprout out suddenly. They evolved with the struggles to freedom.

The first national flag was a simple design having three horizontal bands with green on top having eight while lotus flowers on it, yellow in the middle with Vande Maataram in Hindi, and red in the bottom with the crescent on the left and sun on the right. This flag was hoisted in Calcutta on 7th August 1906. From there our flag evolved and saw various changes, each time it was hoisted in 1907 and 1917. In 1921 the Indian National Congress designed a new flag with two colors- red to represent Hindus and green to represent Muslims, and when this flag was taken to Mahatma Gandhi he added white for all other communities and a blue spinning wheel for denoting progress of a nation. In 1921, this secular flag, designed by Pingali Venkayya, saw changes again with saffron on top, white in the middle with the blue spinning wheel and green at the bottom just like Gandhiji suggested. But before completely adopting the flag on 22nd July in 1947, a small change was made. The spinning wheel was replaced by the Ashoka Chakra. This was how our national flag came into what we have now symbolizing independence and moral Indian values.

To respect our flag as a citizen of India, there are a few things we are bound to do as a mark of reverence. To make sure that the flag is not misused or disrespected, the national flag code of India was written in 2002. It sets rules and laws to be abided while using the flag by private establishments, government institutions or even the public so that the flag is treated with dignity, loyalty and respect. Some of these rules include not to display the flag in torn or dirty state, not to touch the flag on ground or water intentionally, to stand in attention and salute the flag when being hoisted, to hoist the flag at sunrise and lower it at sunset irrespective of the weather conditions, no other flag or decorations must be placed above the flag, and the flag used should be made of hand-spun Khadi and always in the proportion 3:2.

It is our responsibility to see that we do not disrespect the flag or let others do so. Let’s also thank and honor the brave soldiers who are still protecting our country risking their lives. One year has got over after seeing the flag hoisting ceremony at my mom’s school. But still, that day is still fresh in my mind and fills my heart with patriotism. Independence day is here again reminding me the sacrifices laid down by the great leaders so that we can live freely and being far away from home cannot stop me from loving my country. This year being in 9th grade, I’m going to see yet another flag hoisting ceremony in my own school with pride and glory in my eyes. I am and always a proud citizen of India.

Happy Independence Day to all!!!!

Malavika Krishna
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Thursday, August 10, 2017
Well Written Article ! Happy Independence Day!

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