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Does National Flag need celebrity links in controversies to establish its dignity?

"Does the national flag lose its dignity only when it is used, misused or abused by a celebrity of this country? Or, does it need some controversy with dignified link to make people realize the dignity of tricolour National Flag of India? ."

Basudev Mahapatra : July 20, 2008

Biranchi Das on Tricolour Flag 001 Biranchi Das on Tricolour Flag 002

After Sania Mirza, Lal Krishna Advani is now accused of insulting and misusing the credibility of Indian National flag by putting an image of the tricolour flag on the cover of his recently published book ‘My country my life’. In this context a case has been filed against Advani.

Few months back, similar allegation was made against Tennis player Sania Mirza for putting her legs towards a National Flag Miniature. The pictures and visuals were widely covered by almost all media and the star Tennis player of the country soon became the epicenter of the controversy.

In both the cases, as it seems to me, nowhere a deliberate attempt to insult the national flag is clearly visible.

Lal Krishna Advani would have used the flag as the best icon symbolizing India and the spirit of Nationality where as, Sania would have stretched her legs not noticing that a tricolour flag miniature is there, as pictures and videos carried in different media indicated.

The media and saviour of the dignity of tricolour did, quite intentionally, skip another incident of deliberately insulting and misusing the National Flag. The incident happened in the famous cremation ground Swargadwar of Puri on 14 April 2008 when the body of Biranchi Das was taken for cremation.

Biranchi Das, the Judo coach who brought the talent of the youngest Marathoner Budhia Singh to light, was shot dead at his Judo training center in Bhubaneswar allegedely by a gangster on April 13.

Before taken to the funeral, when the gathering offered tribute to the soul of the dead Judo Coach, a national flag was covered on the body of the Judo coach and it remained on the body for quite some time.

The photographs shot by HotnHit Newsfeatures Picture correspondent shocked us. What made the body of Biranchi Das eligible to be covered with national Flag as it is usually covered on the body of martyrs and national heroes? Can the National Flag be put on the body of any Indian? 

Among the gathering were many political workers, sports persons, Judo Association members and even a few police personnel. Ironically, But nobody opposed the act of covering the body of Biranchi Das with a National Flag. Rather, the sympathy for the dead coach surpassed the spirit of nationality and the dignity of the tricolour Indian National Flag. So, everybody skipped it!

I thought the incident wouldn’t have come to the notice of media people. I enquired about the fact with some media persons and was amazed to know that they all knew it. And so, even the media maintained silence about such wrong use of National Flag.

As an expression of sympathy to the soul of Biranchi Das, should we take this incident as casually as two meters of cloth on any dead body?

There was no reaction, no action later from any responsible organisation. People skipped this incident of misusing a national flag knowingly where as the incident with Sania Mirza and Lal Krishna Advani were picked up as gross indecency to the National Flag and, thus, the national pride.

Does the national flag lose its dignity only when it is used, misused or abused by a celebrity of this country? Or, does it need some controversy with dignified link to make people realize the dignity of tricolour National Flag of India? It seems, here also, the hunger for masala rules over the urge to make news that the audience would love to consume.

In Pictures: Body of Biranchi Das covered with Indian National Flag at Swargadwar, Puri, Orissa

 

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