As the country gets ready to celebrate the 69th Independence Day, the general mood in Assam and other NE states seems to be more upbeat than earlier years. Various offices, educatiol institutions and organisations throughout the State are organising I-Day functions. Shops selling I-Day items with images of the tricolour and patriotic slogans like banners, badges, caps, headbands and wristbands, are doing roaring business by drawing young customers in hordes. Like in other parts of the country, the youth here are no longer shy of wearing their patriotism on their sleeves. Surely the media has something to do with this ‘I love my India’ trend, particularly television! Since 2004, flying the tiol flag has been a fundamental right granted to every citizen throughout the year, provided it is done with ‘respect and dignity’ as ruled by the Supreme Court. However, in their enthusiasm, the young may get carried away and use the tricolour in an improper manner. Can they sport the tricolour on their caps or paint it on their faces or tattoo it on their biceps? They may fly ‘triranga’ kites in the sky as a symbol of their soaring country, but can they display the tricolour on their car windscreen or display it in their profile photos on social media? The answers are to be found in the amended flag code, which instructs about the tricolour’s proper use and disposal, dimensions and colour sequence, while forbidding its various forms of dishonour and commercial misuse. Still, it is heartening to see a young India celebrating with the tricolour during the country’s triumphs, momentous occasions and its day of independence. The economy of the country has held on to its momentum, though President Prab Mukherjee has pointed out that our growth needs to be broad and inclusive. Despite the security cover in NE state capitals and locations vulnerable to extremist threat, the fervor of 15th August is palpable, as it should be.
food for thought