The soul of our forefathers must be chafing in the graves at the manner in which the national occasions like Independence Day, Republic Day, etc., are celebrated. The pride fluttering of a cotton flag made from home spun khadi has been replaced by ugly tri-colored flags made of plastics that do not even represent the true colors of the national flag. One really feels despaired by this display of patriotism through plastics.
While the token of plastic nationalism is easy to purchase costing not more than say Rs. 5/- the destruction that it causes to the environment and the disgrace that it has to grow through the very next day, make the guts wrench in revulsion. After the celebration of Independence Day or the Republic Day, the flags, to add irony to the situation, whose hosting sticks are made of straw, are left on the road, in the drains and on the pavements to be trampled under the feet, to be chewed by the stray bovine animals, while the element of patriotism is consigned to the dustbins.
At least the national flag should not be disgraced in such a manner! One can argue that in USA or in other countries, the national colors are event flaunted on the bikinis and on the nail polish as well, Jackie Joyner Kersie, being the first US athlete to display her nationalism on her nails. But USA also sees to it that the flag is not trampled beneath the feet, or is left to despair for its state in a shabby corner of a dustbin.
The symptom of plastic flags is manifest of the respect we give to our country as also to the national flag, more a demonstration of being on the right side of the occasion. The moot point is, if we can spend thousands to party on such occasions, why can we not buy, at least paper flags, if not cloth flags to celebrate the occasion. The paper flags can be neatly folded and buried in the ground, and the cloth flag can remain for perpetuity.
Disgusted with the plastic flags, an initiative was taken by an NGO to accord a decent burial to the flags in Mumbai. May be, the time has come when to display our pride we should display it through our natural products, and not through plastic creations. Is the youth of the country listening?
By: Suman Rai