Thousands of ant-graft movement supporters have been dishonouring the National Flag for the past 12 days. While some were spotted waving distorted and torn flags, others were flaunting a flag that had Ashoka Chakra in black instead of blue. A number of them did not think twice before sitting on it while many had the flag wrapped around themselves.
Atif, 36, from Jamshedpur, used it to wipe his sweat on a sultry Friday afternoon. Another enthusiast Ravin Chaki, 28, from Shahdara, was seen raising slogans even as he held the tricolour upside down.
While few volunteers termed it “ignorance” on the part of the common people, some did not find think the issue was important. “Among thousands present here, you may find only some not following the national flag code. But I don't think their love and respect for the tricolour can be questioned,” said a volunteer.However, it is not only the ‘ignorant’ Anna supporters that can be blamed for gross violation of the flag code (see box). Team Anna’s lead member Kiran Bedi was also seen waving a visibly defective Indian flag from the main podium. Bedi, a former IPS, could not be reached despite several calls.
“This actually epitomises the chaos in which an emotively charged people undermine the very norms which provide cohesion and order to society. This, in my opinion, will set a very bad precedence,” said senior lawyer Aman Lekhi.
All this while, scores of policemen at the venue have remained mere spectators. Sudhir Yadav, joint commissioner of police (northern range), said: “We will take action if we get to know about such violations.”
Insults to the national flag are punishable by law with imprisonment up to three years, or a fine, or both.