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Flag it, whichever way

Those complaining about the 'misuse' of the tricolour on Sunday simply don't get being joyous.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2011 21:42 IST

Liberal types allergic of flagwaving and super-patriotic types doing Jai Hind blackflips, relax. You have nothing to lose but your rules. On Sunday evening, crowds at India Gate in New Delhi amplified what was quite evident throughout the last many days at the Ramlila Grounds: people spontaneously waving the national flag in support of the simple but powerful fact of being like-minded people hanging out together glued by the figure of Anna Hazare. For anyone in the crowds that evening at India Gate - or, for that matter, in any other congregation in another city - it would have been immediately apparent that this was not a Films Division-sanctioned 'patriotic' moment where everyone had to stand to show respect towards the nation. This was about the spontaneous joy of being one with others celebrating the feat of Anna. And the vigorous twirling of the national flag was a sight that lent itself to making even the resident cynic break out in happy goose pimples.

But there were the usual suspects, grumbling about the flag being denigrated - as if the only way to celebrate the symbol of the nation is by being serious and sticking strictly to the rulebook. Whether people were flying 'distorted' or 'torn' flags, it didn't matter. The whole point was to be happy being among one's like-minded and a landmark moment in the country's history. There were some who, like a complaining theologian, harrumphed that the Ashok Chakra was black rather than blue. Emotionless people tend to hang on to silly details like that. Some even fussed about people cheering about with the tricolour wrapped around their bodies. The first lot is obviously as silly as unemployed lawyers looking for a break, while the latter simply possess behinds that are anatomically compressed.

If waving frayed, 'unofficial' versions of the national flag with the gusto people were waving them with on Sunday is seen as insulting the nation, then it's time we change the definition of 'insult'. And 'celebration'. Emotions don't care much for rules. Unless you're a class monitor incapable of being spontaneous and unless you're stuck being a stickler for anachronistic rules.