The Saffron that is trying to be all-pervasive is narrow in its outreach. It excludes all who do not adopt the outlook that it propagates.
At a time when conscious efforts are being taken to paint an individual perception of looking at everything around us with Saffron, one wonders if our National Flag- the Tiranga that represents India, is also being taken over by the Saffron?
But before delving deep into the subject, let us first go back and understand what our Tiranga actually stands for? Broadly speaking, the National Flag of India represents the concept of secularism that the country was built upon. The austerity of the rectangular tricolour underlines the rich spiritual and philosophical history of India. The saffron in the Tiranga represents sacrifice, valour, courage while the white stands for peace and the green stands for courage and immortality and prosperity.
Another symbolism of the Indian national flag underlines the secular nature of Indian nation. According to this symbolism, each colour denotes the religions prevalent in the country. Saffron represents Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, White depicts Christianity and other minority religions while green represents Islam. The Ashok Chakra represents the righteousness, justice and forwardness.
The Indian National Flag does not only symbolise the above principles but also reminds us that every citizen has the responsibility of carrying forward this secular legacy that has protected the very essence of diversity this nation was built upon. Our Tiranga is all-inclusive.
On the contrary, the Saffron that is trying to be all-pervasive is narrow in its outreach. It excludes all who do not adopt the outlook that it propagates. We do not even have to go far to look for instances to prove this. The saffron has spread its tentacles in all parts of our lives slowly and steadily-from our personal space, our Kitchen to our governance. There is no aspect of our lives that has been aloof of the saffron influence.
First, it questioned our patriotism while dipping itself deep in jingoism. We must have come across those propagating Saffron forcing everyone to sing Vande Mataram or even hail a God belonging to a particular religion. Their nationalism is so hollow that even after unmasking their bigotry covered under nationalism, they tend to certify others as “Anti-nationals”. When they can’t come up with logical arguments, they quickly arm themselves with a patronising suggestion- “Go to Pakistan”.
Next, the saffron came after the food on our plate. From all sorts of theories to peddle India is a vegetarian concept to banning beef, it wants to modify our eating habits, to a certain extent, it wants to dictate what we can eat or not. It has taken over our culture which thrives on dialogue and polite disagreement. It disses the secular and liberal nature of our constitution. It undermines the very rights and constitutional liberties enshrined in our constitution by showing a disregard towards it. What is more frightening is when these words of changing the constitution and abuses to secularism come from sitting MP.
Has it spared our governance? No! From UP government going on a name-changing spree to Rajasthan government changing or omitting chapters from history textbooks, the saffron has made its presence felt.
All of these, our nationalism, governance, the constitution is represented by our flag. Our Tiranga stands for everything that is Indian, everything that has the essence of Indianness, for acceptability and inclusivity. When these qualities are under attack, will our Tiranga be also taken over by the Saffron?
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