India Uncut

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Government abuse of the Indian flag

Not long ago the Indian government told the Indian cricketers that they could not bear the Indian flag on their helmets, or on any of their clothing. And now, they've stopped Narain Karthikeyan, the first Indian to get a drive in Formula One, from sporting a flag on his helmet. Karthikeyan, clearly upset at the instruction to remove the flag, was reported by as having said: "We're only doing the country proud. I can probably sell that helmet space to sponsors and make a lot of money, so it's their [the government's] loss."

I am not one for symbols of patriotism, but the flag of every country does evoke certain emotions, and everyone should have the freedom to express themselves in that regard. The Indian flag belongs to the Indian people, not to the Indian government. Navin Jindal, now a parliamentarian, had gone to court some years ago in order to be able to hoist the flag outside his offices, and he had won that battle. I don't know the legalese behind why that ruling does not apply to this case, but I find it sad that our sportsmen are not being allowed to express their pride at being Indian.
amit varma, 11:50 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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