Its enormous height and size have brought in controversies in the wake of its unfurling at Attari. Pakistani Rangers guarding the borders with India have alleged that such a tall flag has been installed only for espionage purposes. They think it would be used to peep across the border from this side to pry on the goings-on there. They said that the flag at the top has powerful cameras to monitor activities in Pakistan. One is surprised to hear such a stupid argument. India didn't have to have a tall flag to mount surveillance over and across the borders as hundreds of air force and civilian planes, leave alone satellites, fly at greater heights in the area everyday. These could do a better job and very easily at that.
Nonetheless, authorities in India did convey to the Pakistanis that there was no camera on top of the pole; there was only a light – a regulation light that had to be mounted atop the mast.
But then this is only one of these tall flags. The second highest is somewhere in Ranchi – the capital of Jharkhand. The flag pole is 283 ft high. Several states seem to have jumped on to the bandwagon to install tall flags – in what looks like competitive patriotism.
Hyderabad, Pune, Faridabad, Raipur and so on, all have flags flying at a height that is above 200 ft. Closer to home, Bhopal too tried its hand at installing, once again, an under 300 ft tall flag. It swayed violently in the rather strong breeze and soon got torn. I remember it having been replaced at least once. But for months now it is no longer visible anywhere. Probably the project has been given up as a bad job even though quite a tidy sum was spent on it from the public exchequer.
One wonders who in these governments were trying to prove their patriotism. Enormous amounts of money have been wasted tn this what seems to be futile exercise. Patriotic fervour cannot be measured by the size of the flag and the height at which it is flown. The flags of smaller sizes flown at lower heights, for example at Rashtrapati Bhawan, are no less patriotic. Besides, there is a Flag Code as modified in 2002 that needs to be observed. According to it, the biggest size for the flag could be 6300mms x 4200mms. I have not come across any amendment that allows flags exceeding these dimensions to be flown by anybody.
With the proliferation of the outsized flags one wonders whether the extant Flag Code is being violated. If that is so, the authorities should cry a halt to the frivolity being displayed in respect of the national flag that symbolically represents our values and aspirations.
The most popular citizen journalists' reports on merinews chosen automatically on the basis of views and comments