Siege for Tiranga, free run for separatists
by Nancy Kaul on 27 Jan 2011 14 Comments

Unfurling the Tiranga at Rajpath, President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil and the whole nation in a sombre mood conferred the Ashok Chakra, posthumously, on Major Laishram Jyotin Singh, an unarmed army doctor who was killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul last year.


Maj. Laishram Jyotin Singh charged with bare hands at the armed terrorist and pinned him down to ensure that the terrorists could not lob more grenades or direct fire at the officers cornered in a burning room of the Indian Mission in Kabul. He continued to grapple with the armed terrorist and did not let him go till the terrorist panicked and detonated his suicide vest, resulting in the instantaneous death of the terrorist and the martyrdom of Maj. Laishram Jyotin Singh. This heartwarming sacrifice saved the lives of two officers, four paramedics and two Afghan civilians still alive within the compound.


The tricolour adorned the brave doctor from the State of Manipur on his last journey.


Major Mohit Sharma and Paratrooper Shabir Ahmed Malik, both of 1 Para Regiment, laid down their lives in North Kashmir fighting terrorists in 2009. In gratitude for their bravery, the flag that they saluted was laid over them: the nation’s ultimate honour and respect. Paratrooper Shabir Ahmed, who was later awarded the Kirti Chakra, hails from Ganderbal in Kashmir region of the state.


Flying the tricolour is the right of every citizen of the country, in any part of the sovereign nation, as the flag is the first and foremost visible symbol of nationhood. The fluttering Tiranga, signifying a free Indian nation, is the pride of every Indian patriot. 


Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s announcement that he would not allow any flag-hoisting at the Lal Chowk clock tower is an infringement of the rights of citizens of this country and soft pedalling to the secessionists.


Mr Omar Abdullah along with the Dr Manmohan Singh-led central government placed this respect and freedom hostage to the plans and divisionary tactics of separatists and secessionists by denying the right to hoist the Tiranga. This grave disrespect to the flag pandered to the separatists who threatened they would not allow anyone to unfurl the flag at Lal Chowk.


Will India run to the writ of terrorists like Yasin Malik and secessionists like the Hurriyat Conference conglomerate who will not allow unfurling the Indian flag at Lal Chowk?


Is Lal Chowk not India?


The Chief Minister is playing to the gallery of separatists who openly threaten, vitiate, incite and carry out terror activities with the continuing aim of dismembering India and executing the Pakistani agenda of bleeding India through a thousand cuts with their terror infrastructure.


These terrorists were allowed to move around Lal Chowk on 11 September 2010, shouting anti-national slogans - Go India Go, de ragda Hindustan jive jive Pakistan. Earlier too, the Tricolour was torn from the very same clock tower and stamped on by  feet to a macabre frenzy of anti-national slogans. Strangely, flying the Pakistani flag at Lal Chowk neither creates any conflict nor shame to the Chief Minister who allowed Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik a free run in the valley with their rhetoric, during which not only Pakistani flags were unfurled, but a state of agitational terrorism prevailed and government property was held to arson and many security forces personnel injured.


Why didn’t Omar Abdullah order a clampdown then? Where was his intention of peace and the writ of his government? On the contrary, he admitted giving them permission, “A close confidant of the Mirwaiz called my office, seeking permission for the march. I gave my consent as separatists have been complaining about political space.”


Is the Indian Government intentionally repeating the mistake it made while releasing terrorists in return for Rubiya Sayeed, daughter of PDP leader Mufti Sayeed? Another mistake was when the Centre released another set of terrorists during the IC 814 hijacking and a Union Minister accompanied them to Kandahar, Afghanistan. These two decisions made the country a soft target, for suffering continuing terror attacks and violence.


Insult to the national flag, sovereignty and territorial integrity, has become a full time vocation of secessionists and separatists, and appeasement of these very terrorists who are hammering at the sovereignty and unity of the country is becoming the precedent and norm - a dangerous sign of a deep-rooted balkanization plan being pursed at various levels by the enemies of the Indian nation.


Separatists, terrorists and their supporters in the garb of pseudo-intellectuals and liberal brigade are leaving no stone unturned to dig the grave of the nation state, proclaiming open sedition and going to the extent of fuelling anti-national campaigns openly across the country. Yet they are treated as guests of honour by the State and the Central Government.


On 21 October 2010, Arundhati Roy openly ranted against the Indian State in New Delhi. Each sentence was laced with a design to balkanize India. A demonstration on how to hurl stones at Parliament were openly given and another secessionist raised the rhetoric of azadi and Pakistan. This was followed by another round of secessionist speech in Srinagar, where Ms Roy again incited the youth to rise in rebellion against their country.


Even though enough evidence is available with the Government, its criminal silence on these activities of the separatists who are nibbling at the sovereignty of the country, is unworthy, irresponsible and hints at connivance. Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram tried to pass if off as a case of free speech! In a country where sedition and waging war is free speech and raising a Tricolour is breaching law and order, it is hardly surprising that the nations’ unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty are at stake.


Lal Chowk is in a ‘state of siege’. An unprecedented, immoral, self-defeating and flawed decision of the Government  in  not   allowing the hoisting of the Tiranga will have a fallout in various dimensions including territorial unity, sovereignty, constitution, security, because the Tricolour is the representative symbol of all this and also of we the people of India.


The total clampdown at Lal Chowk and resistance to the hoisting of the tricolour by the government, which should have facilitated the function as it bears (or is supposed to) the national flag and constitution first and foremost, speaks volumes about the state of governance and the writ of separatists on the government. Arresting citizens and nationals for flying the Indian flag at Lal Chowk amounts to a breach of the constitution and a breach of the sovereign rights of free citizens of a free nation.


Mohan Reddy of Karnataka, who managed to carry the flag to the Lal Chowk area chanting slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ was hauled brutally away by the Jammu and Kashmir police. The police personnel were seen disrespecting the flag as they mauled it with their hands and tried to crush it in their hands. Why was respect not shown to the flag after it was snatched away by the personnel in uniform, after all it was the Tricolour - the national flag? Is this not a breach of the national flag code, or are Omar Abdullah and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh committed only to unfurl the Pakistani flag at the Clock tower in Lal Chowk? 


We demand an answer. The Tiranga cannot be held hostage to the whims of a Chief Minister, whoever he is. Neither can it be held hostage to terrorists like Yasin Malik and Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Nor can any government draw a parallel between secessionists and nationalists - it belittles the country and the brave who live and die for the nation.


The strength of the nation is in its will for freedom, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and not in surrender to terrorists, separatists and secessionists.


“It will be necessary for us Indians - to whom India is their home - to recognise a common flag to live and die for” – Mahatma Gandhi


The author is convener, Daughters of Vitasta

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