Call for ‘Har Ghar Khadi Tiranga’

Siby K. Joseph 

Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav was launched by the Prime Minister of India on 12th March 2021 from Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram and it will end post a year on 15th August 2023. The Home Minister who oversees all efforts under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav has approved the programme of ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ to further honour our national flag because it is a symbol of national pride for the entire nation.

It envisages inspiring Indians everywhere to hoist the national flag at their home.  The objectives of the programme are outlined as follows: “Our relationship with the flag has always been more formal and institutional than personal. Bringing the flag home collectively as a nation in the 75th year of independence thus becomes symbolic of not only an act of personal connection to the Tiranga but also an embodiment of our commitment to nation-building.

The idea behind the initiative is to invoke the feeling of patriotism in the hearts of the people and promote awareness about our national flag.” On 13 May 2022 Cabinet Secretary chaired a meeting of the Committee of Secretaries on ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ and outlined the task to be undertaken to ensure successful implementation of the programme.

Subsequently the Secretary of the Ministry of Culture issued a circular in this regard and requested them to submit the plan of action by 31 May 2022.   In order to ensure the implementation of the programme the following actions were suggested in the circular: “i. Active participation of all employees of your Ministry/Department PSUs, subordinate organizations, Self help groups, civil society organizations etc. and their families under your administrative jurisdiction. ii.

Corporate and private organizations may also be encouraged, wherever possible, to participate and contribute including CSR resources. iii. Creating buzz/awareness building by utilizing the Websites under the Ministry /Department also the social media handles”. The information regarding programme are available on the website of the Ministry of Culture .

 The  social media feeds  are uploaded in the site under different categories like Moments with Tiranga, Know your Tiranga  and Did you know ? 

The social media feeds say that “Over the years, the Indian National flag has gone through a journey of evolution to arrive at what it is today. But did you know the earliest known record of hoisting the first national flag dates to 7 Aug 1906?” “ श्याम जी कृष्ण वर्मा, मैडम भीकाजी कामा, तथा वीर सावरकर जी ने वर्ष 1907 में राष्ट्रीय ध्वज का नया संस्करण तैयार किया। जिसमें डिजाइन के साथ रंगों में भी बदलाव किया गया था।”  “ Bhikaji Cama herself co-designed the flag. The 8 lotuses in the flag represented the 8 provinces & the 3 stripes represented unity among all religions of India. The tricolor also featured the words Vande Mataram written right in the middle . 

देश के राष्ट्रीय ध्वज तिरंगे का मूल डिज़ाइन आंध्र प्रदेश के स्वतंत्रता सेनानी श्री पिंगली वैंकया जी द्वारा डिजाइन किया गया था। वह महात्मा गांधी जी के विचारों से प्रभावित थे, और उनके कहने पर उन्होंने राष्ट्रीय ध्वज को डिजाइन किया। 

Netaji became the first person to hoist the Indian National Flag on the liberated (from British) soil of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. This rare and unseen image is from the flag hoisting ceremony held at the Gymkhana Ground in Port Blair on 30 Dec 1943. Did You Know that in July 1947, the Flag Committee chose Ashoka’s Dharma Chakra as a symbol on the flag for the reason that amongst all the chakras that came to their mind the “Sarnath Chakra” was the most striking & artistic. Our flag marks the beginning of India’s foray into Standardisation. The first standard set by @Indian Standards – IS:1 defines the Specifications for the National Flag of India(Cotton Khadi) ….

A cursory look at these social media feeds by anyone who knows the history of the country will notice that it failed to highlight the role played by Mahatma Gandhi in conceiving the Swaraj Flag or the National Flag of India and his insistence on Khadi for the same from the days he took the leadership of the country. In fact Gandhi was the originator of Swaraj Flag and a modified version of it was approved when India got independence from British rule.

महात्मा गांधी से बात करते हुये नेताजी सुभाष चंद्र बोस
Subhash Chandra Bose talking to Mahatma Gandhi

 It was a unique symbol of our freedom struggle and Gandhi used it as a uniting force for which people were ready to undertake all sorts of pain and suffering. It will be a gross injustice to our freedom struggle and patriots who were united and worked under the national flag if we don’t portray the real history of our national flag.  For Mahatma Gandhi,  Khadi and flag were inseparable  and warned that he would refuse to salute the flag without Khadi, however artistic it may appear.  If the purpose of this initiative is to invoke the feeling of patriotism in the hearts of the people and promote awareness about the national flag, the government should bring into limelight the fact that Trianga was part and parcel of the freedom struggle of this country and Khadi was   heart and soul of the national flag.  

Another website is under construction by the Ministry of Culture. It says that the Tri-colour flag is a symbol of pride for every Indian. It represents national integrity and signifies the hopes and aspirations of the Indian people and asks people to upload selfies.

It has also planned to start   buying and gift flags through this site.  If the government want to unite the people of this country and instill in them the spirit of patriotism it should withdraw the Ministry of Home Affairs (Public Section) order dated 30 December, 2021 which amended the Flag Code of India that paved the way for machine-made polyester cloth for the preparation of the National Flag.

Khadi was the fabric of our freedom struggle and it was the pride of India. It was a symbol of nonviolence and represented values of freedom struggle. Therefore, the Government should not promote polyester machine made flags. It is against the swadeshi spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat which the government is propagating. Therefore, the Ministry of Culture should not sell machine made polyester flags through its new site.

The various government departments, States are gearing towards the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign for hoisting the National Flag during the independence week i.e. from 11 th to 17 th August 2022 in every home. University Grants Commission UGC, Central Board of Secondary Education and other bodies have issued circulars in this regard targeting the students and youth.

It is the right time to make a call for ‘Har Ghar Khadi Tiranga’. The Khadi flag will  evoke patriotic feelings and make the celebrations more meaningful and unique. All persons guided by the spirit of patriotism cannot imagine the use of imported machine made polyester flags from other countries and keeping it in homes during the celebration of our independence.

The souls of freedom fighters who fought for this country will not remain in peace if we do such acts.   By using polyester machine made  fabric for our flag we are supporting the corporates who are snatching the livelihoods of poor people engaged in production of khadi flags. Can we forget the welfare of poor people who are engaged in the Khadi sector while celebrating 75 th anniversary of Indian independence?

   About the Author

 Dr. Siby K. Joseph is a noted Gandhian Scholar and Director,Sri Jamnalal Bajaj Memorial Library and Research Centre, Sevagram AshramPratishthan, Sevagram, Wardha-442102,Maharashtra Email:director jbmlrc 

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