Let there be no mistake. There can be no justification for stopping an Indian citizen from unfurling the country’s flag, a fundamental right, wherever he or she chooses. Even if one understands J&K CM Omar Abdullah’s valid concern about disturbance of a fragile peace, pleading inability to protect rights of Indians is dereliction of duty. The central government – by its inaction, ambivalence and spinelessness – has made matters worse. If the only people offended are the separatists, why should the rest of India back down? A very valid question. I ended up reading a bit on this “issue” in the last few days, and found these blogs/articles as reasonably representing several sides of the debate.
If the message is that Indian nation needs to tip-toe around its own flag, it is not a particularly assuring message.
plus much more.
Not allowing the flag to be hoisted can at best be a temporary tactic; it can not be a long-term strategy or used as an example in the future
What makes us think that things could improve in a decade or so in a region where the youth are against the hoisting of the national flag?
The sudden determination to hoist the tricolour at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on Republic Day also creates a false impression that the Indian flag is not unfurled in the Valley, as it is everywhere else in the country
”Do you think the Dandi March was an undesirable act of provocation—-after all it too was a political move, of purely symbolic value (like the flag-hoisting), one that everyone knew would cause trouble, whose express intent was to aggressively mobilize public opinion?
The J&K State Government/Congress-led Central Government and the BJP have adopted hard stances from which they cannot back down any more - the Government(s), because of a shakily rational and defeaningly spineless fear of a potential separatist backlash (which it is duty-bound to protect India and Indians from) and the BJP, hitting upon another emotive issue, a win-win situation irrespective of the outcome. One may call this a political self-goal by the Congress and a master-stroke by the BJP (in a smaller context) or the perfect partnership of dumb (BJP) and dumber (Congress/Omar Abdullah) in a larger context – the simple fact is that one group is obstinate about going ahead with its plans, and the other group has decided to abdicate its duty towards its citizens and the constitution. And it was entirely avoidable if reasonable positions had been adopted.
One cannot predict how this is going to play out but let’s not deceive ourselves into thinking that this is about patriotism, because when politicians get involved, patriotism becomes a sideshow and the Indian flag merely a rag.