Friday, February 25, 2005

The Flag on my Sleeve

The last one week, there have been two stories, one about the Govt order to stop the cricket team from having the Indian Flag embossed on their costume and helmets, and the other one about Govt of India, asking Narain Karthikeyan stop from wearing the helmet with the tricolor.

Narain Karthikeyan's helmet banned (
The government has banned India's first ever Grand Prix driver, Narain Karthikeyan, from using his patriotic helmet Livery in F1. It decreed last week, citing an existing 'flag code', that all Indian sport stars - including cricketers - may not bear the 'Tricolour' on clothing or equipment.

Hmm.... what am i supposed to do with the flag ?
From the time i can remember, we always held the Indian flag, tricolor, or thiranga as it is called in hindi, with the greatest of respect. It was difficult to acquire one and only on the two national holidays, Jan 26th and Aug 15th, the public was allowed to hoist the flag. It was always so distant growing up. We admired the flag from a distant, but always wanted to wear it, color ourselves in it.
The 2002 Supreme Court ruling changed all that. Thanks to efforts of Navin Jindal .

But, we are still no there. Where we can wear the flag on our sleeves and feel proud of it. We are still shackled by an elite few, who feel they know best how to respect the flag. A flag does not be desecrated by an action of a few. But a flag bearer can feel voilated and defiled if he/she is pulled up for such silly and arcane reasons.

Lets hope that we will be rid of this farce, soon. I hope people like Narain Karthikeyan and the Indian Cricket team stand up and not give in to this.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Modern Times

Below is a poem wirtten by Bobby Sands. Bobby Sands, an Irish, was arrested by the British in the year '76. He died in jail on 5th May 1981.

When i read this poem the first time, i didnt know about Bobby Sands, and what he had done, or what his motive was. All i knew was about the IRA. And i felt emotionally connected to the IRA, because they were fighting the same opressors, who we, Indians, overthrew in 1947. I supported and still support their cause, emotionally and morally.

More than what Bobby had done, i was more impressed by this poem he had witten. Today, more than two decades, after his death, the underlying truth reverberates even more strongly. It shows how much progress humankind has made in all these years.

"Modern Times" - by Bobby Sands

It is said we live in modern times
In the civilized year of seventy-nine
But when I look around, all I see
Is modern torture, pain and hypocrisy.

In modern times little children die
They starve to death, but who dares ask why?
And little girls without attire
Run screaming, napalmed through the night air.

And while fat dictators sit upon their thrones
Young children bury their parents' bones
And secret police in the dead of night
Electrocute the naked woman out of sight.

In the gutter lies black man, dead
And where the oil flows blackest, the street runs red.
And there was he who was born and came to be
But lived and died without liberty.

As the bureaucrats, speculators and presidents alike
Pin on their dirty, stinking, happy smiles tonight
The lonely prisoner will cry out from within his tomb
And tomorrow's wretch will leave its mother's womb.