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Height and size of national flag has no cor-relation with patriotism
2017.03.17 18:44:48

India seems to be in the midst of a competition to hoist the biggest and the tallest national flag. As they say, some people wear their heart on their sleeves; we seem to be showing off our patriotism on our flags. The taller and the bigger it is the better it would seem to be.

One does not know how and who started off this fad of having tall flagstaffs to hoist flags the dimensions of which keep increasing by the day. The other day, the flag hoisted near the Attari border with Pakistan created a stir. Mounted on a 360 ft. tall staff, claimed to be the tallest of all flagstaffs in the country, it flies the heaviest ever national flag (55 tons). Its dimensions are 120x80 ft and it has cost the Punjab Government Rs. 3.5 Crore (billion). The annual maintenance contract for it has had to be awarded to a private company as, apparently, the Amritsar Improvement Trust, the institution that installed it, does not have any outfit that could possibly take care of it. So close to the border it is that the flag is claimed to be visible from the Anarkali Bazar of Lahore in Pakistan.

Its enormous height and size have brought in controversies in the wake of its unfurlment 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 borders 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 there.

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 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 fervor 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 Rashtrpati 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 flying of flags exceeding these dimensions.

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.

Tags: patritism | national | flags | height | size

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Indomitable spirit of Afghan women
2017.01.29 18:25:36

A recent report on the first Afghan women’s orchestra taking Davos (Switzerland) by storm stirred some memories. Lately, it was unthinkable that music would be something which would be allowed in Afghanistan, more so, for women to indulge in it. The reasons are not far to seek. Music is reckoned as un-Islamic by the rigorous practitioners of Islam. Under the Taliban’s ultra-Islamic rule, leave alone women, it was taboo for even men.

Tags: orchestra | women;s | afghan

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Environmental take-aways from demonetisation
2017.01.26 17:24:36

Prime Minister Modi’s demonetization has been roundly criticized on various counts by politicians, economists, social organizations and general public. The abrupt ban on the two high value currency denominations of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 caught the people by surprise and many of those who had stashed away sizable hoards of them were naturally the first to raise an outcry in opposition.

Tags: environmenr | demonetisation

Hits: 673 |

Transgender people KPK Pakistan
2017.01.05 16:57:42

Transgender people are people who have a gender identity, or gender expression, that differs from their assigned sex. The term transsexual was introduced to English in 1949 by David Oliver Cauldwell, and popularized by Harry Benjamin in 1966, around the same time transgender was coined and began to be popularized. Since the 1990s, transsexual has generally been used to describe the subset of transgender people.


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Indian demonetisation: Pakistan's sinister designs forced Modi's hands
2016.12.16 18:59:44

The e-mails had been going round and round for sometime carrying the supposed facts regarding the reasons for the sudden demonetisation but one couldn’t really believe all that was conveyed in them. True, Modi had in his election campaign assured that he would fight the menace of black money and bring back all that was stashed away in banks abroad. But, two and a half years had gone by and yet nothing was seemingly moving on that front. He was, therefore, being baited and mocked at by the Opposition inside and outside the Parliament for his extravagant unfulfilled promises.

Tags: demonetisation | indian

Hits: 1093 |

Our life our times :: 4 :: Air purifiers
2016.11.19 18:27:13

The national capital of India, Delhi, has been choking ever since the Diwali fireworks fouled up the air. That looked like a trigger, which in fact it was not, for the continuing spell of intense air pollution. With a blanket of smog settling down over Delhi schools have been shut, construction and demolition works have been banned, polluting power plants like the one at Badarpur have been closed for ten days.

Tags: purifiers | pollution | air

Hits: 2192 |

India's Narendra Modi congratulates Donald Trump
2016.11.10 01:28:35

Tags: US Elections 2016

Hits: 3067 |

NATO chief: 'I look forward to working with President-elect Trump'
2016.11.10 01:26:42

US leadership is essential in facing up to new security challenges, NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said as he congratulated Trump on his victory.

"We face a challenging new security environment, including hybrid warfare, cyberattacks, the threat of terrorism. US leadership is as important as ever," Stoltenberg said. "I look forward to working with President-elect Trump," he added.

Tags: US Elections 2016

Hits: 3234 |

Trump critics: 'He's not my president'
2016.11.10 00:55:28

Tags: US Elections 2016

Hits: 3200 |

More politicians react to Trump win
2016.11.10 00:35:39

Tags: US Elections 2016

Hits: 3216 |

Far right continue to congratulate and celebrate Donald Trump on win
2016.11.10 00:04:43

Tags: US Elections 2016

Hits: 2862 |

Twitter reacts to Trump win
2016.11.10 00:01:25

Tags: US Elections 2016

Hits: 3198 |

Twitter reacts to election 2016: 'Oh America...What have you done?'
2016.11.09 15:36:03

Tags: US Elections 2016

Hits: 2695 |

'Undocumented, unafraid', among chants heard outside the White House
2016.11.09 15:33:01

Emotions are high at the White House as hundreds, mainly young people, gather to react to this year's election results.

Members of United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the US, chanted "undocumented, unafraid" as they stood outside the home of the next president.

Members of United We Dream

Other young voters said they support the winner and electoral system, regardless who wins the presidency.

United We Dream

Tags: US Elections 2016

Hits: 2710 |

There will be no concession speech tonight
2016.11.09 15:27:12

"She is not done yet," Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta tells the crowds in New York before telling them to go home. There will be no concession speech tonight.

"Every vote should count. Several states are too close to call. So we're not going to have anything more to say tonight."

Tags: US Elections 2016

Hits: 2723 |

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen congratulates Donald Trump
2016.11.09 15:26:11

Translation: Congratulations to the new President of the United States Donald Trump and the free American people

Tags: US Elections 2016

Hits: 2671 |

Spokesman for George H.W. Bush denies reports the former president voted for Clinton
2016.11.09 14:23:08

Tags: US Elections 2016

Hits: 2749 |

Obama speaks
2016.11.09 14:21:44

"And remember: no matter what happens, the sun will rise in the morning and America will still be the greatest nation on earth."

Tags: US Elections 2016

Hits: 2626 |

Viral lies are still lies
2016.11.09 14:05:20

The perils of following events like this election on social media.

The tweet was posted by a British troll account known for spreading false information during high profile events.

Here's more about the people/person behind the account.

Tags: US Elections 2016

Hits: 2809 |

Spirits high among Trump supporters in Pennsylvania
2016.11.09 14:03:15

Tags: US Elections 2016

Hits: 2508 |

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