In what could be seen as a major embarrassment, the Indian Army, in a letter to an ex-serviceman, has admitted to omitting the words Satyameva Jayate from the State emblem in its official flag.
The motto inscribed below the four lions and Ashok Chakra, which means ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’, is an integral part of the State emblem. The omission came to light after an ex-serviceman from Tamil Nadu, R Kannan Govindarajulu, pursued the matter with the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
In letters to the ministry and chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force, Govindarajulu, in January, sought their immediate attention to what he described as violation of The State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005. “The State Emblem inscribed in the Indian Army Flag doesn’t contain the motto Satyameva Jayate, which is an integral part of the Indian State Emblem,” the letter read.
Govindarajulu told Express that the MoD forwarded his letter to the armed forces on February 4 requesting necessary action. “The Indian army flag put up in various forums do not carry the State Emblem in full. Many do not understand this is a punishable offence.”
Following the MoD’s direction, the army scrutinised the matter and replied to Govindarajulu. A February 25 letter from Colonel V S Rawat of Ceremonial and Welfare Directorate at the Integrated Headquarters of the MoD, a copy of which is available with Express, said that the army was grateful to Govindarajulu for bringing it to their notice.
“We are grateful to you for bringing to our notice the omission of Satyameva Jayate in the State Emblem inscribed in the Indian Army Flag,” the letter said, pointing out that the Army had been sensitised on the correct usage of Satyameva Jayate and instructions to all would be passed again.
Govindarajulu said that following the reply, the Army had rectified its flags on its website.