GUWAHATI: The Flag Foundation of India said 95 per cent of Indians do not have a fair knowledge about the national flag.
“I would say 95 per cent of people in India do not have a fair knowledge about the Tricolour. They aren’t confident whether it can be kept hoisted day and night and whether it should be made of khadi or cotton,” Maj Gen (retd) Ashim Kohli, CEO, Flag Foundation of India, told this newspaper.
The Delhi-based NGO set up its 107th “Monumental Flag” at the Army’s Narengi Military Station in Guwahati on Saturday. The foundation also educates people on the Tricolour and inspires them to hoist it.
“The flag could be made of cotton, khadi, silk and polyester and it has to be in the ratio of 3:2,” the CEO of the Foundation said.
He also said that he was sad when some “educated and senior” persons told him they had lowered the flag at the end of the celebration of Independence Day on August 15.
“The government’s order is very clear. It is your right to keep it hoisted 365 days a year,” Maj Gen Kohli said.
“We say ‘go to America’ and you will feel great to see the country’s flag fluttering everywhere. Why is it not so in India? The only reason is that the right information is not going to people through any medium,” he said.
The Foundation, registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1980, is run with CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds.
“Earlier, the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act 1971 did not allow an Indian to wear a lapel pin or badge of the Tricolour. After an amendment to the Act, one can now wear it waist above but it has to be worn respectfully,” Maj Gen Kohli said, adding, “You have to give it the kind of respect that you give to an idol at home. That is the general principle”.
The Foundation helped set up the first Monumental Flag in Haryana in 2009. Thereafter, it installed the Tricolour at several institutions, both government and non-government.
“We are happy that various institutions, including some from the corporate sector, have started installing the Monumental Flag. We talked about Har Ghar Tiranga. Our focus now is that it should be Har Din Tiranga,” Maj Gen Kohli said. “Our aim is that it should be the flag of the common people,” he added.
The Foundation bears the cost of the Monumental Flags.
“We facilitate the installation of Monumental Flags if any institution takes the onus of looking it after round the year. The institution has to have its own land where it will be set up. We check everything before going forward,” the CEO of the Foundation further said.