Acting on a letter from an ex-serviceman in Tamil Nadu, the Union Home Ministry has warned the Bharat Scouts and Guides (BSG) of penal action if it failed to “immediately” rectify its uniforms, which were found to be in violation of laws governing the National Flag’s use.
Kannan Govindarajalu, an ex-serviceman from Kancheepuram district, wrote to the ministry in June pointing out that BSG uniforms had the national flag stitched to the shirt with the badge.
The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act (PINHA), which governs the use of national symbols, gives citizens the permission to wear the flag on any dress above the waist, Govindarajalu said in his letter. However, the flag should be detachable. “Embroidering or stitching the flag on the dress is an offence and an insult to the flag,” he said.
Govindarajalu told Express that the flag is considered sacred and the rationale behind not allowing it to be stitched onto a dress is to ensure that it doesn’t get dirty. Following the correspondence, Under Secretary to Ministry of Home Affairs Pandey Pradeep Kumar wrote to the officiating director of the BSG on July 10, asking him to rectify the uniform to avoid penal action.
This is not the first time that Govindarajulu has spotted instances of disrespect to national symbols. In March, an Express report revealed how another of the ex-serviceman’s letters had jolted the Army into issuing circulars against omitting Satyameva Jayate from the emblem used on its flag.
The Army said it was grateful to Govindarajulu for bringing the omission to its notice. The ex-serviceman has also filed a PIL in the Madras High Court against distortion of the National Flag for commercial purposes.