Tiranga Yatra: The point we are missing


Tiranga Yatra or Rashtriya Ekta Yatra: Good or Bad? Perhaps, our logic of judging things, people or events based on their goodness value led us to focus much on the Yatra itself. Almost all of us missed the crucial point or touched that point superficially during our discussions on the topic. Before I go much into the topic, let’s have a re-look on the facts once again for a better understanding.

The Yatra covers 11 states before reaching the Kashmir

The BJP Yuva Morcha has started a Yatra to commemorate the Yatra of BJP founding member SP Mukherjee who had protested against the laws that necessitated everyone to seek govt’s approval to enter Kashmir. He was detained and had died in Kashmir. So, basically, the BJP Yatra is primarily intended to symbolically affirm the belief  ‘Kashmir belongs to India’ (what SP Mukherjee tried to show with his Yatra). It is a different matter, if such a symbolic Yatra can bridge the gap between the Kashmir and India. Expectedly, The Yatra began from Kolkata (Mukherjee’s birthplace) on January 12 and scheduled to end on the Republic Day with hoisting the national flag at the ‘controversial’ Lal Chowk in the heart of the city of Srinagar. In the route to Kashmir(see the pic on the right for the route of the Yatra), the Yatra covers 11 state and the leaders of the party hoist flag at every destination. The brouhaha on the issue started after the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah asked the BJP not to enter Kashmir and stop the Yatra as it could ‘create disturbance in the valley’.

Now, let’s go deep into the topic. While much of the discussion has centered around if the Yatra is good for the ‘fragile peace’ in the valley or does this hoisting flag makes one patriot, the J&K CM and the media actually shifted the focus from  the flaws in the J&K system.

The whole issue is based on two points.

1. It is every Indian’s constitutional right to hoist the national flag.

2. It is necessary to maintain peace and harmony  in a place.

While most of the debates over the issue has put the two points against each other, actually both should happen together, isn’t it? And how can that happen? By ‘Good Governance’. And that is the point almost all have missed.

Let me describe it with an analogy. In India, we have heard about clashes between Muslims and Hindus when processions of one group pass through the area of other group. Even clashes occur between groups within one religion during such processions. And what is a govt. expected to do in that case? They take security measures, talk to community leaders and do everything to maintain peace while letting the procession to move through the area. It is state’s duty to maintain law and order and every one is given scope by the state to execute his right. Doesn’t the Tiranga Yatra episode look similar? As per the law of the land, the govt. can’t deny any citizen of his right to hoist the flag. So question of stopping a group from doing that does not arise. If there is any law and order implications as the state and central govt. apprehend (law and order implications due to hoisting tricolor is no less shameful), it is state’s duty to contain it. Even the CM admits that only a handful of people(read separatists) may oppose the Yatra in the valley. Then why is the talk on the righteousness of the Yatra? To hide the flaws in the own system? Perhaps.

Probably, the govt. in the J&K believes that it is not strong enough to contain a protest by ‘few hundred of people’ and most importantly it thinks it may loose some of its support by letting Tiranga fly on Lal Chowk. The high decibel noise is being made because  a political party is planning this Yatra. I believe, there wouldn’t have been any resistance from the govt.s(at state and the center) if a non-political outfit planned such program. The leaders in power see an opportunity in painting the political adversaries (who is in opposition trying to put them on the mat on several issues) as trouble makers. But in the process, they are giving scope to the real trouble makers in the valley: the separatists. When the govt. hadn’t reacted when the Pakistan Flag was hoisted at Lal Chowk last Eid, it is only political opportunism that forced the CM to react and try to stop the hoisting of Indian National Flag.

 

Kashmiri protesters cheer as others climb the landmark clock tower and hoist the flag of Pakistan during a protest rally after Eid Ul-Fitr prayers in Srinagar

That brings us to the next question? Is BJP clean on this? Is it not trying to gain political brownie points over the episode? Indeed, they are. There should not be any doubt that there is no political angle behind BJP’s Yatra plans. But what’s wrong with that? Does it matter who is trying to hoist the flag as long as that flag is Indian national flag? I and most of the Indians wouldn’t have opposed if the Congress had planned such Yatra. The support is for the ‘Tiranga’ and not for any particular party as we take pride in our flag. But surrendering to the separatists and starting political blame game to shift the focus from own inability is not what Indians can support.

 

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Tiranga Yatra: The point we are missing

  1. Monisha says:

    The angle through which you have viewed the entire episode makes a sense.
    For sure, the only thing which the government is concerned with is how to contain the inflation in the opposition strength rather than necessary matters!

  2. Sujatha says:

    It is people who make up a country. It does not make any sense to impose your wishes on others and be fighting over land in this modern age.

    There are people who wish India and Pakistan are united. However, when I see the daily violence and struggle in Pakistan, I am glad India and Pakistan are separate countries. Pakistan is being run by fanatic clerics and it not a safe place. India, on the other hand, while we still have a lot of corruption and poverty, is still a safe place, except when we have extremist attacks relating to Kashmir issue. I am an Indian, living in the US for about 16 years. I love India, come home every 2 or 3 years, and plan to return back when I retire. This is true of most Indians living abroad. On the other hand, when I speak to my Pakistani friends, most of them dont want to go back to Pakistan because it is unsafe. To the extent, that most of my Pakistani friends are trying to get their families out of Pakistan.

    My parents (we are South Indian hindus) strongly believe that Kashmir belongs to India. They believe If we give it up, the “muslims” will want more as it is their goal to spread islam. My mom says if they get control of Srinagar, Delhi is not too far. I have a totally different view.

    We live in a modern world. Gone are the days when kings invaded neighbouring kingdoms. That era is over. What remains are land disputes between established countries which have to be resolved. Today, neither does Pakistan have the resources to invade the rest of India, nor will the international community keep quiet if such a thing happened today. Kashmir is a different issue as it is over 60 years old. So, I say leave Pakistanis to its fate if they choose to fight among themselves under their religious leaders, while we move on forward as a country.

    As far as Kashmir goes, how many people live there who want to part of India? I probably misinformed, but from what I know most of the hindu families have moved out of there because of the violence. If the muslim majority wants to be with Pakistan, let it be. It is their land. I dont think a Maharashtrian or Tamilian or Bengali should have any opinion in this matter. It should be up to the people in Kashmir where they want to belong.

    On a different, but slightly related note, the Kashmir issue has come up because of the way the British divided the region before they left. Think about it, before the British rule, we were not one country. Eventually, it was all different kingdoms which united to drive the British away. When the British left the region, we never have fought that Nepal should be part of India because they have a hindu majority, nor have we fought over Sri Lanka that they are made up of hindus and buddhists and therefore should be part of India. Same goes for Myanmar. and few other countries in the region. At one one Chandragupta had a huge empire, but then so did the Greeks, the moghuls and other empires. We have to live in the present and cannot dwell in some past glory which may or may not be accurate.

    I wish our politicians/ government focus on the needs of the people living in India, alleviating the poverty, increasing jobs, moving forward. I find it ridiculous that a Karnataka politician instead of looking to see how to help the people in Karnataka, decides to want to hoist a flag in Srinagar when that is not his/her home.

    As an analogy, gone are the days of joint family. In today’s nuclear family, my job is to take care of my family. While it is ok to discuss my brother’s problems with him, it is none of my business to scold my nephew if he is misbehaving. Leave Kashmir to Kashmiris, they can take care of themselves. Dont try to make the situation worse saying it is patriotic when it is really not your business.

  3. Sujatha says:

    Sorry for the typos and syntax errors in my post above. Overall, I think I have conveyed what I wanted even though those word omissions/ insertions are annoying!

  4. Sujatha says:

    It is people who make up a country. It does not make any sense to impose your wishes on others and be fighting over land in this modern age.

    There are people who wish India and Pakistan are united. However, when I see the daily violence and struggle in Pakistan, I am glad India and Pakistan are separate countries. Pakistan is being run by fanatic clerics and it not a safe place. India, on the other hand, while we still have a lot of corruption and poverty, is still a safe place, except when we have extremist attacks relating to Kashmir issue. I am an Indian, living in the US for about 16 years. I love India, come home every 2 or 3 years, and plan to return back when I retire. This is true of most Indians living abroad. On the other hand, when I speak to my Pakistani friends, most of them dont want to go back to Pakistan because it is unsafe. To the extent, that most of my Pakistani friends are trying to get their families out of Pakistan.

    My parents (we are South Indian hindus) strongly believe that Kashmir belongs to India. They believe If we give it up, the “muslims” will want more as it is their goal to spread islam. My mom says if they get control of Srinagar, Delhi is not too far. I have a totally different view.

    We live in a modern world. Gone are the days when kings invaded neighbouring kingdoms. That era is over. What remains are land disputes between established countries which have to be resolved. Today, neither does Pakistan have the resources to invade the rest of India, nor will the international community keep quiet if such a thing happened today. Kashmir is a different issue as it is over 60 years old. So, I say leave Pakistanis to their fate if they choose to fight among themselves under their religious leaders, while we move on forward as a country.

    As far as Kashmir goes, how many people live there who want to part of India? I am probably misinformed, but from what I know, most of the hindu families have moved out of there because of the violence. If the muslim majority wants to be with Pakistan, let it be. It is their land. I dont think a Maharashtrian or Tamilian or Bengali should have any opinion in this matter. It should be up to the people in Kashmir where they want to belong.

    On a different, but slightly related note, the Kashmir issue has come up because of the way the British divided the region before they left. Think about it, before the British rule, we were not one country. Eventually, it was all different kingdoms which united to drive the British away. When the British left the region, we never have fought that Nepal should be part of India because they have a hindu majority, nor have we fought over Sri Lanka that they are made up of hindus and buddhists and therefore should be part of India. Same goes for Myanmar. and few other countries in the region. At one time in history, Chandragupta Maurya had a huge empire, but then so did the Greeks, the moghuls and other empires. We have to live in the present and cannot dwell in some past glory which may or may not be accurate.

    I wish our politicians/ government focus on the needs of the people living in India, alleviating the poverty, increasing jobs, moving forward. I find it ridiculous that a Karnataka politician instead of looking to see how to help the people in Karnataka, decides to want to hoist a flag in Srinagar when that is not his/her home.

    As an analogy, gone are the days of joint family. In today’s nuclear family, my job is to take care of my family. While it is ok to discuss my brother’s problems with him, it is none of my business to scold my nephew if he is misbehaving. Leave Kashmir to Kashmiris, they can take care of themselves. Dont try to make the situation worse saying it is patriotic when it is really not your business.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s