Patriotism is inbuilt in our mindset and one does not need a particular day to express it.
Children start selling little plastic flags near petrol pumps and traffic signals as the Independence Day is just round the corner. The euphoria of patriotism is at its peak as people make a beeline to buy them to show their love for the country only to discard them the very next day as the enthusiasm dies down.
The roads, dustbins and public places are seen littered with discarded plastic flags that had held a place of pride only a day before. “Patriotism can be displayed through actions and not by putting a plastic flag on the car windshields or on window panes to be thrown away the next day,” says Chaitali Samantray a retired government employee.
The Television channels too scream patriotism with movies and programs specially made to evoke the feelings of the people and create a buzz. All the music channels play patriotic songs hammering the fact that we indeed are celebrating Independence Day.
“We can spend time with the families of our freedom fighters or tell stories about them to our children. The best thing we can do is inspire our youth to join the armed forces to serve the country”, opines Rahul Patel.
There are different ways to show your feelings and celebrate this day. “People do not think twice before throwing away the flag immediately after the parade is over. It hurts to see the flags lying on the road and try to collect as many so that nobody stamps on them”, says Kuna Sahoo, BMC Sweeper.
“Remember being taught in school that the Indian national flag should be spun or hand-woven. The sale of these small paper and plastic flags should be banned completely and people who want to pay respect to the national flag can attend functions held at schools, offices and institutions”, shares Mangala Kini a banker.
This Independence Day let’s pledge and convince others to say no to Plastic flags. It’s only a small way to pay respect to our country and the planet we live on.
(Aditi is a freelance writer and pursues interest in the area of social issues)