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-Harshita Tewani

Recently the Ministry of Human Resource Development passed an order for all the central universities in India saying that they must hoist the national flag on a 207-feet high mast on their campuses. According to the Ministry this is to signify a strong and united India.

This idea is being appreciated to certain extents, as people think that the whooping funds that central (especially private) universities have today, are like this going to be used in a sensible way. The flag must also be illuminated at night. But a 207 feet height is being questioned upon. Questions are being raised at the HRD ministry as to why at all a specific number like this has been chosen.
While some call this ‘forced nationalism’, others vehemently support this idea in showcasing their pride for the nation. People also carry the views that flag hoisting may not be made compulsory, as it does not determine the nationality or patriotic fervour of anyone.
Viewpoints FOR:
• Recently at a HRD ministry meeting, Smriti Irani emphasised on hoisting “to instil nationalism and pride” in students and faculty members. This was agreed upon by Vice Chancellors of 42 central universities.
• Mohandas Pai, Fmr Director, HR, Infosys agrees with the idea, but also puts forth the opinion of hoisting the flag with due respect and according to the constitutional regulations.
• Rajya Sabha MP Naveen Jindal tweeted “The National Flag shall encourage youth and students to rise above religious and political lines and be united.”
• General GD Bakshi says that “we soldiers die for this flag, and that is why civilians are so different for us”, because there is no point of not agreeing with such a thing.
Viewpoints AGAINST:
• Imankalyan Lahiri, Prof International Relations, Jadavpur University says that the Indian flag is “infiltrating in the autonomy of institutions” focussing on the fact of unnecessary compulsion of the hoisting.
• Shabnam Lone, Advocate, SC, says that this is a mere step emerged out of “political convenience” and has no basis
• Omar Abdullah, tweeted If hoisting the flag was all it took to address feelings of alienation problems of Kashmir & North East would have been solved decades ago” dismissing this idea.

With this we also bring forth to you the views of some Jaipurites, about this issue.
Akash, an engineering student says that such an order is immensely useless, as putting forth the ideas of strength and unity by hoisting a flag, seems absurd, as this is not a way to display one’s nationalism.

Shruti, a homemaker feels that it is important for the youngsters of collegiate institutions to know the importance of the tiranga and hence this move will inculcate a certain nationality in them, which is important for the coming generations.

Aditi, a psychology student calls this issue unnecessary as she feels that one should have devotion for the country in their minds, not in a petty show of the tricolour.

Mahima, an entrepreneur feels that this is a fine step in ‘making India’. If not exhibit unity, the flag hoisting will increase people’s respect for the country in some or the other manner.
Hrithvik, an English literature student feels that just hoisting a flag is not enough, its proper maintenance is more important.

So this is what the residents of Jaipur need to say. We shall wait for more coverage on this to know what exactly happens, and how efficiently this is implemented.

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