Three days before the nation goes to celebrate the 75th year of independence, thousands came out in the streets in most of the cities of India on Friday proudly waving the national Tricolour, our beloved Tiranga.
From the beautiful Dal lake in Srinagar to the sea shores of Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu, from the marshland of Kutch in Gujarat to Kamrup in Assam, a sea of tricolour flags was seen on streets, held aloft by our proud citizens. People sang Vande Mataram, our national anthem Jana Gana Mana and Saare Jahan Se Accha Hindostan Hamara while marching and holding the tricolour. The national flag was flown on housetops in almost every town and city.
Whether it was Delhi, Bhopal, Khargone, Indore, Shajapur, Patna, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Prayagrah, Saharanpur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Vadodara, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Jammu, Srinagar, Leh Guwahati, Gangtok, Hyderabad or Chennai, there were scenes of jubilation as people marched holding the tricolour.
The tricolour embodies the national aspirations of the Indian people. It reflects the ideals of unity in diversity. Men, women, aged persons and children enthusiastically took part in tiranga rallies. The most encouraging visuals came on Friday from different mosques spread across India, where the muezzin had given the call to devout Muslims to wave the tricolour after Jumma prayers.
In madrasas, small boys and girls proudly waved the tiranga. From the pulpits, moulvis gave sermons to those assembled about the need for nationalistic fervour and expression of love for the nation. Those who doubt the patriotic credentials of our minorities must watch the visuals that we showed on Friday night in my prime-time show ‘Aaj Ki Baat’.
In the small town of Shajapur in Madhya Pradesh, thousands of Muslims came out after Friday prayers, holding the tricolour, and marched through the streets chanting Hindustan Zindabad. Loudspeakers in markets played patriotic songs to add zest to the fervour.
Such scenes underline the fact that Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and all other minorities fought shoulder to shoulder to win freedom for India. Gone was the bitterness and rancour that showed up a few months ago in Khargone, Madhya Pradesh, when communal violence took place. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call to every Indian to participate in Tiranga rallies has struck a chord in the hearts of people.
In Haiderganj of Old Lucknow, Muslims came out after Friday prayers in Abu Baqr mosque, waved tricolour and chanted patriotic slogans. At the Islamic Centre in Lucknow, hundreds of Muslim students studying in Maulana Khalid Rashidi Firangimahali’s institution, proudly sang patriotic songs.
In Gurugram, Haryana, there were touching scenes as Muslims offered Friday prayers in front of the national flag, and later sang patriotic songs. There was similar enthusiasm among Muslims in Mumbai too, where tricolour flags were distributed and hoisted on buildings. At Mumbai’s oldest Jumma mosque in Crawford Market, tricolour flags were distributed among the people. At the Wadala Masjid, devout Muslims, after Friday prayers, started singing patriotic songs and saluted the national flag.
The famous Dal Lake in Srinagar was practically decked with tricolour flags hoisted atop ‘shikaras’ (boats), and the shadows of the tricolour floated in the water of the lake. The ITBP personnel distributed tricolour flags in the schools of Leh, Laddakh, while in Gangtok, capital of Sikkim, an ITBP helicopter poured flower petals on a huge tricolour flag hoisted on M.G. Road.
Our national tricolour is not just a piece of cloth, it is not merely a flag, it is the core identity for every Indian outside India. Our tricolour is the umbrella under which every Indian finds solace and protection. It is the symbol which kindles pride in the heart of every Indian. It is the symbol for which millions of Indians gave their supreme sacrifice. The tricolour does not belong to one religion, or one region. It belongs to every Indian. Our ancestors, our brave freedom fighters never allowed the tricolour to bow in front of others in their fight for freedom. They never allowed any dark blot on our tricolour. It is now our collective responsibility to ensure that the dignity of our tricolour is enhanced.
Let us fly our beloved national tricolour from our homes from today till August 15, when we will be celebrating 75 years of ‘azadi’, which our ancestors won at a great cost. Of course, some incidents do took place in our country which occasionally dulls the colours of our tricolour, but the scenes that were witnessed across India on Friday, depict the limitless zest among our people to safeguard our national flag, our national ethos and above all, our independence. Such zest and enthusiasm is sufficient to drown all suspicions and doubts about national unity.
I would like to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for launching the Tiranga Abhiyan and allowing every Indian to express his or her love for the nation. The roots of national unity and social harmony will surely gain strength.
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India's Number One and the most followed Super Prime Time News Show 'Aaj Ki Baat- Rajat Sharma Ke Saath' was launched just before the 2014 General Elections. Since its inception, the show is redefining India's super-prime time and is numerically far ahead of its contemporaries.