How much green of the National Flag should be shown on TV?

Too much green of Tricolour is seen behind Arvind Kejriwal on screen, complains Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel


One would think that the members of the Union Cabinet were all too busy in formulating and implementing policies that would help the nation survive the ongoing challenges, especially in the wake of Covid-19. However, that may not be the case with all ministers. Some are busy doing what they consider is even more important, viewing the almost daily virtual press conferences of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and then critiquing the video frame. This would pass as fake news, if it was a troll posting it on social media. However it is Union Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel, who has taken strong objection to the way the National Flag has been kept behind Kejriwal during the virtual conferences. 

Patel has written to Delhi Lt-Governor Anil Baijal and put his objections on record. A letter has also been sent to CM Kejriwal as well. The minister is yet to share if either has responded to his objects but he did post on SM that he was “hurt” by the way the flag is seen behind the CM’s medium-close up frame, and accused Kejriwal of insulting the Tricolour. He then shared a photo of himself in his office, a long shot that shows the two Tricolours in full, and also framed photos of the President and prime minister. 

The minister told the media that he has “been watching Arvind Kejriwal’s press conferences and videos in which I find that the green part of the Tricolour is placed prominently, and has been increased on either side of Kejriwal. There are pictures of this sort of display, which you can see yourself. This is in clear violation of what has been prescribed by the government on how the flag can be used and displayed.”

He wrote to Lt Gov Baijal, detailing his objections that: “… The white portion at the centre of the flag has been reduced to emphasise the green portion,” according to Patel this “is in violation of regulations on depiction of the national flag as has been issued by the Home Ministry.” All displays of the national flag are under guidelines of the Emblems and Names (Prevention and Improper Use) Act, 1950, and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. 

In March this year The Madras High Court held that the representation of the Indian National Flag on a cake and the cutting of the same does not amount to an offence under Section 2 of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. Justice N. Anand Venkatesh explained that there is no doubt that nationalism in a democracy like India is vital but, “hyper and surfeit adherence to it goes against the prosperity of our nation from all its past glory”, adding “a patriot is not one who only raises the Flag, symbolises his national pride and wears it on his sleeve, but also, a person who bats for good governance. The symbolisation of national pride is not synonymous with patriotism, just like how cutting a cake is not unpatriotic.”

Now  Union Minister Prahlad Patel has alleged that  Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, accusing him of using the National Flag as “decoration” during the virtual press briefing.

Patel has highlighted in his letter, Section 2(ix) of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, which states that the flag should not be used as a decoration.


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