Seeking divine intervention for passage of Lokpal Bill

A day before embarking on his agitation for an effective Lokpal Bill in Mumbai, anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare yesterday visited the Samadhi of Sant Dnyaneshwar at Alandi and sought his blessings for the passage of the ombudsman bill.

Bless me with success: Anna Hazare offers prayers at Sant 
Dnyaneshwar temple in Alandi. Pic/Navanath Kaple 

"The Guru has always been with me and has helped me in my earlier agitations. This time also I am confident that Sant Dnyneshwar will be with me because I am fighting for a social cause," said Hazare.

During his 45-minute stay at the temple, Hazare also took the blessings of Maruti Maharaj Kurekar, former president of Warkari Shikshan Sanstha, and was felicitated by the trustees of the temple with a shawl and a coconut.  
Balasaheb Maharaj Kharat, a trustee of the temple, said, "We have been with Anna for the past 25 years. He has completed four of his hunger strikes in Alandi and this time also we are with him." 

In a written message given to Kurekar, Hazare stated that his body was already devoted for the service of the people. He mentioned that the saint has given him the strength to fight for the common man.

Hazare also added that he was wearing a Tulsi chain symbolising that he lives for the welfare of other people. "I am not undertaking such agitation because I don't have other things to do, it is only because the UPA government and the Prime Minister are constantly changing their stance about passing of an effective Lokpal Bill," said Hazare 

Mumbai-bound Hazare's SUV sports Tricolour
Anna Hazare, termed as the 21st century Gandhi by many, seems to have inadvertently violated an important code of conduct regarding the Tricolour. 

Flag: Anna Hazare's SUV with the Tricolour tied to the front yesterday

When the anti-graft crusader's SUV left Alandi for Mumbai yesterday, it had the nation flag fluttering on its bonnet, a prerogative of dignitaries such as the President and the Prime Minister. 

MiD DAY has learnt that such display of the Tricolour by a commoner violates the Tricolour code that came into existence from January 26, 2002. According to paragraph 3.44 of flag code of India 2002, the privilege of flying the national flag is limited to the dignitaries. 

The code allows only specified dignitaries such as the President, the Vice-President, Governors, Lieutenant Governors and so on have the privilege to display the national flag on their vehicle. These rules can be seen on the website of Union Ministry of Home Affairs

The law even asks the dignitaries, including cabinet ministers and High Court and Supreme Court judges, to exercise restraint while displaying the flag on their vehicles. "These dignitaries may fly the national flag on their cars, whenever they consider it necessary or advisable," states the law. 

The sources in Protocol Department of the Maharashtra Government have also confirmed the law. "No one other than specified dignitaries mentioned in the code are allowed to display the national flag on their vehicle," said a source from the Protocol Department. 

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