Har Ghar Tiranga campaign, a multi-coloured mess

11 August,2022 07:14 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Rajendra B. Aklekar

As grand I-Day celebrations draw close, railway union miffed with Rs 38 deduction from each employee for flag cost, even as Mumbaikars call out BMC for distributing defective flags

The Indian national tricolour hoisted on the window of a house in Behrampada in Bandra East in preparation for the 75th Independence Day. Pic/Nimesh Dave

The preparations for the 75th Independence Day celebrations are on in full swing, but the ambitious Har Ghar Tiranga campaign, part of the Centre*s Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, has upset many citizens. Mumbaikars we spoke to are furious that the flags being distributed by the BMC for the campaign are defective. The display of a damaged or dishevelled flag is in violation of the Flag Code of India. Meanwhile, trade unions are disappointed that flags for the campaign will be purchased by deducting Rs 38 from railway employees* salaries.

One of the flags distributed by the BMC shows the Ashoka Chakra off-centre

Trade unions in the city have expressed displeasure over the manner of purchasing flags for the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign, after circulars were issued that Rs 38 will be deducted from railway employees* salaries for it. Though Mumbai railway largely remains indifferent to the idea, trade unions said it lays down a bad precedent.

Also Read: Mumbai: How *Har Ghar Tiranga* has made Vasai women financially independent

India will mark its 75th Independence Day on August 15. On this occasion, the government of India has declared the celebration, Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. The *Har Ghar Tiranga* campaign is part of the celebration.

Railway employees in many zones said they will not have to buy the tricolour, but the money for it will be deducted from their salaries. However, railway officials said that the policy and purchase depended differently on the concerned zones and divisions as they had worked out the options.

Employees with North Central Railway said that the flags given to them and the money for them would later be deducted from their salaries to compensate. There are 17 zones and 68 divisions on Indian Railways.

A distributed flag that was cut unevently

‘Will endorse govt move*

There has been no move on the issue in Mumbai yet but Venu Nair, General Secretary of National Railway Mazdoor Union, one of the leading trade unions on Central Railway, said that "Our union fully endorse the move of government" to hoist and display the union flag at every home as part of exhibiting pride of the nation through Har Ghar Tiranga. The concern is only regard to the absence of uniformity in the mechanism of procurement and distribution of the union flag including the huge amount of cost it incur".

Also Read: Plan to hoist 17 lakh tricolours atop houses in Thane

Cong affiliated unions say

Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh (WRMS) Divisional Chairman, Mumbai, Kiran Patil said railway employees on WR had already received flags and sticks to hoist them, but there was no mention of any money deduction. Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh General Secretary Pravin Bajpayee said there was no such issue in Mumbai and there were no representations or complaints from any sector of employees.

WR Chief Public Relations Officer Sumit Thakur said the policy was not applicable in Western Railway. "Employees on WR are not being burdened regarding money as the funds are being used from the Employee Benefit Fund corpus," he added. Central Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Shivaji Sutar said every division was doing it differently and it was not the case for Mumbai. "Each zone/division is doing it differently. We do not burden our employees regarding money. Above all, celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is a proud moment for all of us," he added.

The Mumbai division of Central Railway is the largest division on the Central Railway, which has a sanctioned strength of 36,380 and operated strength of 28,798 excluding RPF and accounts. The Mumbai division of Western Railway has about 22,000 employees.

‘Don*t insult the national flag*

The ‘Har Ghar Tiranga* campaign has run into a controversy, as citizens are complaining about defective flags distributed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Former Mayor Kishori Pednekar has written to civic chief I S Chahal and demanded strict legal action against the distributors and warned of an agitation.

Another distributed flag which has uneven cuts

Under the campaign, BMC has been distributing the national flag to every household and commercial establishment in the city. "The quality and condition of the flags being distributed by the central government through BMC, are an insult to the Amrit Mahotsav of independence, the national flag, and the nation. We need to bring it to the attention of the courts and demand action against the concerned," said Rajesh Gade, a resident of Kandivli.

"We received a flag on Tuesday. Most of the flags distributed in my locality were defective with holes and uneven cuts. This is our national flag and not of any political party. Can*t we respect it?" said Sandeep Sawant Bhosle, a resident of Goregaon east. "All the three stripes of the flag must be of the same size. However, in the flag given to me, the size of all the stripes is different. BMC officials admitted that the flags were defective," said Nasir Khan, a resident of Ghatkopar. "This is an insult to our national flag which is our national pride," Kishori Pednekar wrote in the letter to Chahal. Chahal was unavailable for comment.

Also Read: Mumbai: BMC chief reviews preparation for Har Ghar Tiranga campaign

The designer of India*s national flag

Pingali Venkayya, a Gandhian and freedom fighter, is the designer of the Indian national flag. He was in the British Army when he was 19. Seeing soldiers salute the Union Jack, the British flag, he realised India should also have a national flag. The first flag he made had two stripes, one in red to represent Hindus and the other in green to represent Muslims. Mahatma Gandhi suggested he use white to represent the other religions and people living in India. The present form of the flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on July 22, 1947.

independence day brihanmumbai municipal corporation mumbai news mumbai
Related Stories