Gautam Gambhir's deeply clogged mind

His discovery of new meanings to the colours of the Indian flag has inspired a few ideas

  • Published 14.05.19, 10:37 AM
  • Updated 14.05.19, 10:37 AM
  • 3 mins read
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BJP’s Gautam Gambhir and his wife Natasha Jain show their finger marked with indelible ink after casting vote during the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections, at Old Rajinder Nagar in New Delhi, on May 12, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Gautam Gambhir has set the ball rolling. He has discovered new meanings to the colours of our Indian flag and decided to share these in a tweet: “Anti-Indians hav forgotten dat our flag also stands 4: saffron — fire of our anger, white — shroud for jihadis, green — hatred 4 terror.” Wow. While the mind reels at the first two ‘meanings’ the third is a reverse sweep six of a fast yorker: what, pray, is the connection between the colour green and hatred for terror? Never mind, we’ll never get into this Gaukidar’s deeply clogged mind, so let’s move on. Let’s play the same game and ascribe our own original meanings and symbolism to the four colours of our tiranga/chouranga. The models given below are in no particular order.

1. The map of education: the white is for the clean, open minds of our young, unpolluted by regressive religious, caste or gender notions, minds that are ready to receive complex, fact-based knowledge and ideas of equality and justice. The saffron is for the fire of the passionate thirst for genuine learning. The green is for a clean, safe environment in which every Indian child can receive basic schooling and higher education. The blue wheel is for equal learning opportunities for each child regardless of their social or economic background. One Atishi Marlena has shown in Delhi how this can actually be achieved; it should be a good model for the rest of the country and our flag reminds us of this.

2. The flag of healthcare: the saffron tells us we are all human, made up of warm material which needs care. The white is for clean, efficient, corruption-free healthcare for all, something that is very achievable when a government doesn’t have a one-point agenda of capturing and holding on to power at all costs. Again, the green is for a clean physical environment that is essential for good health. The blue chakra is for the constant effort all of us must make to achieve affordable healthcare in this country.

3. Speaking of the environment, a flag for ecology: the saffron stands for a country where there is no dearth of sunlight, where worshipping the sun means a serious commitment to solar energy along with other alternative energy sources. The white stands for clean air, where the huge pollution in our country is brought under control with emergency alacrity and strictness. The green, self-explanatory, symbolizes the unrelenting protection of our forests, rivers, coastlines and farmlands. The blue chakra is for time and all of us living in consonance with the cycle of seasons.

4. The stripes of sport: the different colours of the national flag represent the idea that sport is for everybody and essential for a healthy, happy life; it also says that we should not become obsessed by any one sport, that people of all genders should participate in a variety of sporting activities. The blue wheel is for constant physical motion — healthy Indians should be exercising all their lives, not just when they are young.

5. The media flag: the different colours represent the areas which good, independent media should cover. The white is for transparent, honest coverage of economics, the blue wheel is for coverage of technology, the orange is for all areas of tussle, political, social, historical, the green, to be repetitive is necessary, is for serious examination of the biggest challenge that faces us — impending ecological catastrophe which will recognize no political party or religious affiliation.

6. In terms of these ongoing elections, what I see in the tricolour is this: the saffron is the cleansing fire of a fair and free vote that burns away all the toxic orange that lies over large parts of the land. The white is for much-needed peace and amity between different sections of society. The green is for azadi, a green signal that allows us to accelerate away from old, regressive, destructive ideas into a new egalitarian society. And the deep blue wheel? It’s the wheel of justice that rolls unfettered to free the innocent and deliver punishment, especially to those who have misused power to commit gross crimes against their own citizens.