IOS organises Lecture on “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav: The Significance of Tiranga”
IOS organises Lecture on “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav: The Significance of Tiranga”
New Delhi: The Institute of Objective Studies organised an offline/online lecture on “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav: The Significance of Tiranga” to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence on August 13, 2022.
The programme commenced with the recitation of a Qur’anic verse by Hafiz Athar Husain Nadwi with its Urdu translation.
Prof. Haseena Hashia, Assistant Secretary General of the Institute, who introduced the topic, said that India was celebrating its 75 years of independence. It was also the diamond jubilee year of India’s independence. Referring to the tri-colour, she said that the national flag was a sign of country’s pride and patriotism. All the three colours of the flag, which was adopted on July 22, 1947, had a meaning. Surayya Tayyabji, the wife the great freedom fighter and former Congress President, Badruddin Tayyabji, gave a final shape to the tricolor, she noted.
Maulana Shah Ajmal Farooq Nadvi, In-charge, Urdu section, IOS, held that the Institute organised several seminars on India’s freedom movement and independence. Similarly, as many as 55 books were published on the subject in Urdu, English and Hindi. Out of them, 23 books were published in Urdu, 29 in English and 3 in Hindi. These books focused on the history of freedom struggle, personalities, who were part of the freedom movement, and modern India. These books were written by Prof. Zafar Ahmad Nizami, Dr. Abida Samiuddin, Iqbal Ahmad Ansari, and Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani. While Prof. Z.M. Khan wrote, Political Empowerment of Muslims in India, Qazi Mujahidul Islam Qasmi penned Hindustani Musalmanon ke Samaji Masail. He said that Prof. Rifaqat Ali Khan and Dr. Syed Abdul Bari were other scholars whose books focused on the contribution of Muslims during and after the freedom struggle, and were published by the Institute.
Delivering the lecture, Prof. M. Afzal Wani, Pro-Vice chancellor, IILM University (Greater Noida), Former Member, Law Commission of India, Ex-dean, GGS Indraprastha University and the Vice-Chairman, IOS, went into the spirit of the national flag, and said that it symbolised unity and integrity of the nation. India’s Independence paved the way for the creation of polity that had a vision for harmony, peace and justice system. Every institution and organisation had a flag that represented its vision. United Nations Organisation (UNO), for instance was a world organisation that expressed its mode of action. Similarly, the Indian national flag represented hopes and aspirations of the people of the country. He said that Pingali Venkayya was a freedom fighter and a Gandhian who designed the Swaraj flag used by Mahatma Gandhi during the Independence movement. It was later modified by Surayya Badruddin Tayyabji into the flag of India. She was an artist of repute and came from a well-known Muslim family, and was known for her unconventional modern outlook, he added.
Prof. M. Afzal Wani explained that the national flag of India was a horizontal tricolor of deep saffron at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. The ratio of the width of the flag to its length was two to three. In the centre of the white band was a navy blue wheel, which represented the chakra. He further said that in the national flag of India, the top band was of saffron colour, indicating the strength and courage of the country. The white middle band indicated peace and truth with Dharma Chakra. The last band was green in colour that symbolised fertility, growth and auspiciousness of the land. He noted that the wheel also represented life and dynamism, goal of progress and prosperity. Thus the tricolor gave the whole concept of a nation and one must possess zeal and ardour to hoist the flag. He referred to the circumstances in which the tricolor came into existence. He said that during the freedom movement, every Indian was feeling that he was not free. It reflected the struggle that Indians talked about among themselves. Many known and unknown martyrs contributed to the freedom struggle. It was the tricolor through which every Indian was expressing his proud, he stated.
Prof. Wani held that the twentieth century was important because of two world wars, economy and the rivalry between two world powers. Among them, the emergence of India as a republic was the most important. The disintegration of the USSR took place, but India remained strong. It was a united group of people as was reflected by the tricolor. Unlike Ukraine, the geo-political situation in the region did not have any effect on India due to its strong bonds of unity. Indian tricolour’s wheel was very powerful as it possessed the strength to fight the devil. He called for the wheel of progress going as fast as the rest of the world. He said that the Indian Constitution began with, “We the people of India”. This was reflected in the tricolor that fluttered on the top of the Indian parliament. Indians wanted the tricolor to survive, and thus there was a need to hold it high. He observed that the emergence of the United States of America was not as important as the Indian republic because of its commitment to freedom, justice and equality. The flag was knocking at the door of people to go ahead, fight poverty and remain united. One who carried the tricolor must think of contributing to development and achievement of the goal of trillion dollars economy, he stressed.
Prof. Wani emphasised that the areas in which the country lagged, should be identified. India was yet to overcome the problem of hunger, malnutrition and poor health. That was the reason why the dynamics of progress slowed down. When the countrymen carried the tricolour in their hands, they had the high level of morality and honour. He called for cherishing issues of humanity and not the issues of the community. Earlier, people did not have books but they understood the meaning of humanity.
There was a need to examine how the country performed on the index of poverty during the last 75 years. The state of education, particularly the rate of drop-out must receive proper attention. He said that the tricolour was great and Gandhiji became great because of it. He maintained that only hoisting the tricolour and clapping did not suffice. True understanding of the national flag led to right actions. Tricolour should be in mind and conscience. Equality, justice and fraternity could not be ensured till the state fulfilled its commitments to the tricolour. He said that justice should not be manipulated, and it should be as clear as the tricolour. Democracy meant that the people were together. Describing the day as an occasion to start the constitutional movement, he observed that the tricolour represented aspirations of the people.
Presiding over the event, Prof. Z.M. Khan, Secretary General, IOS, held that the tricolour could not be seen in isolation because it reflected the long struggle for freedom and the spirit of the Constitution. The tricolour had a history and philosophy behind it. Referring to the process of nation-building, he said that lately , the policies of the government were in question. He especially mentioned the policy of taxation that put a heavy burden on people. He also questioned the border policy, which exposed the vulnerability of Indian borders. Some countries were trying to invade the country’s borders. He criticised the sentimentalisation of the situation by the powers-that-be. He said that the cost of a flag had been fixed at Rs. 32, and the ration card holder who constituted the lower strata of the society had been warned that the non-purchasing of flags could deprive them of ration distributed under the free ration distribution scheme. The sanctity of the tricolour formed a part of the preamble to the Constitution that secured justice, equality and fraternity to all the citizens of the country. This dictum was part and parcel of the preamble. He said that flying the tiranga on rooftops and pinning its band on chest was not enough. It would be dangerous to sentimentalise the foisting of tiranga, he concluded.
Earlier, Prof. Wani, together with other office-bearers and members of staff of the Institute of Objective Studies hoisted the tricolour at the entrance to the main gate of the Institute.
The lecture ended with a vote of thanks by Prof. Haseena Hashia to both offline and online attendees. Those who were present on occasion included the Finance Secretary, IOS, Mohammad Alam, prominent Islamic scholar, Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani, staff members of the IOS, FANA and the All India Milli council etc.