For those trolling Priyanka Chopra, here’s a primer on what ‘insulting the flag’ really means

Priyanka Chopra was trolled once again for wrapping a tricolour dupatta around her neck on Independence Day.

Priyanka Chopra can just not catch a breath.

Priyanka Chopra was once again reminded that no matter how successful you become, no matter how hard you work, haters on the internet will forever look for ways to pull you down. The actor posted a video on Instagram with a stole bearing the tricolours on Independence Day but perhaps didn’t expect the criticism that followed.

Several commentors demanded apology and shamed her for bringing ‘disrespect to the flag’: “Hey show some respect to our country flag ..”, “Priyanka should apologise for this controversial post”, “she is disrespecting India to gain publicity” and “This is not your dupatta stupid, show some respect.”

One even told ‘ol girls’ to follow PV Sindhu, Deepa Karmakar, Mithali Raj and Saina Nehwal instead of Priyanka.

Independence Day #Vibes ??#MyHeartBelongsToIndia #happyindependencedayindia #jaihind

A post shared by Priyanka Chopra (@priyankachopra) on

However, a little Google search would have gone a long way to educate the people of what actually construes disrespecting the flag. A little click on the internet and they’d have known how Priyanka is not insulting the flag but in many instances, you may have.

Here’s the first thing to know that should put the entire issue to rest — what Priyanka has draped around her neck is not India’s flag. The tricolours have become synonymous with the Tricolour but the two are not the same. The Tricolour always has an Ashok Chakra at the centre and without it, it is not India’s flag. People are allowed to drape themselves or with the combination of saffron, white and green and we often see that happening.

A kid with Tricolor flag during Dahi Handi in Thane, India, on Tuesday.

So, you are allowed to wear dresses that are in the tricolours, dupattas, T-shirts and even sarees. Hence, Priyanka is not in the wrong.

Now back to what actual disrespect to the flag constitutes and there are quite a few. Flag Code of India is clear about dos and don’ts. Did you know that hoisting a flag that is not made from khadi or hand-spun material could land you in jail for three years? How many times have you bought one made from nylon, chiffon or satin from the traffic signal? Best not confess it now.

If you somehow did manage to find a khadi flag, figuring out the right way to hoist it is also a strict process. The flag under no circumstance can be hoisted upside down- i.e. green colour on top. Even when the flag is hoisted by rotating it 90 degrees, the saffron part should be on the left. The saffron should always come first, like the first part you read in a book- top to bottom, left to right.

Akshay Kumar waves the national flag at the Women’s World Cup Final.

Which is why Akshay Kumar had to apologise recently when he unfurled the Tricolour upside down at the recent ICC Women’s World Cup Final between India and England.

If your car has a tricolour attached to it on the bumper or near the headlight, you are again disrespecting the flag. The right to use the tricolour on cars is restricted to the Prime Minister, The President, The Vice President The Chief Justice, governors and lieutenant governors of states, chief ministers, chief justice and justice of high court of states, union ministers, members of the Parliament and state legislatures of the Indian states and flag officers of the Army, Navy and Air Force. Even if you are one of these, there are more rules on how to hoist the flag the proper way.

The flag must not hold anything in it other than flower petals and can be hoisted at night only if it is on a very tall flagpole and well-lit.

India’s second President, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan said of the symbolism of the Tricolour:

Bhagwa or the Saffron denotes renunciation or disinterestedness. Our leaders must be indifferent to material gains and dedicate themselves to their work. The white in the centre is light, the path of truth to guide our conduct. The green shows our relation to (the) soil, our relation to the plant life here, on which all other life depends. The “Ashoka Chakra” in the centre of the white is the wheel of the law of dharma. Truth or satya, dharma or virtue ought to be the controlling principle of those who work under this flag. Again, the wheel denotes motion. There is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. India should no more resist change, it must move and go forward.

Change. Something many of these vicious commentors hate and will do anything to avoid.

When their arguments for chastising an actor for disrespecting the flag seem to fail, they expressed distress over how she didn’t dress more modestly. Why did she not wear salwar kameez for the occasion? Why not a saree?

Because, when all else fails, slut-shaming a woman is always an option. A woman who is a de facto international star and extremely successful in her chosen field.

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