Nation At 9: Smriti flies flag for unity

| Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 23:18
First Published |
Nation At 9: Smriti flies flag for unity

The union minister for human resource development Smriti Irani has called upon all Central Universities in the country to proudly and prominently display the national tri-colour. 
The first university that has been marked out to fly the national flag is the Jawahar Lal Nehru University. While this comes as no surprise given the events of the last few days, the government hopes that by turning centrally aided varsities into the standard bearer of patriotism, students will feel a greater empathy for the Indian union. 
But moments after the advisory was issued asking all varsties to fly a 207 ft high flag many opposition parties are questioning the move. Omar Abdullah for one has observed that if hoisting the flag was all it took to address feelings of alienation of Kashmir and North East this could 
have been solved decades ago. 
To him and other Kashmiris I would only ask then why are Kashmiri mainstream political parties so adamant about hoisting a separate Kashmir flag. If people don't rally around the banner then why doesn't Kashmir give up its claim to a separate flag? 
To the Congress we ask whether making digs at the RSS is an attempt at deflecting from the fact that this is a political masterstroke that quite frankly the Congress missed out on. Perhaps the Congress should have taken a leaf out of the book of its own MP Naveen Jindal who fought to grant us all citizens the right to fly the national flag. In any case why is the opposition so smugly dismissive when the proposal came from the vice-chancellors themselves?

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