This refers to the article “Flagging India’s missing freedom” (Sept. 29). The State’s response to flag burning and the like is unarguably determined by the acts of those who resort to such forms of protest.

When flag burning was increasingly taken recourse to by protesters of a certain community who opposed the U.K. government’s alliance with the U.S., 17 MPs moved a motion in the House of Commons calling for the burning of the Union Flag to be made a criminal offence in 2006. Even when, by and large, flag burning was resorted to by those street agitators who rightly felt that their government’s politics/actions (read the Vietnam War, Ronald Reagan’s policies) belied the principles of the land or jeopardised its economic vitality, Congress did its best to tighten the Desecration Law.

In India, flag burning is preferred by those sympathising with (often) anti-nationalist causes. The suffering farmer and unemployed youth hardly think of insulting the country even symbolically. Indians are emotionally connected to the Tricolour, to which they attach a spiritual meaning, and see it as symbolising certain cultural values.

Viswanath V, Kurnool

Mr. Gupta has aptly struck the cord of weakness which perhaps our country’s politicians are not conscious of. Politicians in power only know that in order to secure power they need to appease the majority at all times. But by suppressing the reactions of some people against the state’s agendas we are moving far away from the democratic ideal that the makers of the Constitution glorify. We seem to be heading towards undemocratic democracy.

Deblina Dey, New Delhi

India is a blend of many cultures. As the world’s largest democracy, it sets an example to other countries. Perhaps no other flag represents such a blend of cultures. A very symbolic representation of respect for the national flag can be seen at the Wagah Border. Being a part of controversy is the easiest way these days for anyone to get publicity.

Vibhu Mattoo, Jammu & Kashmir

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