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Our pyara tiranga

R. KRITHIKA

A book that traces the roots of flag bearing to totems of ancient civilisations.


"Vijayi vishwa tiranga pyara" — school children will definitely be familiar with this song since they have to sing it at Independence Day functions. But why is our flag the tiranga (three colours)? What is the importance of flags in general?

The Indian Tricolour by Lt. Cdr. K.V. Singh attempts to answer all these questions. With a foreword by Naveen Jindal, who spearheaded the movement for the citizen's right to fly the country's flag, the book is crammed with information on the evolution of the Indian flag from the swaraj flag, featuring the charka to the familiar tricolour.

The author traces the roots of flag bearing to totems of ancient civilisations. He explores the use of flags in ancient India, the meanings of the various symbols and the importance of the flag or dhvaja to the warrior kings.

From the beginning

With the freedom movement, the book chronicles how individuals like Madame Cama used flags to make their point. The Tiranga gets about five chapters tracing its genesis from the early freedom movement to its final shape, as we know it today. Other chapters of interest are the flags of the erstwhile royal families and the one on the 2002 amendment to the Flag Code.

While the book has wonderful colour pictures, the black and white pictures are rather faded and in some cases even blurred (example pages 73, 74, 96).

Unfortunately the author's tone is pedantic and long-winded. So while the topic is interesting, the writing tends to slow the pace of reading.

The Indian Tricolour,

Lt. Cdr. K.V. Singh, Rupa & Co. Rs. 295.

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