Buying plastic tricolour may invite a three-year jail term

Buying plastic tricolour may invite a three-year jail term

Buying plastic tricolour may invite a three-year jail term

Think twice before buying a tricolour made of plastic to show your patriotic fervour this Independence Day as it could land you in jail.

The Centre has warned that the proper disposal of plastic national flags is a concern and any dishonour showed to the tricolour could land one in jail for up to three years.

With plastic tricolours flooding the market ahead of national celebrations, the Centre has now asked states to ensure that public does not use plastic flags considering the harm it causes to environment and the difficulties involved in its honourable disposal.

The fresh directive from the Union Home Ministry comes a month before the country will celebrate Independence Day on August 15 when a large number of plastic flags are sold at shops and traffic signals.

The ministry has also received a number of complaints about the insult or disrespect to the national flag on several occasions. The state governments have now been asked to create awareness about the rules related to the tricolour.

In a letter to the state governments, the Home Ministry’s Public Section Director Shyamala Mohan has sought strict compliance of the provisions contained in the Flag Code of India, 2002, and Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.

The letter noted that national flag made of plastic are being used in place of paper flags on important functions.

“Since plastic flags are not bio-degradable like paper flags, these do not get decomposed for a long time and are harmful to the atmosphere.

“Further, ensuring the appropriate disposal of national flags made of plastic with the dignity of the flag is a problem,” Shyamala said in her letter marked to chief secretaries of states and secretaries in the Centre.

She said state governments and others “should ensure” that on important national, cultural and sports events, only flags made of paper are used by the public.

“Such flags are not discarded or thrown on the ground after the event. Such flags are to be disposed of in private, consistent with the dignity of the flag,” Shyamala’s letter, dated July 14, said.