Can you spot what is wrong?Now isn't that a weird title for an image of two young, innocent kids happily waving our tricolour? Their exuberance is so endearing; how can there be anything wrong in the photograph, which has been framed to near perfection? The pixels and lighting may be found a bit wanting, but overall, the picture warms our patriotic hearts. That's probably what is swirling around in your head, even as you cross-check to see if the kids are holding the flags upside down. Like a diligent student with sufficient time on her hands near the final bell of an exam, you once again recheck but find nothing amiss.
To be honest, I also agree, there's nothing off with the image. It depicts a commonplace sight around us on days of national importance. It's as natural as a click can be: an impromptu shot of two delighted kids waving the tricolour.
Now, ponder this: replace the flag with a gas-balloon, a Diwali sparkler or a paper-kite and the excitement quotient of the kids will still be undiminished. Do you agree?
Impressionable kids are the future of our country but look at the lesson their vulnerable minds are imbibing. If the man lolling comfortably on a bench in Army fatigues, and the woman in between are chaperones or parents of the children, then the examples they are setting leave much to be desired. A few years down the line, when the two kids review the snap, they will get the impression that patriotism is only for kids and not adults.
Parents can be passive bystanders when children take part in the usual sports and games activities; but on occasions like these, parents should make the effort to join the kids in the revelry. If not, it implies that the parents consider the National Flag to be just another plaything, which keeps their kids engaged while they are occupied with the not-so-smartphones.
Of course, parents are not wholly to be blamed. Through the past decades our political and corporate leaders, natural and man-made calamities have combined to place black flags of protest in the hands of citizens in public places, and white flags of surrender in their hearts.
This picture makes me think why college students and other adults do not pick up the tricolour as spontaneously as school kids unless they are at a cricket match. Are they too embarrassed to be seen waving our flag in public? Or are they wary of unwittingly insulting the flag and landing in trouble? If a child can handle our flag the right way, why not adults?
In conclusion, when your children hold the National flag; let them see you honour the flag.
This is my entry for the TOW