The ‘National Flag’ is a matter of pride for millions of Indians. Using it for any other purpose, with a few exceptions, is a cognizable and non-bailable offense. However, Tricolour masks made by ‘Kapoor’ company in the likeness of the National Flag are being sold on e-Commerce sites such as ‘India Mart’, ‘Red-Bubble’ and ‘Snap-Deal’. ‘Flipkart’ and ‘My Flower Tree’ websites are selling ‘T-shirts’ with the Tricolour printed on them. All this is an offense punishable under the ‘Indian Flag Code’. Therefore, under Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’s ‘Surajya Abhiyan’, Dr Manoj Solanki demanded that action be taken against people who sell masks, T-shirts, etc. in the likeness of the National Flag. In this regard, a letter has also been sent to Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
People sneeze, spit while wearing masks – they become unhygienic – and finally they are thrown in the garbage after use. This amounts to disrespecting the National Flag (printed on them). So is the case with T-shirts. Under Sections 2 and 5 of the ‘Prevention of Misuse of National Emblems Act, 1950’ such acts are punishable. Such acts are also punishable under Section 2 of the ‘Prevention of Defamation of National Dignity Act, 1971’ and the three Acts of ‘Insignia and Name (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950’. The Government needs to strictly implement these laws. The Union Government should send guidelines to all the States; the Bombay High Court should act on the PIL filed in this regard in the Year 2011 as per the directive that the Government should prevent the violation of the sanctity of the National Flag.