Dal! Salaami De!

Have you ever felt nostalgic thinking of the good old school day when you sincerely attended the flag hoisting ceremony on the Republic and Independence Days? A salute is a way to express respect and pride for the country’s flag. But that’s not all.

We will also read about the significance of the recent debate that has been going around the country on the subject of ‘nationalism’ and ‘patriotism.’ What is patriotism and how can we, as citizens of India not be radical towards our display of our love towards the country and be patriotic in a heartfelt way.

If you have ever had the privilege of witnessing the Republic Day parade or even seeing it on the television you must’ve noticed the well co-ordinated and smart marching of our Armed Forces. One little detail that must not have caught your eye is the way in which they salute our national flag. The Army, Navy and Air Force have different ways in which they have to salute! Let us see how the 3 salutes differ from each other and why is the salute in an altered manner.

  1. Indian Army

The Army’s salute is conducted with the palms open, facing the person being saluted to show that they are not carrying any weapons and that they can trust them.

army salute

  1. Indian Navy

In the olden days, since the sailors were always working on their ships, their hands would get greasy and dirty. Hence they started saluting with their palms facing down, so as to not disrespect their seniors by showing them shabby hands.

navy salute

  1. Indian Air Force

The Air Force salutes with their palms at 45 degrees to the ground showing progress towards the skies. Earlier it used to be like the Army’s salute with the palm facing up.

air force salute

These salutes are an expression of respect and love for the country. Our combatants use these salutes to express their pride for the country and its national flag. If you are an avid follower of the news, you must have heard the word ‘patriotism’ very frequently in the recent times. People find faults with the way others display their patriotism towards the country.

So what is patriotism? Is it when a person talks about how much he/she loves India or is it waking up two mornings a year and saluting the national flag? Maybe, it’s neither. Maybe patriotism is simply taking action, big or small, to help make your country a better place thereby respecting it and its citizens.

However, the meaning of the word ‘patriotism’ has been changed and twisted according to one’s own needs. For example, according to a recent law passed by the Government, playing and standing up for the National Anthem is mandatory before a movie show begins. A lot of cases have also come up where people got into major trouble for not adhering to the rule too.

The movie ‘Dangal’, that won a lot of hearts and awards, had a scene in which the character of ‘Geeta Phogat’ wins a gold medal and the Indian national anthem is played as it is in real life events to signify which country has stood first in the event. This scene caused havoc in not just theatres but social media as well. People were confused whether they had to stand for the anthem or not. Unfortunately, this not just took something away from the movie but also exposed the fear in people’s minds. Fear of getting beaten up if they were seen not standing for the anthem.

People shouldn’t stand for the national anthem because of a rule or because of fear; they should do so to justify the love and respect they have for their nation.

The reality of patriotism is that people consider waking up early and saluting the flag for 2 days a year patriotism. Yet, patriotism is much easier than people consider it to be. Just picking up a wrapper from the road irrespective of whether it was yours or not is patriotism too. It shows how you want your country to be clean and are taking some action for it. You might even inspire somebody to do the same if seen! Patriotism is not just what you feel for the country; it is also what actions you take to justify that feeling!

We at UdChalo applaud the people who take actions, no matter its size or intensity, to make our country progress one step at a time because that’s what makes our nation Incredible India!

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