Though we need freedom of speech like air, I can’t push aside the knowing in my heart that it’s more about tolerance and respect than revealing every idea that fills your mouth with spit. When did it became the other?
I was approached by a student some months ago, who wished to discuss over burning a flag. He studies sociology. He wanted to know why we take so negative approach to it, like flag is sacred to us. Though I understand the revolution side of the act and how it proves that every man has the right to do what they want, I can’t accept it.
I’ve seen my people fight for the right to have this flag and to me it is unacceptable at any level to burn something that other ones hold dear. Not really interested if it’s sacred or not – the point isn’t that. It’s just common sense and respect – you don’t destroy what the other one carries in their heart. To me, my flag is sacred. I love it, I know its story and I feel thrilled when I hoist it to the flag post. I’m patriotic and I’m proud for it.
I think this attitude also goes with religious icons, literature and everything with symbolic value. You don’t burn them, dirty them, humiliate them, wear them. I don’t like the last thing the most – no underwear, swimming wear, t-shirts. You wouldn’t take your country’s flag and smear your pelvis on it, yet you gladly wear undies that are made of your flag! It is one thing to wear clothing in the same color scheme, but to mimic the flag is odd. And then you get all worked up should someone burn your flag.
Thus it made me angry to read yet another ignorant fashion designer doing just that. Indians burn Australian flag in protest after Sydneyfashion show models wears swimsuit bearing Hindu goddess. Would you imagine – that goes right to the eye socket. The creator did apologize for the bad choice and thus did the right thing. But I was surprised that they even did it!
Every time you go out to do a sort of sacrilege act on something others have deep respect to, think on it like this: would you go to your home, take your mother’s most precious memorial item and just destroy it? If no, then think how it would make them feel if you did it on something they keep holier than anything else in the world. They aren’t just images.