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NATIONAL SYMBOLS OF INDIA
You have heard the national anthem and learned about the flag of India, but what else symbolizes this vast and diverse nation? Even with all its differences, there are still some images and ideas that unite the people and represent their shared country.
The National Symbol of India comes from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Emperor Ashoka. Ashoka ruled the land from 272 BCE to 232 BCE. The original sculpture shows four lions on a pillar with an elephant, horse, bull, and lion separated by a lotus on the base. A Dharma Chakra (wheel of law) is also carved into the stone.
The emblem was adopted on January 26, 1950 by the Indian Government. The official symbol now shows three of the four lions with the Dharma Chakra in the center of the base and a bull and horse on either side. The base is also engraved with the phrase "Satyameva Jayate" in the Devanagari script of India. This simple phrase represents a powerful idea for the Indian people: "Truth alone triumphs".
On 15 August 1947 India and Pakistan were created. India adopted the tricolor of orange, white, and green with a blue Ashoka Chakra at the center. Unofficially this tricolor had been the flag of the Indian National Congress.
The National flag is a horizontal tricolor of deep saffron (kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. The ratio of width of the flag to its length is two to three. In the centre of the white band is a navy blue wheel which represents the chakra. Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. Its diameter approximates to the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes.
The design of the national flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 22 July 1947.
In the national flag of India the top band is of Saffron colour, indicating the strength and courage of the country. The white middle band, indicates peace and truth with Dharma Chakra. The last band is green in colour shows the prosperity , growth and auspiciousness of the land.
The spoked Ashoka Chakra in the center of the flag replaced the Gandhian spinning wheel to add historical "depth" and separate the national flag from that of the Indian National Congress.
This Dharma Chakra depicted the "wheel of the law" in the Sarnath Lion Capital made by the 3rd-century BC Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. The chakra intends to show that there is life in movement and death in stagnation.
On 26th January 2002, the flag code was changed. After 52 years, the citizens of India are free to fly the Indian flag over their homes, offices and factories on any day. Now Indians can proudly display the national flag any where and any time.
"The significance of the colors and the chakra in the National Flag was amply described by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan in the Constituent Assembly which unanimously adopted the National Flag. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan explained - "Bhagwa or the saffron colour denotes renunciation of disinterestedness. Our leaders must be indifferent to material gains and dedicate themselves to their work."
"The white in the centre is light, the path of truth to guide our conduct."
"The green shows our relation to soil, our relation to the plant life here on which all other life depends."
"The Ashoka Wheel in the centre of the white is the wheel of the law of dharma. Truth or satya, dharma or virtue ought to be the controlling principles of those who work under this flag. Again, the wheel denotes motion. There is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. India should no more resist change, it must move and go forward. The wheel represents the dynamism of a peaceful change."
There are some rules and regulations upon how to fly the flag, based on the 26 January 2002 legislation.
1. The National Flag may be hoisted in educational institutions (schools, colleges, sports camps, scout camps, etc.) to inspire respect for the Flag. An oath of allegiance has been included in the flag hoisting in schools.
2. A member of public, a private organization or an educational institution may hoist/display the National Flag on all days and occasions, ceremonial or otherwise consistent with the dignity and honour of the National Flag.
3. Section 2 of the new code accepts the right of all private citizens to fly the flag on their premises.
1. The flag cannot be used for communal gains, drapery, or clothes. As far as possible, it should be flown from sunrise to sunset, irrespective of the weather.
2. The flag cannot be intentionally allowed to touch the ground or the floor or trail in water. It cannot be draped over the hood, top, and sides or back of vehicles, trains, boats or aircraft.
3. No other flag or bunting can be placed higher than the flag. Also, no object, including flowers or garlands or emblems can be placed on or above the flag. The tricolour cannot be used as a festoon, rosette or bunting.
|NATIONAL ANTHEM OF
The song Jana-gana-mana, composed originally in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore, was adopted in its Hindi version by the Constituent Assembly as the national anthem of India on 24 January 1950. It was first sung on 27 December 1911 at the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress. The complete song consists of five stanzas. The first stanza contains the full version of the National Anthem :
Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he
Tava shubha name jage,
Tava shubha asisa mage,
Gahe tava jaya gatha,
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka jaya he
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he,
Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he!
Playing time of the full version of the national anthem is approximately 52 seconds. A short version consisting of first and last lines of the stanza (playing time approximately 20 seconds) is also played on certain occasions.
The following is a translation of Rabindranath Tagore's rendering of the stanza:
"Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
dispenser of India's destiny.
The name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind, Gujarat and Maratha,
of the Dravid and Orissa and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of the Yamuna and Ganga
and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The salvation of all people is in thy hand,
thou dispenser of India's destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee."
|NATIONAL SONG OF
The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterji, was a source of inspiration to thi people in their struggle for freedom. It has an equal status with Jana-gana-mana. The first political occasion when it was sung was at the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress. The following is the text of its first stanza:
Sujalam, suphalam, malayaja shitajam,
Phullakusumita drumadala shobhinim,
Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,
Sukhadam varadam, Mataram!
The English translation of the stanza rendered by Sri Aurobindo in prose is:
I bow to thee, Mother,
cool with the winds of the south,
dark with the crops of the harvests,
Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight,
her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom,
Sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,
The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.
ANIMAL OF INDIA
The Tiger - Lord of the Indian Jungles, is the National Animal of India. The tiger is the symbol of India's wealth of wildlife.
The magnificent tiger, Panthera tigris (Linnaeus), is a striped animal. It has a thick yellow coat of fur with dark stripes. The combination of grace, strength, agility and enormous power has earned the tiger its pride of place as the national animal of India. Out of eight races of the species known, the Indian race, the Royal Bengal Tiger, is found throughout the country except in the north-western region and also in the neighbouring countries, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Indians are conscious of the threat that hunters and others pose to this special animal. Although once popularly killed for its skin, there is now a movement to protect the tiger population. To this end, the government began "Project Tiger" in 1973. The project is also supported by the World Wildlife Federation. This project has created a network of tiger reserves throughout the country and implemented a plan to help tigers and humans coexist. India is working hard to preserve its national animal, but sadly, only 2,000 to 2,500 tigers remain.
Tigers are now getting extinct. The Government of India, under its Project Tiger programme, started a massive effort to preserve the tiger population in 1973. Today, the tiger advances as a symbol of India's conservation of itself its wildlife heritage.
BIRD OF INDIA
The Peacock, Pavo cristatus (Linnaeus), the national bird of India. It is symbolic of qualities like beauty, grace, pride and mysticism. They are a sign of joy for all who see them. Peacocok is a colourful, swan-sized bird, with a fan-shaped crest of feathers, a white patch under the eye and a long, slender neck. The male of the species is more colourful than the female, with a glistening blue breast and neck and a spectacular bronze-green train of around 200 elongated feathers it is able to expand its tail erect like fan as ostentatious display. The female is brownish, slightly smaller than the male, and lacks the train. These birds do not sound as beautiful as they look they have a harsh call. The elaborate courtship dance of the male, fanning out the tail and preening its feathers is a beautiful sight.
The peacock is widely found in the Indian sub-continent from the south and east of the Indus river, Jammu and Kashmir, east Assam, south Mizoram and the whole of the Indian peninsula. Found wild in India (and also domesticated in villages) they live in jungle lands near water. They were once bred for food but now hunting of peacocks is banned in India.
The Peacock is depicted in picture with the company of Indian Gods and Goddesses. It is the sacred bird of the India, protected not only by a religious sentiment but also by parliamentary statute. It is fully protected under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
NATIONAL FLOWER OF INDIA
Lotus scientifically known as Nelumbo Nucifera is the National Flower of India. It is a sacred flower and occupies a unique position in the art and mythology of ancient India and has been an auspicious symbol of Indian culture since time immemorial. The Lotus symbolises divinity, fertility, wealth, knowledge and not to forget enlightenment. Lending to its uniqueness, the flower grows in murky waters and rises on a long stalk above the surface to bloom glorious. It is also a symbol of triumph, since the lotus is rooted in the mud and can survive to regerminate for thousands of years. It represents long life, honor, and good fortune.
Untouched by the impurity, lotus symbolises the purity of heart and mind. Human beings are instructed by Indian scripture to live a life of non-attachment, which is very hard. The lotus holds additional significance for Hindus, as it is a symbol of God and used often in religious practices. Then in Indian thought, there is the last and final lotus - Charan Kamal or lotus feet of the Almighty. It was this depth of thought that made the founding fathers of modern India enshrine the lotus in the Constitution as the National Flower.
NATIONAL TREE OF INDIA
The National Tree of India is The Banyan Tree. This huge tree towers over its neighbors and has the widest reaching roots of all known trees, easily covering several acres. It sends off new shoots from its roots, so that one tree is really a tangle of branches, roots, and trunks. The banyan tree regenerates and lives for an incredible length of time--thus it is thought of as the immortal tree.
Its size and leafy shelter are valued in India as a place of rest and reflection, not to mention protection from the hot sun! It is still the focal point and gathering place for local councils and meetings. India has a long history of honoring this tree; it figures prominently in many of the oldest stories of the nation.
NATIONAL FRUIT OF
The Mango is the national fruit. It has been cultivated in India since time immemorial. There are over 100 varieties of mangos in India, in a range of colors, sizes, and shapes. Common in the tropical part of the world, mangos are savored for their sweet juice and bright colors.
People in India eat mangos ripe, or prepare them green as pickles or chutneys. They are rich in vitamin A, C, and D. The poet Kalidasa sang its praises. Alexander the great savoured its taste, as did the Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang. Akbar planted 100,000 mango trees in Darbhanga, known as Lakhibagh.