EasyQuest: What is the Colour of the Top Strip of Indian Flag?


This is a sitter for most of the Indians. But, there are many who are not sure about the colour. I saw this question asked on Yahoo Answers and I sensed some humour in it and, I hope, you found it too. Seriously, it is a very thoughtful question and a sitter for those who know even a little bit about the Tri-colour of India. The answer is Orange! Well, theoretically speaking, it is Saffron, but, for a common man it is orange.

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who later became India’s first Vice President and second President after Dr Rajendra Prasad, described the significance of the flag as:

Bhagwa or the saffron colour denotes renunciation or 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 (the) soil, our relation to the plant life here, on which all other life depends. The “Ashoka Chakra” 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 principle 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.

The Orange is often perceived as the colour of the top strip and the process of this perception build-up starts right from the childhood. A child making a drawing of the Country flag doesn’t have a Saffron Colour in his Crayon Box. So, he ends up colouring it orange. Orange, basically, signifies creativity, happiness, optimism, enthusiasm, harmony, determination, energy, motivation and friendliness. Whereas, Saffron signifies sacrifice, spirituality, devotion. Former President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan described it as a signifier of sacrifice and our leaders must not look for personal gains and should dedicate themselves and their lives for the well-being of their people. But, it is unfortunate that the leaders of today have forgotten it. Today, the Politics is seen as a career and the dedication to work is overpowered by the dedication to mint money and the votes. The complete concept of democracy is based on a simple belief of singularity, that is, there is no difference between people on any basis. But, we are just contradicting our own beliefs when we talk about reservations on the basis of caste, privileges to the economically powerful people and harassment of the poor. Indeed, Politicians have a major role to play in making our country one which Gandhi dreamt of and the martyrs died for. But, most unfortunate thing is that the leaders are busy finding flaws in the opposing party.

Today, Saffron has lost its significance. Not long ago, when the country lovers paid their lives as tribute to the nation’s pride and freedom. But, the days have changed now. The time has really changed. There was a time when Google tried to sell itself for $1mn in 1999. As of today, Google’s market cap stands at $285 billion (As on June 5, 2013). How fast the world changes..:)

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A writer by Choice and an Engineer by Profession! He completed his graduation from NIT Kurukshetra in 2013 and is currently working as a Design Engineer in a MNC. A balance between academics and hobbies led him to excel in both departments which are equally important. He won number of Creative Writing contests Online and Offline. He has a blog too: www.myfrankspot.blogspot.com
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