Mumbaikars won’t forget the night of November 19, when they gyrated to the beats of iconic British rock band Coldplay. But that gig came under the scanner after the band’s lead singer Chris Martin went around with the tricolour tucked in the back of his jeans.
— Rohit Vats (@nawabjha) November 19, 2016
Many took offence to Martin going around with the tricolour in that manner. But at the same time, there was an unusually high number of those who saw nothing wrong with what Martin did.
In fact, the entire episode exposed a schism in the society drawn by ideologies shaped by two distinct languages.
Far from having any commonality, the reactions to the Hindi and the English version of the same story were as far removed as the moon and the sun.
While those commenting on the Hindi version demanded that Coldplay or the organisers should apologise, those commenting on the English version found no big deal in it.
The truth is that Martin actually broke the law under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act 1971. He may have been unaware of the same but the organisers should have taken note of it.
Martin had tucked the Indian national flag in his jeans like it was some kind of towel. And that’s CLEARLY an insult of our flag.
The English commentators said that there are Indian flags lying on the streets on the evening of the Independence Day and the Republic Day. They said that there are people who burn the Indian flag in India. Someone propounded a logic which stated that those who think they are nationalists should not even write in English.
The vast ideological difference was startling. This is clearly not about religion, not caste, or gender, or anything that one can conveniently fit into any of the common socio-economic parameters. This was about a society where a particular kind of education and exposure has only created a wide schism between the thought processes of two groups. The schism is so wide and so deep that while one group can clearly see the problem, the other lacks the eyes to do so.
A lot of questions thus arise: Are those fluent in the vernacular more nationalist? Do those who went through the grinding English school system modelled along the British lines become whitewashed in the colour of the West? Is it about language or is it about the distinct environment – rural versus the urban – they have been brought up in?
Responses on our discussion platform, too, pointed at the flaw in India’s education system, especially the English one.
Yes, what Chris Martin did is LEGALLY NOT ALLOWED according to the laws of the country. This is not hyper-nationalism. This is plain and simple fact. This is not about Chris Martin insulting the flag. This is about insult to the flag, whosoever commits it and in whichever way.
If nothing else, the article on Chris Martin unveiled before our very eyes the polarised society we live in.