For close to six decades now, India has been observing December 7 as the Armed Forces Flag Day. As a day dedicated to remembering all the sacrifices made by the armed forces for the country, this particular event of reverence and gratitude assumes much importance.
The basic spirit behind the observance of this particular day indeed is patriotism, yet the whole purpose behind the celebrations are a bit different. Collecting funds from people all over the country to maintain the well being and sustenance of the Indian Armed Forces (encompassing the the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy) is the underlying motto that drives the applauds echoing the soul of this day.
Perhaps the people who are most instrumental in sustaining the security of a nation through protection of its borders and the land as a whole are the armed forces. These are the brave hearts who have given their life and soul in preserving their motherland, without giving a second thought about their own security.
The resilience and valour of these true sons of the land is indeed laudable and deserves esteem of the highest regard. But what is very often overlooked is the fact that the families behind these people are the most deprived of the lot. Sending their loved ones to guard the borders of the country and the countrymen, anticipatedly expecting their return but unsure of a next meeting, these are the people who have selflessly dedicated their most precious persons to the service of the nation so that their motherland continues to live and develop unabatedly. Isn’t is therefore our responsibility that we do our bit to sustain the well being of these people and their families for whom service before self has always been the driving force of their lives?
Flag Day therefore seeks to highlight the responsibilty and obligations of citizens towards looking after the disabled serviceman along with their dependants. Interestingly, the Armed Forces Flag Day was simply called the Flag Day when it was incepted way back in 1949. The idea back then was to collect funds from the public through selling of flags to realise the motive of generating enough funds for the well being of the armed forces and their people. In the present times, however,with the concept gaining more and more ground, the notion of collecting funds through selling of flags became redundant as more and more people came forward to take upon themselves the onus of supporting and sustaining these selfless souls.
The issue however pertains not only to the sustenance of disabled or martyred forces, but also to those army men who are compulsorily retired from service in order that the service personnel remain “young, physically fit and have qualities of discipline, drive and leadership.” The observance of this day every year on the 7th of December therefore focusses on realising the common objective through thrust on the following factors-
- To make available the rehabilitation to the families of battle victims.
- To offer welfare to the serving personnel as well as their relatives.
- To help in the resettlement and well-being of the ex-servicemen and their relatives.
The Armed Forces Flag Day is supposed to be a solemn reminder of what the nation owes to its armed forces for the untiring service these people have been rendering so that we can continue to live a life of freedom and security.