January 26, 1978, Forty Years Ago: President’s Speechhttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/january-26-1978-forty-years-ago-presidents-speech-5039533/

January 26, 1978, Forty Years Ago: President’s Speech

While everyone is entitled to freedom of expression in appropriate forums, no one should be permitted to drag each and every issue to the streets, excite dormant passions, advocate disrespect for law and order and incite violence, President Sanjiva Reddy said

Express front page forty years ago

President Sanjiva Reddy, in his Republic Day message to the nation, expressed serious concern over attempts by some frustrated and desperate elements who, he said, “are determined to scuttle the principles of our democratic way of life and destroy the very fabric of our secular society”. While everyone is entitled to freedom of expression in appropriate forums, no one should be permitted to drag each and every issue to the streets, excite dormant passions, advocate disrespect for law and order and incite violence, Reddy said. He said a policy of unwarranted confrontation backed by provocative action on the slighest pretext is a challenge we as citizens of a free country need to face with determination. “Let not a few misguided and disgruntled sections of society imagine that they can hold the rest of us, law-abiding citizens, to ransom.” And he warned, “Swift and stern action will be taken against any one acting in a manner judicial to national interest.”

Focus On Cong Flag

The Home Minister has proposed that the Congress party flag be replaced because it resembles the national flag. In a communication to the Law Ministry, Charan Singh has said it is very confusing for the police and the public and that the authorities have found it difficult to distinguish between the Congress flag and the national flag. Both the Congress flag and the national flag are a horizontal tricolour of deep saffron (kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. However, in the centre of the white band of the national flag, there is a navy blue wheel which represents the chakra, a design that appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of the Mauryan emperor, Asoka. Before the 1952 elections, the Socialist Party of India had raised objection against the use of the tricolour flag by the Congress, but at that time the Election Commission paid no heed to the objection.