NATIONAL SYMBOLS – INTRODUCTION
The National Symbols are intrinsic to the Indian identity and heritage. Indians of all demographics backgrounds across the world are proud of these National Symbols as they infuse a sense of pride and patriotism in every Indian’s heart. The following National Symbols are discussed in its respective sections.
- National Bird – Peacock
- National Animal – Tiger
- National Flower – Lotus
- National Flag & State Emblem
- The Indian peacock, [Pavocristatus], the national bird of India, 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 tail of around 200 elongated feathers.
- The female is brownish, slightly smaller than the male and lacks the tail.
- The peacock is a possessor of some of the most admired human characteristics, and is a symbol of integrity and the beauty we can achieve when we endeavor to show our true colors.
- In Hinduism, peacock is portrayed as the image of the God of thunder, rains and war, Indra. In southern part of India, peacock is considered as a ‘vahana’ or vehicle of lord Muruga.
- The magnificent tiger, [Pantheratigris] 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.
- To check the dwindling population of tigers in India, ‘Project Tiger’ was launched in April 1973 and tiger reserves have been established in the country under this project
- The tiger needs to be emulated to remain alert and swift while working towards our goals in life.
Suggested activity for Class: Gurus can trigger discussions about importance of nature and animal conservation and the concept of SSS Educare.
- Lotus (NelumboNuciperaGaertn) 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 Flower symbolizes divinity, wealth, knowledge and enlightenment.
- Untouched by the impurity despite growing in mud, the flower is also meant to symbolize the purity of heart and mind.
- Similarly the spiritual mind has to endure all adversities with a smile. Lotus represents detachment. The water touches it but cannot make it wet.
National Flag & Emblem
The National Flag is a horizontal tricolour of :
- deep saffron (kesaria) 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.
- The top saffron colour, indicates the strength and courage of the country.
- The white middle band indicates peace and truth with Dharma Chakra.
- This Dharma Chakra depicted the “wheel of the law” in the Sarnath Lion Capital made by the 3rd-century BC Mauryan Emperor Ashoka.
- Its diameter approximates to the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes.
- The chakra intends to show that there is life in movement and death in stagnation.
- The green shows the fertility, growth and auspiciousness of the land.
- The design of the National Flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 22 July 1947.
- The State Emblem is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka.
- In the state emblem, adopted by the Government of India on 26 January 1950, three lions are visible, the fourth being hidden from view.
- The wheel appears in relief in the centre of the abacus with a bull on right and a horse on left
- The words SatyamevaJayate from MundakaUpanishad, meaning ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’, are inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script.
Suggested activity for Class: Discuss in class – the Vedic Injunction “SathyamVadaDharmamChara”, show the students, the picture of National Flag and State Emblem and bring out the association between these National Symbols and this Vedic injunction.