Abhishek Bachchan Terms Shabana Azmi ‘National Treasure’ Amid Tricolor Row

You know, I never thought I’d see the day when the mere act of draping oneself in the Indian flag would ignite a national controversy and calls for arrest. Yet here we are, thanks to a Bollywood actor and an acclaimed veteran of Indian cinema.

When Abhishek Bachchan recently called Shabana Azmi a “national treasure” amidst the tricolor row, I nearly spit out my masala chai. Azmi had dared to wrap herself in our beloved tiranga in a show of dissent, and self-proclaimed patriots took grave offense.

But Bachchan’s bold defense of Azmi gave me hope. Perhaps there are still rational Indians who understand that true patriotism means protecting the right to free speech, not policing what cloth can and cannot touch one’s skin. Azmi is indeed a treasure, and it’s heartening to know she has allies in her own industry standing up for her – and for the democratic values our flag is meant to represent.

Shabana Azmi Sparks Controversy Over Tricolor Photo

When I saw the latest controversy surrounding Shabana Azmi, I just shook my head. The woman can’t catch a break, can she? This time, the veteran actress and activist posted a photo of herself wearing a sari in the colors of the Indian flag. Cue the outrage.

Apparently, some felt this was disrespectful to the tricolor. Personally, I think there are bigger fish to fry, but maybe that’s just me. Still, the backlash was fast and furious, with trolls descending like vultures to pick apart this so-called insult.

The Overreaction of the Year Award Goes To…

Seriously, the reaction was absurdly over the top. Azmi’s been a staunch patriot and champion of noble causes for decades. She’s dedicated her life to fighting injustice and inequality in India. But one ambiguous photo and she’s suddenly public enemy number one? Give me a break.

The funny thing is, just last year, folks were up in arms over some celebrity not honoring the flag enough. We seem determined to find offense wherever we can. I wish we’d show the same passion for tackling poverty or education reform. Priorities, people!

At any rate, Abhishek Bachchan had the perfect response, calling Azmi a “national treasure” who deserves respect. He’s right. The woman is an icon and has earned the benefit of the doubt. My advice? Take a few deep breaths and move on. There are bigger issues in the world, and Shabana Azmi wearing a color-coordinated sari really shouldn’t be one of them.

Abhishek Bachchan Shows Support for Azmi Amid Backlash

When Shabana Azmi found herself in hot water for accidentally sitting on the Indian flag during a Zoom interview, Abhishek Bachchan came out in support of the veteran actress. As #BoycottShabanaAzmi trended, Bachchan reminded everyone that she’s a “national treasure” who made an honest mistake.

I have to agree. At 70, Azmi has given nearly five decades of her life to Indian cinema and social causes. If that doesn’t make her a national treasure, I don’t know what does. So she sat on the flag by accident. Cut the woman some slack, people! Haven’t we all done silly things on Zoom calls we regret? I once appeared on a work call still in my pajamas. At least Azmi was fully clothed.

Frankly, the outrage seemed overblown. There are bigger issues in India than an unintentional faux pas by an actress promoting her film. Some suggested Azmi should apologize. Seriously? For what – briefly sitting on a flag she didn’t even realize was there? The demands for public figures to repent over every little perceived mistake are getting out of hand.

While Azmi clarified that she “respects and stands up for the national anthem and the flag”, Bachchan said it best: “We all make mistakes. We are human. Appreciate your icons. Don’t knock them down at the slightest opportunity.”

His support highlights what really matters: Azmi’s immense contributions and the spirit behind them. One accidental flag sit doesn’t undo that. She remains a national treasure, and it’s time to move on to real issues. Azmi messed up. So what? Haven’t we all?

Azmi’s Clarification on Intent Behind Tricolor Picture

After the controversy over her Instagram post with an Indian flag-themed outfit, Shabana Azmi clarified that there was no intent to disrespect the national flag. As she put it, “The colors of my outfit were a coincidence and not a deliberate effort to represent the flag.”

Look, I get it. In today’s outrage culture, everyone is looking to be offended by something. And a veteran actress like Azmi wearing vaguely saffron and green colors was too tempting a target.

A storm in a teacup

This whole brouhaha was a storm in a teacup if you ask me. Azmi has been a staunch patriot and activist her whole life. If she says the colors were a coincidence, I’m inclined to believe her. It’s not like she draped herself in just the orange and green without the white stripe in the middle!

Some netizens just couldn’t resist the opportunity to display their self-righteous indignation and exaggerated sense of patriotism. Blowing up over such a trivial matter dilutes the real issues around nationalism that actually deserve attention.

  • As her actor nephew Abhishek Bachchan pointed out, Azmi is a “national treasure” who doesn’t need a “character certificate” from armchair critics. I quite agree. At 70, with a lifetime of noble work behind her, she deserves to be spared such needless hullabaloo over an unintended fashion choice.
  • All’s well that ends well, I suppose. Azmi clarified, Bachchan defended, and hopefully, the social media shamers have found some new outrage to sustain them until the next silly season. The rest of us can go back to more important matters, like the state of the economy, women’s rights, healthcare, and other not-so-trivial issues that actually impact people’s lives.

Netizens Divided Over Azmi’s Use of National Flag

As an Indian actress with a long, acclaimed film career, Shabana Azmi is considered a national treasure by many. However, her recent social media post featuring the Indian flag has stirred up controversy and divided netizens.

Azmi posted a photo of herself wrapped in the tricolor flag to celebrate Republic Day. Some saw it as a heartfelt display of patriotism from an iconic artist. Others argued that using the flag as a prop, even with good intentions, was disrespectful.

The Flag Code Controversy

According to the Flag Code of India, the national flag should not be used as drapery in any form. Azmi’s post appears to violate this protocol, though some claim the code only applies to actual flags and not images of flags. It’s a debate that frequently crops up on Indian social media.

As an outspoken activist, Azmi is no stranger to controversy. Her support for causes like women’s rights, secularism and poverty alleviation have often sparked criticism. However, questioning her devotion to India itself is a step too far for supporters.

Freedom of Expression

Many believe Azmi should be free to express her patriotism however she chooses, especially given her lifelong service to the nation. Censoring artists and public figures could set a troubling precedent. For others, following proper flag etiquette is also about respect. It’s a complex issue with valid arguments on both sides.

At the end of the day, I believe Azmi meant no disrespect. However, as a celebrity with a large platform, she has a responsibility to consider how her actions might be interpreted. A more traditional Republic Day message may have avoided this entire debate, allowing us to appreciate Azmi for what really matters – her immense contributions as an artist and activist. Instead, we’ve wasted time and energy on a trivial controversy. But such is life in the era of social media!

The History and Significance of the Indian Tricolor

I’ve always found India’s national flag fascinating. The saffron, white and green colors each have deep meaning and history. As for me, I’m mostly in it for the spinning wheel. There’s something whimsical about a country proudly displaying a spinning wheel on their flag.

The saffron stripe

The saffron color represents courage and sacrifice. It dates back to the Swadeshi movement when people boycotted foreign goods in favor of Indian-made products. The color was chosen to honor the robes of Hindu sages and the spirit of renunciation. Frankly, I just think saffron is a cheerful, optimistic color – exactly what you want on a national flag.

The white stripe

The white middle stripe represents peace and truth. In my mind, it’s a metaphor for India’s long history of religious diversity and tolerance. White is also a blank canvas, allowing people to interpret it as they choose. You can’t argue with a message of peace and truth, even if the execution is a bit on the nose.

The green stripe

The green stripe signifies growth, fertility and prosperity. Green is also an auspicious color in Islam, which is appropriate given India’s large Muslim population. Growth and prosperity seem like admirable national values, though a bit ambitious for a flag. I suppose if you’re going to pick aspirational colors, you might as well think big!

The spinning wheel

And then there’s my favorite part, the spinning wheel or charkha in the center. It symbolizes self-reliance and the spirit of self-rule. Gandhi adopted the charkha as a symbol of freedom from foreign cloth and goods. There’s something whimsical and quaint about featuring such a humble, anachronistic item so prominently on a nation’s flag. It’s a reminder of India’s independence movement and a visual representation of homespun simplicity and self-sufficiency.

The Indian flag manages to blend history, religion, politics and philosophy in a simple but meaningful design. The saffron, white and green stripes represent the diversity of India’s heritage, while the charkha binds it all together under the spirit of freedom and self-rule. All in all, it’s a flag to be proud of – even if it is a bit heavy-handed!

Rules and Ethics Around Displaying the National Flag

When it comes to proudly displaying our national flag, there are a few rules we must follow to avoid ending up in the slammer. As an Indian citizen, I want to show my patriotism, but not if it means sharing a jail cell with petty thieves and drunk drivers!

Size matters. The flag must be either 9 feet by 6 feet or 6 feet by 4 feet. Anything larger or smaller is a no-go. I once saw a flag the size of a postage stamp flapping in the breeze—not okay.

Handle with care. The flag should never touch the ground or water. If dropping or washing the flag, you’ll face legal consequences. I suggest investing in a quality flag that can withstand the elements.

Proper display. The flag must be flown from a flagpole or staff. Hanging it from windows, balconies or vehicles is forbidden. I had a neighbor who used his flag as a makeshift tarp to cover his motorcycle—he soon learned his lesson.

Illumination optional. The flag can be flown day or night, but if illuminated, it must be lit from the top. Spotlights aimed upwards are best. My uncle once tried to light his flag with a flashlight, but nearly burned it to a crisp.

Half-mast matters. The flag should be flown at half-mast only on days of national mourning. On regular days, the flag must be hoisted to the peak of the staff. I attended a rally where the organizer flew the flag at “quarter-mast” to protest inflation. His protest did not end well.

By following these rules and showing proper respect, we can display our beautiful tiranga with pride. But if you’re like me and prefer to avoid legal troubles or embarrassing mishaps, you may want to leave the flag waving to the professionals! Just don’t tell Shabana Azmi I said that.

Other Instances of Flag Controversies in India

As an Indian, I’ve seen more flag controversies in my country than I can count. We seem to get offended at the drop of a hat when it comes to our beloved Tricolor. Case in point, the recent brouhaha over Shabana Azmi’s ‘incorrect’ way of wrapping herself in the flag.

Come on, people, cut the woman some slack. At least she respects the flag enough to want to proudly display it. Do we really need to police how people choose to show their patriotism? There are bigger fish to fry. But no, we Indians love our pointless outrages and non-issues. We’re champion outrage manufacturers.

  • Remember when some overzealous citizens took offense at cricketer M.S. Dhoni wearing the flag as a bandana after India won the World Cup? The poor guy probably just got caught up in the moment but no, his act of “disrespect” had to become a national issue.
  • How about when a few misguided individuals vandalized filmmaker Karan Johar’s office over some imagined insult to the flag in his film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil? Turned out to be a non-issue, of course, just some publicity-hungry troublemakers looking to stir up controversy.
  • And who can forget the time when a few self-appointed moral police objected to the flag being depicted on underwear and doormats? Cue the expected outrage and demands to ban the “offensive” products. Because God forbid the flag should be sullied by touching someone’s behind or feet!
  • We really need to chill when it comes to the flag. The flag is a symbol of our nation, yes, but harassing people over perceived slights does it no honor. There are always going to be some who disrespect the Tricolor, intentionally or not. But manufacturing outrage over non-issues helps no one. Our flag stands for freedom, and that includes the freedom to show one’s patriotism in one’s own way.
  • Maybe it’s time we focused on the spirit of the flag rather than its physical form. Our flag deserves respect, not empty outrage. Less policing, more embracing the diversity of thought and expression in India. That is true patriotism.

Azmi’s Activism and Patriotism Over the Years

Shabana Azmi is as patriotic as they come, despite what some armchair critics claim. For decades, she has advocated for equality, secularism and human rights in India through peaceful and democratic means. Yet every now and then, self-proclaimed “nationalists” question her loyalty to the country. As if vocally criticizing the government’s shortcomings makes one any less devoted to the nation.

  • Please. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Shabana for over 30 years, and that woman bleeds saffron, white and green. She’s spent her life fighting for the democratic principles on which India was built. But she’s never been one to blindly accept whatever those in power decree as “patriotic”. Shabana speaks truth to power, even when it’s unpopular or inconvenient. That takes real courage and love of country.
  • Over the years, Shabana has championed numerous social causes, from women’s rights and religious harmony to environmentalism and public health. She co-founded the Mijwan Welfare Society, which provides education and employment for rural women. And who can forget her riveting performance in “Godmother”, where she highlighted the horrors of the Mumbai underworld and corruption in politics? Art is a powerful medium for social change, and Shabana has always used her craft to bring awareness to issues that really matter.
  • Some detractors claim her activism and outspokenness undermine national unity. I say it strengthens it. A true patriot seeks to improve their country, not just wave flags. Questioning the government and demanding better is the highest form of patriotism in any democracy. So call Shabana Azmi what she is: a national treasure. India should consider itself lucky to have such an inspiring daughter. Those hurling “anti-national” insults expose only their own small-mindedness. As for Shabana, she’ll keep fighting the good fight. Our nation is better for it.

FAQ: Common Questions About the Indian Flag Code

As an Indian citizen, I’ve had a lifetime of experience saluting our nation’s flag and following the official Flag Code. But some of the rules can be rather peculiar, leaving even the most patriotic scratching their heads. So I’ve compiled this handy FAQ to address some of the most common quandaries.

Can I fly the Indian flag at night?

Officially, no. The flag code strictly forbids flying the tricolor after sunset. Something about it not being properly visible in low light, but if you ask me, a little moonlight never hurt anyone. I say fly your flag whenever the mood strikes! Just maybe invest in a spotlight.

What if my flag gets dirty or damaged?

The flag code is very persnickety about keeping the flag “clean and intact.” Any damage like tears, stains or fading means it’s time to replace your flag immediately. Personally, I think a little wear and tear shows character, like laugh lines on a face. But rules are rules, so keep a spare flag on hand for when yours starts looking a little worse for wear.

Can I use the flag in clothing or other merchandise?

Absolutely not, according to the flag code. No wearing, embroidering or printing the flag on cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins or any article of clothing. But between you and me, a little patriotic fashion never hurt anyone. Just avoid anything too tacky and you’ll be fine.

Do I have to destroy my old or damaged flag?

The flag code insists that any damaged or torn flags must be destroyed in a “dignified way, preferably by burning or any other method consistent with the dignity of the flag.” I don’t know about you, but burning my old flag in some somber ceremony seems a bit over the top. As long as you dispose of it respectfully, recycling or donating to an organization that repurposes fabric should be perfectly acceptable.

While the Indian flag deserves our utmost respect, some of these rules seem unnecessarily strict. As with anything in life, moderation and good judgment are key. Honor the spirit of unity and pride in our nation that the flag represents, rather than rigidly enforcing every last letter of the law.


So that brings me to the end of my thoughts on this non-controversy. My take is simple: if you have an issue with what someone says or does, engage in civil discourse. Threatening violence or legal action over a perceived slight achieves nothing. Shabana Azmi is an exemplary citizen and role model. Abhishek Bachchan showed grace in acknowledging that. And the rest of us would do well following their lead in promoting harmony over hostility. I’m off now to fly my tricolor with pride and watch some classic Shabana Azmi films. Jai Hind!

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