A hobby that is steeped in National pride
FROM FLAGS TO EMBLEMS Retired scientist aims to instill patriotism in youth
Meet Raj Kumar Gupta, 74, a retired scientific officer of the Department of Atomic Energy of Government of India. What really makes him stand apart though is his penchant for collecting national emblems and Indian flags. His house, Raj Bhavan, named after him, is a virtual museum of sorts.
Gupta, a resident of Sector 9 in CBD, started collecting Ashoka emblems and the tricolor of various sizes after retirement from BARC around 11 years ago.
He has Ashoka pillars made of marble, teakwood, sandalwood and other woods, and also of brass metal, stainless steel and iron. There are photo frames with pictures of the emblem, laminated cards as well as paper cuttings of advertisements and news reports which have the emblem in them.
There is a reason for this penchant, and it is all about national pride. “Patriotism is the true religion. I take pride in it, and I want to spread this message all over,” he says.
On the occasion of the Republic Day though, Gupta is saddened by the present generation. “The youth today are busy with themselves and believe national matters are issues for the government. I don’t see much of patriotism these days,” laments Gupta.
“They have got freedom and the constitution on a platter. There is actually a need to guide these youth, and explain to them the price at which we got independence and the constitution and its importance. For them January 26 is just a holiday.”
And Gupta has been doing just that. “Every Republic Day, I distribute flags and emblems to kids and give a talk on what freedom and constitution is all about.”
Gupta also intends to form a trust and distribute all his collection amongst the people to create awareness. It will be accompanied by a note on the constitution.
“That passion will never end. I will continue to collect the emblems and flags. With rising prices it is becoming a bit difficult, but I keep coming up with innovations to continue with my hobby,” he says.
Raj Kumar Gupta with his collection.