Monday, February 14, 2011

The Star of India

India, a vast country, spanning and influencing vast space and time. As any great civilisation, it bears wintess to changes, far and vast,the rise and demise of kings and empires ,to the hope of man in his future, his brave acts, his bereavement and his suffering. We, the people of India are the torchbearers of this stream of civilization which flows into the present moment, drawing with itself the treasures of the mind and material.
As always, i have a lot to say and am confused about what to. Without any more bickering, i must get started with what this post is about.
The British were our masters, before we became the makers of our own destiny. The involvement of the British began with trade and factories, the first being in Surat. British began their conquest with the Battle of Plassey and their hold became even more firm with the Battle of Buxar. They never looked back afterwards conquering all across, becoming masters of the land from Burma to Aden,giving titbits here and there to the puppet monarchs.
India was their most proud possession, with it's rich past, huge market and population which had not been touched by the magic of the mechanical revolution. England was obsessed with India. Holding on to India and strengthening it's hold over it became the sole foreign policy prerogative of the British. They became masters of Egypt and bought the rights of Suez Canal with the sole motive of securing the shipping lanes to India.
British India was always given the opportunity to reperesent itsef on the international fora. It participated in the Olympic Games as a dominion of the British. The flag of British India, had the Star of India emblazoned on it. The Star represented the glory of India.
The Star of India refers to a group of flags used during the period of British rule in India. British India (officially known as the Indian Empire) had a range of flags for different purposes during its existence. The flags included the Union Flag with the insignia of the Order of the Star of India superimposed, or the Red or Blue Ensign with the Star of India superimposed. The official state flag for use on land was the Union Flag of the United Kingdom and it was this flag that was lowered on Independence Day in 1947.
While the Blue Ensign was used for military and naval purposes the Red Ensign was used for representing India in most international Events. The Star of India had a star with the words Heaven's light our guide around them, and was the badge of the Order of the Star of India, a chivalric order of knighthood. A blue state (government) ensign also existed, was defaced with a lion holding a Tudor Crown.
This very Star of India is represented on the Jaipur Column of the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Jaipur Column is called so because King of Jaipur gave all the money required for erecting it. The celebrated Jaipur Column is a prominent feature of the facade of Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Jaipur Column bearing the Star of India
 File:British Raj Red Ensign.svg
The Flag of British India containing THE STAR OF INDIA

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