New Delhi: As celebrations of 60 years of Independence begin across the country tomorrow, the national flags used on this historic occasion in 1947, including by first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, appears to have gone missing.
At the stroke of mid-night on 14 August 1947, the first Prime Minister Jawarharlal Nehru had hoisted the first tricolour in the Central Hall of Parliament amid the presence of august audience including Lord Mountbatten.
The next day, crowd witnessed the lowering of the Union Jack and the hoisting of Indian national flag amid thunderous applause at India Gate at 8.30 in the morning. The tricolour was also hoisted at Red Fort on 16 August morning.
However, 60 years down the line no one knows where these flags are. There is no official record available about the whereabout of these flags nor is there any move to trace them.
The search at places that could possibly have these historic mementoes drew a blank. The National Museum, Red Fort Museum, National Archives, Nehru Memorial, MEA Toshakahana, Rashtrapati Bhawan Museum and the museum in Parliament do not have the first Independence Day flags unfurled by Nehru.
The Ministry of Culture, which is coordinating the celebration of 60th year of Independence and 150 years of 1857 Sepoy Mutiny, is also clueless about the first flag of Independent India.
Union Culture Minister Ambika Soni said: “I-Day functions are handled by the Defence Ministry and they should trace it. If the flags are traced, then they could be showcased in our museum.”