Monday, November 10, 2008

The Wheel at the Center

There is a common set of misconceptions about the wheel in the center of Indian flag. I studied it so I could know what it really is, and our dog's name was in the write up!

For your edification, from Wikipedia:

The Ashoka Chakra has been widely inscribed on many relics of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka The Great (Reigned 273-232 BCE), most prominent among which is the Lion Capital of Sarnath and The Ashoka Pillar.

The most visible use of the Ashoka Chakra today is at the centre of the National flag of the Republic of India (adopted on 22 July 1947), where it is rendered in a Navy-blue color on a White background, by replacing the symbol of Charkha (Spinning wheel) of the pre-independence versions of the flag. Ashoka Chakra can also been seen on the base of Lion Capital of Ashoka which has been adopted as the National Emblem of India.

The Ashoka chakra was built by the Indian emperor Ashoka the Great in his reign. Chakra is a Sanskrit word which also means cycle or self repeating process. The process it signifies is the cycle of time and how the world changes with time. This process of self-repetition is most prominently manifested in modern Indian traffic, which is a self-repeating process in which each driver is, in the words of Gandhi, 'sometimes the windshield and sometimes the bug.'

Well, there you have it...