And the purpose lost, would anyone ever awake?
Ancient images of Hindu gods, national emblems, even words are all symbolic, metaphorical... they do not stand for themselves, but for what they suggest. Only those who exercise their intellect can understand this. For those who don't, national emblems assume high levels of emotional significance (as though the emblem was what fought for independence and not people), images of Gods become idols of auspicious blessings: instead of delving into the beautiful metaphysics of the religion, they think that merely placing the idol in the house promises salvation! And don't even get me started on the subjectivity of words and language: politicians think that they have done their job just by repeating the words 'justice,' 'equality,' and 'secularism,' in all their speeches.
In the land of neo-conservative intolerance, the post-independent trend has been to go after anyone who says that India is not doing quite so well, socially, politically, or economically.
Using the symbols to show truth, as symbols are in fact created for that purpose, is a virtuous attribute (virtuous: as you may understand it).
Anyone who has a problem with this intellectual activity has the right to protest, peacefully. Violent, judicial persecution of artistic freedom, is a pathetic, vulgar, despicable thing to do. It only shows a lack of courage. For, imagine, if all the artists and philosophers of the world decide to turn violent, and raise the banner of 'justice' in a manner similar to the vandals of society... many would cease to exist. But, the artists chose to display their imagination and understanding of the world in a manner which is civilized.
As a writer, I find it difficult to say nothing of Aseem Trivedi's arrest. It is a terrible state of affairs.
To all those Indians who want India to become a super-power like the USofA, let me point out this:
Americans, for all their pride and violent arrogance in being Americans, do not violently stifle artistic discontent inside their country (dealing with activistic discontent inside America is another issue altogether). Because, after all, if, as a country, India does not give its citizens freedom of speech and expression, especially to its artists, why bother attributing to ourselves all those symbolic words anyway?