RSS-BJP: No love lost for the Tricolour

Published: January 25, 2011 - 16:24 Updated: January 26, 2011 - 15:07

<p>Check its fanatic history. The RSS camp has always opposed the tricolour. It's the bhagwa-saffron Hindutva flag which they hold supreme&nbsp;<br />Shamshul Islam Delhi<br /><br />The RSS/BJP gang is once again onto its old pastime of whipping up frenzy against Muslims. They plan to unfurl the tricolour, the Indian national flag, in Srinagar on January 26, 2011. It may not be out of context to know that BJP and its RSS mentors, so zealous about hoisting the tricolour in Srinagar, have least respect for the tricolour, as we will see from the following documentary evidence from the RSS archives.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /><br /><em>Organiser, </em>the RSS English organ, in its third issue (July 17, 1947), disturbed by the Constituent Assembly's decision to select the tricolour as the national flag, carried an editorial titled 'National Flag', demanding that the saffron flag be chosen instead.&nbsp;<br /><br />The same demand continued to be raised in editorials on the eve of independence (July 31 editorial titled 'Hindusthan' and August 14 editorial titled 'Whither'), simultaneously rejecting the whole concept of a composite nation. The August 14 issue also carried 'Mystery behind the Bhagwa Dhawaj (saffron flag)', which, while demanding the hoisting of a saffron flag at the ramparts of Red Fort in Delhi, openly denigrated the choice of the tricolour as the national flag in the following words: "<em>The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the tricolour but it will never be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil, and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country."&nbsp;<br /></em><br />Golwalkar, second chief of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the organisation till date, while addressing a gathering in Nagpur on July 14, 1946, stated that it was the saffron flag which in totality represented their great culture. It was the embodiment of God: "We firmly believe that in the end the whole nation will bow before this saffron flag."&nbsp;<br /><br />Even after independence, when the tricolour became the national flag, it was the RSS which refused to accept it. Golwalkar, while discussing the issue in an essay titled 'Drifting and Drifting' in the book Bunch of Thoughts, a collection of his writings, published by RSS and treated as a bible for its cadres, has the following to say: "Our leaders have set up a new flag for our country. Why did they do so? It is just a case of drifting and imitating. Ours is an ancient and great nation with a glorious past. Then, had we no flag of our own? Had we no national emblem at all these thousands of years? Undoubtedly we had. Then why this utter void, this utter vacuum in our minds?"<br /><br /><em>Importantly, nowhere in the functioning of RSS is the tricolour or national flag used even today. The RSS headquarters at Reshambaugh, Nagpur, does not fly it, nor do the RSS shakhas display it in their daily parades.&nbsp;<br /></em><br />For RSS, it seems, the national flag is meant only to whip up frenzy against Muslims. In the 1991 '<em>Ekta Yatra</em>', it was Murli Manohar Joshi, another favourite in the RSS hierarchy, who went to unfurl the tricolour at Lal Chowk of Srinagar, Kashmir. Uma Bharti carried a tricolour when it was an Idgah that was being targeted by Hindutva. But when the Hindutva cadres went to demolish the Babri mosque in 1992, they did not carry the tricolour. They carried only saffron flags which were subsequently hoisted there.&nbsp;<br /><br />The RSS is faced with a peculiar dilemma. For Hindus it has the saffron flag, and for Muslims, the tricolour. This selective use of national symbols is bound to boomerang and further expose the Hindutva camp's real designs. But one thing is for sure: 'Muslim Bashing' remains the favourite pastime of the Hindutva gang. And communal polarisation - at all costs - their favourite short-term and long-term obsession. Even on the Republic Day.<br /><br /><em>The writer is professor of political science, Satyawati College, Delhi University</em></p>

Check its fanatic history. The RSS camp has always opposed the tricolour. It’s the bhagwa-saffron Hindutva flag which they hold supreme
Shamshul Islam Delhi

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