Vishwa vijayi tiranga pyaara, jhanda ooncha rahe hamaara!



On August 15 last year the BJP made such a fuss about their party president Nitin Gadkari’s absence at the flag hoisting ceremony in their party headquarters in New Delhi. He chose to hoist the tricolour instead at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh headquarters at Nagpur. Which I thought was a good move because the RSS HQ at Reshim Bagh had not been flying the tricolour for years since Independence. I think the tradition began only in 2003 when the saffron forces began to believe that they were here to stay and they might as well give up the idea of planting a saffron flag atop various government buildings merely to prove a point.

In the mid-Nineties, I recall, it was not just Bal Thackeray who dreamt of hoisting a saffron standard atop the Vidhan Sabha. A candidate from the saffron alliance had actually printed a booklet of his achievements that clearly showed a saffron standard in place of the tricolour atop the Assembly building. There is still a case pending against him in the Bombay high court for that was in clear violation of the Flag Code of India which, at that time, did not even allow you to fly even the tricolour from your home, let alone replace it with a saffron standard.

It’s only much later that Congress MP Navin Jindal won us all the right to display the national flag from our homes/cars, et al. But I think despite that court ruling we are still not allowed to wear clothes made of the tricolour or otherwise show the national flag any sort of disrespect.

So when Uma Bharti resigned as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and set off on her tiranga yatra to Hubli from Bhopal, she got into rather more trouble than she already was in when her supporters laid some huge pieces of the tricolour on the floor of the railway compartment to sleep on and others used it as blankets or sheets to cover themselves with.

I was present in Hubli to report on Bharti’s arrest and I wondered what the fuss was all about. Because the Idgah Maidan where she had wanted to unfurl the tricolour was not particularly revered even by the Muslims of the town. There was a stinking public toilet at one end of the maidan and I was told it was also used as a common market place to mark special events. But, I must admit, I was startled when people who seemed to have travelled with Bharti themselves brought us some pictures from their train journey showing people wrapped up in the tricolour and sleeping next to the toilets in the second class compartment in which she had travelled down from Madhya Pradesh. I remember wondering even then if these saffron activists actually respected the tricolour or were attempting to sabotage Bharti’s tiranga yatra. I suspected it was the latter when I caught someone close to then BJP general secretary in charge of Maharashtra, Pramod Mahajan, among the people so eagerly distributing those photographs to journalists. Mahajan, soon after, put his foot down against Bharti campaigning in Maharashtra at it’s forthcoming Assembly elections. Then I thought I knew where the campaign against her had originated – for the supposed disrespect to the Indian flag by her supporters was cited as reason to keep her off the poll campaign in Maharashtra.

So I was very glad to see that in all these years the BJP has not lost sight of the national tricolour. In fact, it was rather gratifying to see them sitting with a national flag in front of them in various television studios and I could scarcely believe they were BJP and not Congress workers who had drowned themselves in hundreds of tricolours when they set off on their tiranga yatra to Kashmir just before Republic Day this year.

It is nice to know that the saffronists recall the national tricolour at least once every decade or so – in 1992 when then BJP president Murli Manohar Joshi similarly marched to Jammu to unfurl the tricolour from the Lal Chowk; then in 2004 when Uma Bharti set off for Hubli to be arrested for her devotion to the national flag and now when all senior leaders made a beeline for Lal Chowk again.

Then, again, I have always been impressed by how, just when one or the other BJP leader or the party as a whole senses a weakening, both Mahatma Gandhi in the form of his ‘Gandhian socialism’ (whatever that might mean) or the tiranga come in handy. After all, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a hardcore Hindutvawadi, belonging to an organisation that was the precursor of the RSS. What Gandhian socialism meant when it was the BJP which was the original votary of liberalisation and capitalism/market politics, I have never been able to understand. Both the 1992 Jammu yatra and the 2004 Hubli one were undertaken by leaders who wanted to prove their supremacy (or, at least, equality) to other leaders in their own party – Dr Joshi to be one up on LK Advani, Ms Bharti was up against the likes of Mahajan, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj (sadly, she still is). This time round the purpose of the tiranga yatra was to divert attention and focus away from saffron terrorism and Swami Aseemananda’s confessions The BJP succeeded brilliantly.

But they must realise that, when the chips are down, it is ultimately only the national tricolour that has ever come to their aid. And even if the RSS headquarters started flying the tiranga only in 2003, it is to be hoped that their party president will always choose to unfurl the Indian flag at Reshim Bagh over the claims of any other party office or any other Indian state.

For, while their saffron standard might let them down again and again, the tiranga will always prove to be more enduring and come to their aid every time they find themselves in a tight spot!

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  • Kabir

    SONIA WAS NOT PRESENT AT INDEPENDENCE DAY FLAG HOISTING AT RED FORT IN NEW DELHI.

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  • Mukesh

    Anandan: Confused or creating confusion on behalf of jhola brigade. Please separate the two flags – tiranga is tiranga and saffron is saffron. Rather than write these ’sponsored’ blogs, try writing something about the plight of minorities in Assam or Kashmir or if you want to get into this Jhanda business then try writing something about hositing of Pakistani flags in India or burning of tiranga in Kashmir. Maybe you will have to get approval from 10 Janpath

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  • http://topsy.com/blogs.hindustantimes.com/singly-political/2011/01/28/vishwa-vijayi-tiranga-pyaara-jhanda-ooncha-rahe-hamaara/?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L2 Tweets that mention Vishwa vijayi tiranga pyaara, jhanda ooncha rahe hamaara! : Singly Political — Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Hindustan Times, Suryanarayan Ganesh and Al Mamoon Mohit, NEWS. NEWS said: HTsays HT Blogs | Sujata Anandan: The #BJP rediscovers the #tiranga every time the party is in a tight spot…http://read.ht/Go #NEWS [...]

  • Indian

    A ridiculously biased and hopelessly inaccurate rant from the Congress propaganda machine. Author’s name is immaterial.

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  • Sunil

    What an article!!! Slap with one hand and pat with the other, we know it is more slap then pat.

    So do tell us when have Indians ever respected anything Indian or paid attention to detail? When have we ever had a sense of history, pride, or taken shelter of our faith Sanatan Dharma? We love foreign name for our faith, not to mention we understand the Vedas through foreign eyes. We have no future let alone understand that we are like swine … as they say, giving words of wisdom to Indians is like Throwing pearls to the swines.

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  • singhs

    Great piece……love it! Chesterton had said that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrels….in India, it is the first and the last as well! That, and terrorism are current ‘kamdhenus’ of our ruling class!

    Sujata, you really write well! Keep up the good work and a column of your own shouldn’t be that far away!

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    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Thanks, Singhs. Actually I do have one: a column I mean. Its been running for five and a half years. Called `anandan ON WEDNESDAY’. Runs Wednesdays in the Bombay edition of Hindustan Times.

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  • http://techcentral.in Kunal

    Poor article. Sujata has concentrated on the tricolour, whereas the tricolour issue is not about the tricolour, but about how much the Indian Congress considers Kashmir as a part of India.

    BJP could have made an issue out of chanting Jai Hind during Republic Day in Kashmir and got the same response from the Congress government as it did for the issue of hoisting the tricolour.

    You completely missed the point here Sujata. Your usual bashing of BJP over Congress took precedence before writing this blog. Your blog is always very partisan oriented, once you get that out of your mind …you will be a good writer. Till then live in the dump which is called HT

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  • Alex

    We all know who is paying you Sujata.Shame on you!Have guts to write against the most corrupt party of independence India,Congress.And how they have stashed poor Indians money in Swiss banks.
    Have guts.Else join the party official.Dont bring shame to journalism which is already down with people like Dutts,Sanghvis and Sardesais

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  • http://seffronterrorism aum

    Sujata why not go publish that you are agent of all India anti national congress owned and operated by your master sonia gandhi and her family. You always write bad things about BJP. How mush this anti national congress pays you?

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    aum Reply:

    just like kayar( known as vir) sanghvi she is a paid agent of aal India anti national congress owned and operated by sonia gandhi and family. This sujata is paid servant of this anti national party

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    Sunil Reply:

    The more I read from both the Congress Party and BJP the more I have come to conclude democracy does not work in India. What we need is a revolution a civil war. No one was asked if India should be partitioned and become a secular state a few fools decided.

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    Praveen Saxena Reply:

    I recall that news bulletins on TV Networks had shown the present CM of Maharashtra getting down from the Dias and rushing to leave even as the National Anthem was being played at a public function.

    Raghavendra Reply:

    Ms sujata

    i wish to clarify few things about flag hoisting in IDGAH maidan in HUBLI. i live in DHARWAD which is the twin city of HUBLI and situated 19 KMs from HUBLI.
    Biggest campaign to unfurl tricolor there was launched way back in 1994 and not 2004 as mentioned by you.quite few people did die attempting to fly tricolor.
    Muslims are allowed to use that maidan only for NAMAZ on major festivals like RAMZAN , ID MILAD , BAKRI ID. that land was given on lease to anjuman-e-islam an organisation of muslims on lease by municipal corporation of HUBLI-DHARWAD, issue of ownership of that land was settled last year with HIGH COURT of Karnataka ruling that maidan is owned by municipal corporation and muslims can offer namaz only on festivals with permission from municipal corporation.
    The dispute about flag hoisting arose because some muslims of Hubli contended that they owned that land and they would not allow flag to be raised there.
    Naturally your DESH BHAKT and SECULAR CONGRESS party supported such voices.
    You mean to say in your article that RSS never raised our TRICOLOR on it’s head office in NAGPUR.
    If that was true then why did your DESHBHAKT CONGRESS party not ban TRAITOR organisation RSS for that act? answer is for these CONGRESS people RSS was not COMMUNAL when INDIRA GANDHI personally met Shri Balasahed Deoras the then RSS chief and asked for his support in the ensuing general election.
    For DESHBHAKT congress people RSS was fine in 1980 to win elections but it becomes BREEDING GROUND for HINDU terror in 2010?
    What an irony?

    Satish Haldankar Reply:

    My sincere thanks for a true picture about the Idgah Maidan in Hubli.

    About RSS not hoisting the flag at its head office (I believe they have been doing now since 2003), the point is not about hoisting the flag (and it is not a crime if one does not do so), but their insistence on others doing so or and at other places to demonstrate ones’ nationalism and patriotism. Doesn’t it reek of double standards? One of the RSS and the other for the rest. It would apt to recall – Practice before you preach.

    Just because the Indira Gandhi asked from support from the RSS, did not give the RSS a licence to do whatever it pleases after that. Like alleged acts of terrorism by the people associated with the RSS or its numerous front-organisations (a truly hydra-headed monster). Let us wait for the courts to decide, whenever that will be.

    Raghavendra Reply:

    Mr Satish
    many many thanks for replying to my email.

    if indian state as a whole is convinced that RSS and it’s members are involved i feel it should never wait even a minute to ban it andtake necessary further action.
    i gave instance of Indira Gandhi asking for help from RSS in 1980 general elections to high light the hypocricy of DESH BHAKT CONGRESSIS.
    for CONGRESS people everybody except registered party workers are traitors. they seem to behave as if they have a sole license of patriotism.
    i accept your view that one should practice what one preaches and it always applies to RSS as well.
    as far as allegations of bomb blast are concerned investigating agencies are doing it.
    one thing is in the past Mr MK narayanan had given reply to paksitan with evidence that Samjhauta express blasts were done by elements based in Pakistan.
    David headely has also confessed to have masterminded those blasts.
    why are these contradictions?
    who is at fault here? our investigating agencies? or our political class?
    if a journalist of TEHELKA can obtain original confessionof assemanand from our police
    naturally that news must have been obtained by bribing.
    are all these people not damaging a very vital case against aseemanand by leaking sensitive data before investigation is complete?
    there was a news in the media that Aseemanand wished to confess because he was moved by the plight of muslims boys arrested wrongly?
    a person who does not hesitate to kill MUSLIMS offering NAMAZ during RAMZAN can he be moved after seeing a wrongly arrested muslim boy?
    i will write more about it when i get your reply.

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Aren’t you aware of the ban on RSS for several years?

    Raghavendra Reply:

    Ms Sujata
    why was the ban on RSS revoked despite you people shouting from rooftops that it must be banned.
    why has Supreme Court of india repeatedly revoked ban on RSS?

    enlighten me on these issues please

    Rajeev Reply:

    This blog can be described in TWO words – “PAID JOURNALISM”.

    HT is actually becoming Congress Sandesh courtesy these kind of Sandwitch journalists.

    Praveen Saxena Reply:

    @Rajeev

    At that late hour on a wet night , a lady Reporter was out to cover the election campaign and apprehended assasination of Rajeev Gandhi in Mumbai. Late Rajeev Gandhi spotted that lady Reporter and ordered Murli Deora to arrange for food for that lady Reporter. Murli Dera got worried and came rushing to her to do something. He asked her to say that a sandwitch was arranged for her , in case Rajiv Gandhi enquired again.Such was the generosity ( Meharbani) which the Gandhis are well known for.

    Rajeev Reply:

    :) I guess Vinod Sharma is getting Pizza leftovers from Rahul Baba.

  • guest

    I’m no fan of BJP. They legitmatized the criminals in UP politics by making them ministers and killed the sugarcane belt. HT’ saturday edition seems to be dedicated to Hindu baiting / bashing. Why not for once ignore Congress and BJP and write about bijli, paani, sadak, roti, kapda and makan which continues to evade millions of Indians on a daily basis! You all should thank your stars that you’re born in India ‘coz if you’re born in China or Middle East you’d be behind bars and if in Europe or US some where in oblivion for all the garbage you all dish out week after week.

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  • Satish Haldankar

    Well balanced article and accurate.

    Other comments apparently from the Internet Hindutvawadis are on the expected lines. If any one ‘dares’ to criticise or write anything negative about their holy cows – RSS/BJP and their heroes/heroines, he/she is dubbed as the agent of the Congress Party and is called all sorts of names. Apparently these people are unable to take knocks on their chins and rarely put forward arguments to counter the points raised by the author. Pity these poor souls.

    The latest tiranga yatra by Anurag Thakur had nothing to do with the tri-colour or nationalism or patriotism, it was all about furthering their own party’s interests (nothing wrong with that and completely legitimate), only if they had not claimed to be all about nationalism or patriotism. The RSS/BJP have always indulged in doublespeak.

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    Kunal Reply:

    lol counter the points in the argument, she has no argument…she has completely missed the point and written about something else altogether. it’s similar to her earlier blog where the title says something and the body of the blog tells you some other story.

    tricolour was just a tool used to see the congress reaction on kashmir. and congress failed miserably. this is how sonia’s reluctant war on terrorism works. keeps appeasing the kashmiri muslims without nailing the point that this is india..and this is how it is going to be.

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    Satish Haldankar Reply:

    Now, now, a new ‘explanation/theory’ about ekta yatra (meant to see Congress reaction). The nation knows and is not surprised that the BJP stoops to such low levels that it uses the Tri-colour to play politics and it talks of nationalism and patriotism. As I said doublespeak. is the distinct attribute of the RSS/BJP.

    Have you informed the spokespersons of the BJP about your new found theory, so that they will be to defend the party better in the media?

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    Kunal Reply:

    Well it’s not my theory. It is common sense that the BJP was trying to score political points by raking up this issue. No points for guessing that. And the BJP succeeded in doing that, as it hoped that the Congress would stop them from reaching Kashmir.

    The BJP never really wanted to be successful in hoisting the tricolour at Srinagar. It wanted to show the public how the Congress reacts to hoisting the Indian tricolour at Srinagar.

    And Congress as usual went for appeasement of Kashmiri Muslims, other religious minorities in India and the pro-leftist Hindus in India and trying to project BJP as a far-right radicalised party.

    Congress didn’t achieve much out of all this….people will remember the fact that Indian flag wasn’t allowed on its own land. Only time will tell how this will matter.

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Aiyaiyo, Kunal! `Tricolour was just a tool used to see Congress reaction on Kashmir … the BJP was trying to score political points’. I rest my case :) )

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    ishwar Reply:

    @Satish
    Stupid but funny… how come all Sonia fawners speak the same language?

    Who did you learn your skills from:
    a) Manish Tiwari
    b) Satyavrat Chaturvedi
    c) Shakeel Ahmed

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    Satish Haldankar Reply:

    Not surprised at your reaction. Double standards is another attribute of the RSS/BJP and its supporters. You expect these gentlemen to speak for the BJP? They are from the Congress Party and you have a problem with that, but you have no qualms about Prasad, Nirmala, Chandan, Rudy, etc. speaking for the BJP (I have no such qualms about them). Why? Is a BJP a special kind of beast? Get a life.

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    Jami Reply:

    Wow! Congress still has a few paid agents/writers left who see nothing but Her Majesty and her side-kicks do nothing wrong – forget about Bofors, 2G, CWG, Adarsh …. the list goes on..
    This is not to let Bajpa off the hook for stirring up trouble in Kashmir by their tiranga. Congress and its chamchas need to remember that when in a hole stop digging

    Satish Haldankar Reply:

    This is in reply to Jami.

    First of ll, if you care to read all my comments, you will not come to the conclusion about paid agents.

    However, why does it bother you if some one is a paid agent/writer of the Congress. 1) Is it a crime? 2) Is the BJP only party to have the privilege of having paid agents?

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Thanks

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    Anil Bonde Reply:

    Dear Sujata,
    That means you accept that you get paid to write the for congress.
    regards,

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    krushna Reply:

    well observed anil!
    she indeed is a paid agent and sees no crime in it as all HT jurnos dont!
    @ sujata , i dare you to reply to this one! why reply only to positive comments ?

  • http://www.sareez.com/ Salwar

    Good post.. Thanks for sharing these stuffs..

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  • Supriya Padgaonkar

    You hit the nail on the head, Sujata! The sick minded BJP had these ‘Hindutva’ plans chalked out, from the day it decided to take up the so called ‘Ekta Yatra’. The Nitin ‘Potlu’ Gadkari does not have any other agenda in his kitty but to divide people along religious lines, the line that they have always maintained and propagated through other sick minded sister organisations – RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena. And how hilarious is this, that they called it ‘EKTA YATRA’…ha haa! They should have called it ‘DESH BATWARA YATRA’ ! But the people of this country are not fools to fall for their stupid divisive plans again, and they slapped the BJP with their plans of wanting to create tension and violence in Kashmir, that the BJP is desperately trying to rekindle, after the violence just barely subsided a few months ago!

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    praveen saxena Reply:

    ’…ha haa!

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    Jami Reply:

    Of course they made a self-styled Kashmir expert Padgoankar as interlocutor for Kashmir

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    Kunal Reply:

    Whatever divisiveness applies for BJP, applies for Congress as well. Each has its own votegroup to target and tries to woo that group.

    The Congress has played the divisive tactics much more than the BJP. And it still does. Congress can droop so low that it won’t have a definite stand against the terrorists just to appease the Muslim minorities in India. How sick is that ?

    Google, Sonia’s reluctant war on terror …

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    Satish Haldankar Reply:

    Now you are talking. No party is a paragon of virtue. Who does more can be a matter of debate. It is for the people at large in their collective wisdom decide who will govern them every five years and in that respect BJP has been unable to retain the trust of the people, in spite of the observations made by you.

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    Kunal Reply:

    That was already seen in Bihar mate. Inspite of your party’s royal son parading along with aam aadmi for votes.

    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    http://econ.st/dR6Q9h

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    Sujata Anandan Reply:

    Thanks, Salwar, Supriya

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  • hari

    Sujata, don’t you think, that even if is only to score political points, the BJP uses patriotism as an issue & has a more nationalistic viewpoint (a matter of fact), than the congress that is only interested in making money. Don’t you realise that it was the NDA schemes that has allowed the UPA to showcase the growth of present day India. Can you point out one policy/law that the UPA has brought in/enacted that served to better the economy of India (inspite of having a legendary economist as the Head of Government). I am no Internet Saffron merchant but a liberal who would have loved to see the congress discussed in a good light, but for the unfortunate happenings of the past 7 years (2G, Adarsh,Commonwealth,Hasan Ali) … Yeh brashtachari ke kaaran, congress ne hamara jhanda neechae gira, lekin BJP nae ooncha rakha hamara pyaara tiranga jhanda (even if it is only naam ke vaastae, for political points) .. I rest my case

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  • Vish

    At last some sense has prevailed – that too propagated by a journalist! Bravo!

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