With almost all mainstream political parties coming together on the issue of hoisting the ‘tiranga’ on rooftops of Independence day, the hardliners in Punjab seem to have been pushed to the corner.
The controversy has been raked up by the ‘rabble rousing’ MP from Sangrur, Simranjit Singh Mann, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) who in a video message to the people opposed the hoisting of the ‘tiranga’. He was supported by the Dal Khalsa, a radical Sikh organisation that strived for the creation of Khalistan.
The state president of the Congress, Amrinder Singh Raja Warring criticised the radicals for “trying to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the state”.
He said, “The tricolour is a national symbol and every Indian should respect it. Tens of thousands of people, most of them Punjabis and Sikhs, laid down their lives to safeguard the honour of the tricolour…”
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann who is also the AAP’s Punjab convenor, ridiculed Simranjit Singh Mann saying, “this country has been freed from the British after sacrifices made by our forefathers and those opposing the tricolour have recently taken the oath of Constitution of India to be able to sit in the Parliament.”
BJP spokesman and All India Working Committee member Harjit Singh Grewal said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call, ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ is aimed at unifying the nation. Those opposed to the hoisting of tiranga are doing a disservice to the country and such elements will automatically get alienated.”
Surprisingly, MP Sukhbir Badal-led Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is yet undecided as to what stand to take on the issue. “I don’t know what to say. Besides, the party doesn’t need to take a stand on every issue,” said a functionary of the SAD.
The SGPC, known as the mini-parliament of the Sikhs, is silent on the issue. A meeting of the executive committee is fixed for August 10, following which it may issue a statement.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed)