Call it the dance of democracy or compulsion of politics, green
flags resembling the Pakistani National Flag ruled the Shiv Sena
(SS) rally in Malegaon on October 8, 2009 yesterday.
Shive Sena-BJP alliance had called an
election rally yesterday for Dada Bhuse - Saffron Alliance's
candidate in Malegaon (Outer) assembly constituency at College
Ground in Malegaon Camp. The alliance had organised a mammoth
gathering as Sena Organising President Udhav Thackeray was scheduled
to address the rally. Udahav Thackeray could not come to Malegaon.
But the green flags resembling the Pakistani Flags surprised
everyone who saw the rally.
"No country in the world including
Pakistan have any monopoly on green flags. The flags which were seen
in the Sena rally yesterday are used by Muslims on some occasions
like Eid-e-Milad. However the saffron parties have always created
hue and cry whenever such flags are spotted in Muslim localities. At
some places their storm against green flags had even resulted in
communal unrest. Sena supremo Bal Thackeray has always termed these
localities as 'Mini Pakistan'. Why he is now silent when the same
green flags are used by his own party men?", asked Naveed Anjum,
a local resident.
Dr. Altaf Ansari, a local medical
practitioner is more harsh in his reactions. "No Muslim in
India has any love for national flags of other countries. Also, the
green flags are nothing to do with Islam. However, the Shiv Sena and
BJP have always used such things for targeting the Muslims. Using
green flags have always been a crime and an act no less than
anti-national. What happened now? The same act is not a crime since
it is suiting their interests?" he observed sarcastically.
Green Flags along
with the Sena-BJP Alliance's saffron flags ruled the Sena rally
in Malegaon on October 8, 2009.
(Photo Zahoor Khan)
Malegaon (outer) assembly constituency
has over 2,98,000 votes including over 50,000 Muslim voters. Dada
Bhuse - the sitting MLA from the constituency is pitted against
Prashant Hirey of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Suresh Nikam
of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). Use of green flags is being
termed as an act to woo these 50,000 plus voters.
"If Sena played the divisive politics,
it was to grab the power. It may be a ploy to garner the Muslim
support. But it is good sign they are now accommodating", said Jameel Ansari.
When ummid.com sought his reactions on
the green flags, Dada Bhuse said, "I am getting the support of the
people from all accros the society. The flags in the rally are the
indications that I represent every cast and religion."
Interestingly, the Sena mouthpiece is
totally silent on the whole issue. Otherwise, last week when the
reports came that a Muslim candidate fighting the assembly elections
on Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) ticket is using Urdu banners and
pamphlets in the campaigning, it was violently crying.