Did RSS Insult The National Flag?
Bhaiyyaji Joshi, the General Secretary of RSS indulged in two wrongs. (1) He held a view (2) He exercised his freedom of expression. And that was enough to initiate a tirade against him, by association, the RSS and by extension, the BJP. #RSSInsultsTricolor trended right at the top on Twitter. The story that the media had narrated to us was this:
Our media peddled notions that Mr Joshi and RSS eventually:
• Want the National Anthem replaced by “Vande Mataram”
• The tricolor replaced by a saffron flag
However the RSS itself gave this clarification to clear the air.
It is mandatory that every citizen of Bharat should respect Tiranga:
Dr Manmohan Vaidya's statement pic.twitter.com/2Fe2dKbsDQ
— RSS (@RSSorg) April 2, 2016
Here’s a conveniently clipped video snippet to assist the media-version of the “creeping Hindutva” narrative.
And even while the video title says “Vande Mataram should be our National Anthem, says Bhaiyaji Joshi” Mr Joshi does not seem to say that. Mr Joshi:
• Reinforces that “Jana Gana Mana” (Our National anthem) must be venerated. That there is no reason to not give it due respect.
• That the Indian flag, though it came about in the 1930s is still our constitutionally held national symbol and must be respected.
There is no talk of giving up/ replacing either. Per RSS’ clarification, he was only trying to differentiate between State (legal/constitutional entity) and Nation (cultural entity), and apparently trying to impress on audience that cultural symbols like “Vande Mataram” and the saffron flag are equally, if not more venerated as our constitutionally prescribed symbols. This is pretty much in keeping with the RSS’ declared stress on “Cultural Nationalism” and not a shocking new sinister development.
It also assumes relevance in the backdrop of growing acrimony over chanting of “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, singing of “Vande Mataram” (a national symbol itself, check SS) and the perennially peddled psychosis.