Simranjit Singh Mann, a proponent for a separate Sikh homeland and SAD (Amritsar) MP from Sangrur, has kicked up a row by asking people to hoist ‘kesari’ or Sikh religious flags atop their houses on Independence Day in place of the national flag as part of the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign.
In a message, Mann appealed to the people to hoist saffron flags and Nishan Sahib on their houses on August 14 and 15.
The Nishan Sahib flag is a symbol of Sikh religion.
Earlier this week, Mann had tweeted, “Best tribute to the 75th anniversary of Independence would be to liberate Ladakh from China rather than fluttering flags. Besides, provide food and shelter to the poor. If Nancy Pelosi could do it, so can the politicos and generals. Facta Non Verba.”
Mann’s statement on flags has evoked strong reactions from different political parties.
Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring has criticised a section of radical leadership for trying to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the state.
Reacting to a call by these leaders, including by Mann, who recently took an oath under the Constitution, Warring said such actions are clearly meant to vitiate the hard-earned peace in Punjab.
He said the tricolour is a national symbol and every Indian should respect it.
“Nobody stops anyone from displaying ‘kesari’ flag atop their houses and every Sikh is and should be proud of the ‘kesari’ colour as it is the symbol of the ever great and glorious spirit of Khalsa,” Warring said.
The tricolour is the national symbol of India’s Independence and it deserves to be respected and honoured, he added.
“Tens of thousands of people, most of them Punjabis and Sikhs, have laid down their lives to safeguard the honour of the tricolour and those trying to disrespect it are disrespecting our own martyrs and their martyrdom,” Warring said.
Reacting to Mann’s statement, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said the country has been freed from the British after sacrifices made by “our forefathers”.
“Those opposing the tricolour have taken oath under the Constitution,” he said.