New Delhi: Dubbing the ruling BJP “pseudo nationalist”, the Congress on Friday alleged that it has no understanding of the freedom struggle and its symbols, and sought the withdrawal of the amendment to the National Flag code that allows the manufacture and import of polyester flags.
Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opened the door to mass import Indian flags from China at a time when the Chinese troops remain in occupation of 1,000 square kilometres of fresh territory in Ladakh.
He also announced Congress’ support to the “Dhwaja Satyagrah” announced by the Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha on July 30 in support of their demands and withdrawal of the amendment to the law.
Kumar said Modi presents himself as the custodian of India’s khadi industry and had made a call to Indians to purchase ‘khadi’ products last year in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ address.
The prime minister lectures Indians to be ‘Vocal for Local’, but his decisions are more in the spirit of ‘Shanghai ki Mehengai’, be it importing the bronze exterior of Statue of Unity or 45 per cent jump in imports from China to a record USD 94 billion in 2021-22, he said.
“By permitting the import of machine-made and imported polyester flags, PM Modi has attacked the essence of ‘khadi’ and the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. While ensuring that thousands of workers lose their jobs, he has also made a mockery of the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign, making it into ‘Har Ghar Mein Cheen Ka Bana Hua Tiranga’. The self-styled champion of ‘khadi’ will preside over the death of ‘khadi’, revealing himself to be a ‘Polyester Monopolist’,” Kumar told reporters.
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted in Hindi saying those who never participated in the freedom struggle will not understand the nation’s relationship with the tricolour.
“Those who did not participate in the freedom struggle, did not hoist the tricolour in Nagpur for 52 years, what will they understand about the country’s relationship with the tricolour and khadi.
“By allowing the import of the polyester tricolour, arrangements have been made to install ‘Har Ghar China’s Tricolour’. Of that, China which has occupied our land,” Ramesh said.
The BJP government’s decision to amend the National Flag Code on the eve of the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence, ” Is another stark reminder that our pseudo-nationalist ruling party has no understanding of our freedom struggle,” Kumar alleged.
He said the Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha is the only unit licensed to produce khadi national flags and is staring at a closure as a result of this decision.
“The Indian National Congress agrees with the demand of the Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha for this amendment to be withdrawn and supports its decision to hold a Dhwaja Satyagraha on July 30, 2022. The Congress fully associates itself at the national and state level with its Dhwaja Satyagraha and urges all nationalist forces to join in,” he said.
The Congress leader claimed that the Indian tricolour (tiranga) is a symbol of the nation’s freedom and sovereignty and its ‘khadi’ signifies how the people of India defeated the mighty British Empire using the simple ‘charkha’, a symbol of self-sufficiency, spiritual humility, national integrity, social equality, communal harmony and ahimsa.
“These values are alien to the BJP and its predecessors who played no role in the freedom movement, in the design of the national flag or in the popularisation of khadi,” he alleged.
Kumar said the BJP is inspired by the Hindu Mahasabha that formed coalitions with the Muslim League in Sind, Bengal and the North West Frontier Province to subvert “nationalist forces”.
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