Mahatma wanted tricolour to represent different religions’ S. Ve. Shekher

TAMIL NADU
‘Mahatma wanted tricolour to represent different religions’
S. Ve. Shekher
S. Ve. Shekher | Photo Credit: S_Siva Saravanan
Mohamed Imranullah S.
CHENNAI 25 AUGUST 2020 00:55 IST
UPDATED: 25 AUGUST 2020 00:55 IST

S. Ve. Shekher moves HC for anticipatory bail
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionary and actor S.Ve. Shekher on Monday claimed before the Madras High Court that even Mahatma Gandhi wanted the colours of the national flag to represent different religions in the country and so there was nothing wrong in him equating the colours of the flag with various religions.

The submission was made in an anticipatory bail petition filed by him before Justice A.D. Jagadish Chandira. The Central Crime Branch (CCB) police here had booked him under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act of 1971 and the bone of contention was a video message uploaded by him in social media on August 3.

In the video, the petitioner had taken exception to Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami condemning an incident of a saffron shawl draped on a statue of AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran in Puducherry on July 23. He had asked the Chief Minister why he considered saffron a disgrace.

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“Does that mean even our national flag is a digrace? Are you going to hoist a disgraceful national flag on August 15? Have you come to a conclusion to cut off the saffron representing Hindus and retain only the white and green colours representing Christians and Muslims? It’s really saddening,” he had said in the video message.

Conceding to have said so the actor told the court that while writing in Young India on April 13, 1921, Mahatma Gandhi himself had clearly stated that he wanted the national flag to represent different religions. He quoted the father of the nation to have written: “At Bezwada, I asked Mr. Venkayya to give me a design containing a spinning wheel on a red (Hindu colour) and green (Muslim colour) background. His enthusiastic support enabled me to possess a flag in three hours. It was just a little late for the presentation to the All India Congress Committee. On mature consideration, I saw that the background should represent other religions also.”

The judge was told that the petitioner had made a similar claim before the police too when he was summoned for inquiry on Monday and that the investigators had, in turn, directed him to produce evidence by Friday to substantiate his claim. Claiming that no case had been made out against him so far, he sought the benefit of advance bail.

However, State Public Prosecutor A. Natarajan opposed the plea on the ground that after the adoption of the Constitution, the colours on the national flag indicate dedication towards work, following the path of truth and our relation to plant life and not as claimed by the petitioner in his video message.

Further stating that it was not just about the colours of the flag, the SPP said the intent behind spreading such a message had to be probed. On the other hand, petitioner’s counsel Venkatesh Mahadevan told the court that his client respects the national flag more than his mother and that he never stepped out of his house without the flag pinned to his shirt pocket.

After hearing both sides, the judge decided to wait for the police inquiry to be completed on Friday. He asked the State Public Prosecutor to make sure that the matter was not precipitated and the petitioner did not get arrested without informing the court.

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