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Flag of Jammu and Kashmir that has suddenly become controversial

Last Updated on October 30, 2020 at 7:40 pm

On 15 October, seven parties in Kashmir announced their alliance named People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration. The main purpose of this alliance is to restore the Articles 370 and 35A which were revoked by the Central government.

Making a controversial remark, former Chief Minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti mentioned about the flag of the erstwhile state. So, it is important to understand the history of the flag of Jammu and Kashmir.

The peasants and workers of Jammu and Kashmir struggled under the leadership of the National Conference. Their fight was against Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh’s rule. Peasants faced firing from the police during their struggle and many people were even killed. Those who survived picked the blood-soaked clothes of a dead colleague and that a red-coloured cloth will be their flag.

After the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India, its leader Sheikh Abdullah introduced a resolution in the constituent assembly of the state on June 7, 1952. That resolution was meant for the adoption of a red-coloured national flag with three vertical lines and a plough next to them.  “National” word was dropped from the resolution and the flag of Jammu and Kashmir was approved by its constituent assembly.

The then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru delivered a speech on July 24 that year in Lok Sabha, in which he spoke about the reasons for acceptance of the flag. According to him, the Kashmiri leaders agreed that the national flag of India would be supreme and it will be treated with the same treatment as in other parts of the nation.

Nehru said that the state flag was not a rival of the national flag. Kashmiris had historical and sentimental reasons associated with the freedom in Kashmir, so they wanted the state symbol to continue.

The J&K government issued a white paper in 1952 stating that the supremacy of the national flag will not be compromised. The flag of Jammu and Kashmir represented the struggle of the peasants of various religions. Even though, majority of the population in J&K believes in Islam, still the flag is not influenced by Islam or any other religion.