State Legislator Wants Jammu and Kashmir Flag to Fly
J&K flag was unhurled on Sunday; Photo credits: Indian Express
SRINAGAR : Training guns at the Centre for "eroding" the autonomy of the state, the firebrand lawmaker from Langate, Engineer Rashid, Sunday said that the Jammu and Kashmir flag should be hoisted across the state to defeat the "colonial designs" of New Delhi.
Rashid, who is the President of Awami Ittehad Party, said the unfurling of state flag will promote "Kashmiri patriotism" and send a message to BJP and its supporters who want to do away with the Article 370, which gives special status to J&K under the Indian Constitution.
"BJP and other anti-Kashmir forces are hell bent to take away special status of J&K, including Article 370 and the state flag but we will not allow this. This will happen only on our dead bodies," he told a decent crowd of his party supporters and eager onlookers while unfurling the state flag at the city centre Lal Chowk.
"Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s dream of one country, one constitution and one flag slogan won’t work here. We have got the state flag after the Delhi agreement. The flag represents the sentiments of Kashmiris. We have fought for it. We will not allow anyone to play with the sanctity of this flag," he said.
The Jammu and Kashmir got its own flag on June 7, 1952, after the Constituent Assembly of the state passed the resolution of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah about the flag.
Rashid said that the Centre should restore the 1952 Delhi Agreement in letter and spirit and demanded that June 7 be declared as the 'State Flag Day'.
"21 members of the assembly, including Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, Mirza Afzal Beigh, Kirshan Dev Sethi, gave speeches but not a single one of them used the word 'J&K State'. They referred to it as a country and promised to protect its distinct status, irrespective of caste, creed, colour or religion. Kashmiris will not rest unless 1952 Delhi agreement is restored and respected by New Delhi in letter and spirit," he said.
During his stint as the the state’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Abdullah, introduced a resolution in the Constituent Assembly, saying the state flag would be rectangular in shape and red in colour with three equidistant vertical strips of equal width next to the staff and a white plough in the middle with its' handle facing the strips.
Rashid said the J&K also has its own anthem, written by National Conference ideologue Maulana Masoodi, which was sung on the occasion. "The state flag is now seen only in the secretariat and on vehicles of a few ministers. Its significance is being reduced. We are not like any other state of India and our flag proves it," he said.
"Unfortunately, our local leaders; be it National Conference politicos or Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, have surrendered our national pride to save their chair," Rashid said at the rally in Lal Chowk.
Stating that the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India in 1947 was conditional, he said India must respect these conditions.
"We are not begging before Delhi. If you won’t honour this flag of ours, people here will have no option but to waive green flags," he said, referring to the appearance of Pakistani flags in recent separatist rallies.
Accusing the state government of conspiring to appoint non-locals and non-Muslims to key posts in the state administration, Rashid said: "Non-Muslims constitute 25 percent of the population. The government must give them their share. But what about the rest of the people? You (government) are creating a dangerous situation here," he said.