Rajasthan, India: The Rajasthan’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief CP Joshi accused the Ashok Gehlot-led Rajasthan Government of targeting temples and religious festivals. He said, “Udaipur is the land of brave Shiromani Maharana Pratap who defeated the Mughals. Now, if the saffron flag can’t be put up there, should it be put up in the Taliban?”
CP Joshi was commenting on Rajasthan Government’s ban on hoisting religious flags in the Udaipur district citing communal harmony and the law and order situation as the reason. In Udaipur, no religious flags will be allowed to be hoisted in public places including public buildings or electric police for the next two months and permission would have to be taken from the District Collector.
CP Joshi alleged that the Congress-led Rajasthan Government was attempting to please ‘certain groups’ by targeting temples and religious festivals.“Government is deliberately targeting temples and religious festivals. Don’t know who they want to please. Udaipur is the land of brave Shiromani Maharana Pratap who defeated the Mughals. Now, if the saffron flag can’t be put up there, should it be put up in Taliban”, said Rajasthan BJP Chief CP Joshi.
He said, “The intentional obstruction of saffron flags in Udaipur is an insult to the spirit of Maharana Pratap and the people of Rajasthan.” He added, “It is a blatant attempt to please certain sections of society and appease them for political gains.”
CP Joshi said, “I think they are trying to run the Government like Taliban, you can’t play music on Hanuman Jayanti, you can’t take out religious processions on Rama Navami, you can’t chant slogans of Bhagwan Ram, I am astonished by this and wonder what the Rajasthan government is trying to achieve. It is sad that the Rajasthan Government is taking decisions like these back to back. If the government doesn’t change its track, the public of Rajasthan won’t sit quietly,” on the alleged suppression of Hindu symbols in Rajasthan.
According to sources, people believe that the orders were issued following Dhirendra Shastri’s public address at a gathering in Udaipur, following which five people were arrested for hoisting saffron flags on the Kumbhalgarh fort. However, the administration has refused any such connection and stated that the order was planned even before Shastri’s arrival in Udaipur.
The accused were later released, but the administration has issued orders stating that flags with religious symbols will not be permitted in public places during religious processions, and those who disregard these orders will face strict legal consequences. The order stated that if these flags are displayed in public places, law and order may be jeopardised.
Meanwhile, Diya Kumari, BJP MP from Udaipur, has described the order as an attempt to violate the right of people to religious freedom in the name of law and order. She stated, “This order by the Udaipur administration against the religious flag is the latest example of the Congress government’s appeasement policy in Rajasthan. This is an attempt to violate ordinary people’s right to religious freedom in the name of law and order.”
Locals showed disappointment with the Government’s order and said that this is the time of year when people celebrate Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti with zeal. This is a violation of their right to celebrate festivals.
In an order by the District Magistrate Tara Chand Meena dated April 5, he said that there is an attempt to spoil the law and order situation in the district on the pretext of religious purposes.
“The undersigned has been informed by the District Superintendent of Police, Udaipur that no person can use flags carrying religious symbols on public property without approval or consent for the religious purposes to be organized in the Udaipur district affecting the law and order situation. An attempt is made to spoil the law and order, due to which there is a possibility of disturbing public peace and adversely affecting law and order and social harmony. In such a situation, it is necessary to take preventive action immediately to maintain public peace,” the order read.
“Therefore, keeping the above circumstances in view, I, Tara Chand Meena, District Magistrate, Udaipur, using the powers conferred under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, prohibit the use of flags carrying religious symbols on public properties in the entire urban and rural areas of Udaipur district without approval or consent,” it further read.