A political slugfest ensued in Karnataka as a mosque in Bangalore garnered attention for hoisting a Green flag atop a tall light mast. This development comes amidst ongoing controversy surrounding the removal of a saffron flag with a Hanuman Dhwaja image. Reports indicate that the flagpole-streetlight, located in Shivajinagar’s Chandni Chowk area, is one of the oldest installations of its kind in Asia, dating back over 100 years. The appearance of the Green flag has sparked debates and raised eyebrows, further fueling tensions in the region.
The government intervened, enforcing regulations against displaying religious flags in public spaces, leading to protests in the village and triggering a broader saffron flag conflict across the state.
Amidst this turmoil, a mosque in Shivajinagar’s Chandni Chowk area made headlines for hoisting a Green flag atop a historic streetlight-flagpole, dating back over 100 years. BJP MLA Basanagouda R Patil Yatnal raised concerns about the green flag, linking its color to that of an enemy country, and urged its replacement with the national flag. The BJP questioned the Congress government over the flag, further intensifying the political wrangling.
Following the uproar, a tricolour flag replaced the green flag on Tuesday evening. Contrary to initial reports, the Shivajinagar police denied involvement, clarifying that they had not touched the flag. Muslim community leaders were informed by the police that the action was in adherence to regulations. Syed Akmal Pasha, a member of the Muslim community, opposed the police action, citing a 30-year tradition of hoisting the green flag during the annual Urs celebration.
Shivajinagar MLA Rizwan Arshad explained that the dargah overseeing the Urs celebration replaced the flag to avoid commotion as the event concluded. He justified the action, stating that the Urs typically spans a week, during which the green flag is hoisted annually. Critics argue that the Karnataka government’s actions, perceived as minority appeasement, are playing into petty politics, and voters are urged to deliver a strong message in the upcoming elections.
The controversy highlights the intersection of religious symbols, regulations, and political interests, leading to a broader discourse on the state’s approach to such matters. As the saffron flag conflict continues and various political figures weigh in, Karnataka finds itself at the center of a larger debate over the balance between religious practices, public spaces, and the role of the government in cultural and religious affairs.