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Symbol of Maratha pride saffron flag make people see red

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Continuing with the media coverage for the elections here is a story from the DNA.


The crux of the whole story is it wont be a cakewalk for Angadi this time as it was last time. I have also said the same thing on this blog. This election will be won based on Caste & language rather than on issues of development.


The month of May will not only see a new government at the Centre, but also the ‘rightful owner’ of the colour saffron in Belgaum.

One of the northernmost districts of Karnataka, Belgaum, has over two lakh Marathis. The Marathi population has been defiantly hoisting a saffron flag on the district municipal building since the 1950s.

The flag, they say, is a symbol of Maratha pride. Now the saffron colour and its symbolic connotations have become a major campaign issue. A fight is on between the Hindutva brigade and the Marathis over who ‘owns’ the colour.

Things turned awry on March 17 this year when the Marathis were not allowed to hoist the flag at the new municipal corporation building as a PIL had been filed in a local court against the practice. Matters became complicated when BJP MP Suresh Angadi decided to intervene. Swearing on Kannada pride, he fought with Marathi leaders and hoisted the flag.

This resulted in a clash between Angadi’s men and Kannada Rakshana Vedike activists, who accused the BJP MP of being anti-Kannada for letting the Marathis usurp the saffron colour.

In the melee, it dawned on Angadi that Maratha pride was all very well, but it would scupper his chances with the rest of the populace, including the 4.7 lakh Kannada-speaking lingayats in the area who traditionally supported the BJP due to chief minister BS Yeddyurappa.

With opponents like Amar Singh Patil of the Congress and AB Patil of the Janata Dal (S), both lingyats, Angadi realised that the general elections would not be a cakewalk.

To make matters worse, the Akhil Bharatiya Veera Shaiva Mahasabha (ABVSM), which decides on lingayat support to candidates, has not given its blessings to any party. 
When DNA spoke to Angadi, he appeared upset at suggestions that he had taken a partisan stand on the flag issue. “The colour saffron stands for Hindu pride. Hindu warriors have fought under the saffron flag for centuries. What Varun Gandhi has done for Hindus in the north, I have done for Hindus in Belgaum,” he said. When asked if that meant he was not interested in votes from Marathi-speaking residents of the district, he hastened to add, “Marathi and Kannada are like my two eyes. In Belgaum, one cannot see without both of them.”

When AB Patil was asked to comment on the war over saffron ownership, he preferred to remain quiet. Saffron, it seems, has managed to make people in Belgaum see red.


Source: DNA

3 thoughts on “Symbol of Maratha pride saffron flag make people see red”

  1. I am a Kannidga who is born and brought up in Belgaum. Marathas are an integral part of Belgaum and also Karnataka. I dont know why KRV has to held protests on flag hoist done in belgaum municapality. I have seen KRV fighting for all such unwanted reasons. Instead they should fight for the development of Belgaum and its surrounding villages and talukas as a district which is being neglected by political parties irrespective of whether a Maratha stays there or a Kannadiga. Coz. At the end its the people of the same country who get affected. Honestly in my perspective, just by hoisting a saffron flag. It does not divde the belgaum city or the people living in it. Its time that the people of the city have to wake and vote to the person who cares for the people not based on his language religion or caste but based human principles of equality to all.

  2. why is the hoisting of saffron flag such a big issue for the so called marathi representatives?why cant only the national flag be hoisted?these so called marathi manoos leaders have not paid enough attention towards development & are creating unwanted controversies during elections.

  3. no i do not agree saffron flag represent only maratha. saffron flag can be the symbol and pride of marathas,
    but it also the symbol of hinduism. open your eyes tell we all are barathiyas, why we need this communal war?
    if you are kannadiga or marathi, respect each other, kannadigs says jai buvanehwari and marathi's says jai bavani both are the same. bavani and buvaneshwari both are our mother. respect everything, we talk about unite in diversity, but where is that ? that too we give this speech at the time of independent day,, but later we fight in the name god, state, language, just recall vande matram,,
    swastik, om, shubh, labh, saffron flag, ankush, shanka, chakra, trishula, all are the holy symbols of hindus
    is not represent any state or language, jago india jago


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