Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri on Monday said it was amusing that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), whose advice was followed by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “particularly in dividing people on religious lines”, was suddenly claiming to be the torch-bearer of the national flag.
In a statement, Mr. Alagiri said the Congress’ contribution to the Indian freedom struggle cannot be whitewashed by anyone. “But the BJP has suddenly got very patriotic about the national flag, and is trying to appropriate the flag. While we don’t have any second opinion about anyone, including the BJP, accepting the Tricolour, we have a duty to point out the BJP’s sudden fondness for the flag,” Mr. Alagiri said.
Alleging that the RSS controlled Mr. Vajpayee, and was controlling Mr. Modi, Mr. Alagiri pointed out that except on August 15, 1947 and January 26, 1950, the RSS did not hoist the national flag at its headquarters for 52 years. “This only proves that the RSS and the BJP do not have real patriotism when it comes to our national flag,” he claimed.
Mr. Alagiri called upon the Congress cadre to celebrate the 75th year of Independence in a grand manner. “The RSS and the BJP, which did not have any role in the freedom struggle, are taking steps to celebrate Independence Day with various events. I call upon all the Congress cadre to celebrate Independence Day in a befitting manner to establish our contribution to the freedom struggle and our rights,” he said. He asked the cadre to participate in the events being organised from August 9 to 14 across Tamil Nadu.