Saffron colour dominates poll season

Saffron colour dominates poll season

Saffron shawl and turban have become a brand identity of ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign of BJP.

The saffron colour, by and large, has been linked to the ‘Hindutva’ and BJP as its leaders subscribe to Hindutva ideology.

With elections fast approaching, both Congress and BJP have intensified the campaign to woo voters in many ways. BJP has been portraying saffron as its party colour and saffron turban has become a trademark of the party’s ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign now. 

Surprisingly, even Congress leaders have been sporting saffron shawls these days. This unconventional move has become a topic of heated debate on social media and instances of the so-called saffronisation politics are being raked up by the Twitterati and Facebook users.

The pictures of Congress leaders, including those of the Congress candidate Mithun Rai wearing a saffron shawl, are being widely circulated on social media. BJP has been quick to respond that the saffron shawls on Congress leaders are an election gimmick with an eye on the Hindu vote bank.

Several social media posts scream out, “Congress leaders, wearing saffron shawls, have actually made Hindus proud and Congress leaders have realised the importance of saffron finally”.

‘On Indian flag too’

District In-charge Minister U T Khader begs to differ by declaring that the saffron colour stands for sacrifice.

Khader said, “The saffron colour is also part of the Indian flag. But saffron colour is not an indication of Hindu religion alone and green is not an indication of Islam alone. In fact, there are saffron banners in several Dargahs, including the famous Ajmer Dargah. Does wearing a T-shirt of green colour, make him or her pro-Islamic?”

Khader added that it will be a narrowmindedness to connect a particular colour with a religion or vote bank.

About the photographs showing him wearing the saffron shawl, Khader said he was presented a saffron shawl during a religious programme and he wore it out of humility to respect the feelings of the organisers of the particular programme. This has nothing to do with elections, he added.

Earlier instances with the colour

Many Congress leaders, who are actively involved in the religious front, did wear saffron cloth during religious programmes and did not consider it as offensive. However, such instances were rare as it was not well received within the party cadre. 

A few years ago, former Union minister B Janardhana Poojary had taken Congress leader Vijayanatha Vittala Shetty to task for wearing a saffron dhoti during a campaign organised by the party. Poojary was irked to such an extent that he had ordered Shetty to go out of the hall.