AHMEDABAD: A 13-year-old Muslim girl in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad city has vowed to unfurl the national flag at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on Independence Day.
When asked about her inspiration behind this, 13-year-old Tanzeem Merani told ANI that she has always been reading about the Pakistani and ISIS flags being hoisted in Kashmir, adding the people in the Valley are under so much pressure that they can’t even hoist their national flag.
“I have seen it many times on TV, in newspapers and have heard also that it is a part of India. It is India’s soil still, Pakistan and ISIS flags are hurled there. I have been hearing this since a long time. Then one day I asked my daddy that why is it so. He told me some negative points as well that this will happen if you go there. So, I told him it is not bad to do something for the country and we should not be afraid,” she said.
“When our flag is disrespected then we sit at our homes and voice our opinion against such people. Why don’t we ever think to go there and hoist our flag if it is being disrespected there?” she said.
Responding to a poser if she would be able to successfully complete her endeavor since she has not taken permission, Tanzeem said that no permission is needed to enter one’s own country and threatened to go on a hunger strike if permission is denied to her.
“It is our Indian soil and we don’t need any permission to go there. And if the army will not let me go there then I’ll go on a hunger strike and will request them to let me go there,” she said.
“I want to give the message of peace and harmony to all and I’m a proud Indian,” Tanzeem added.
The girl’s father said that she always had such thoughts of doing something for the nation, adding she shared the same sentiments during veteran social activist Anna Hazare’s agitation.
When asked that he had not yet sought permission from the government, he said, “I’m unable to understand that do I have to seek permission to sit in my mother’s lap…Whom should I ask? We have not taken permission because I believe so. As far as terrorism is concerned, I am not afraid. Whatever will happen, god is with us.”
The girl’s father, however, admitted the fact that it was not apt to hoist the national flag in Lal Chowk at this point of time.
“I know it’s not the right time to go there, but tell me till when should we wait. There is curfew on every 15th August and January 26 which comes once every year. If this will continue for years till when should we wait. Somewhere there needs to be a beginning and my daughter has made that beginning and we have supported her,” he said.
Backing his daughter’s resolve, the father said that they want to spread the message of Hindu-Muslim unity and encourage the girls.
The chairman of Tanzeem’s school has written a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) urging that the girl is provided permission to hoist the tri-colour besides ample security cover during her visit to Srinagar.
The girl is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the national capital tomorrow and put forth her concerns.