Supreme Court seeks Centre's stand on plea to ban green flags with crescent and star
Senior advocate S.P. Singh told the court that during the petitioner's visit to Mumbai, Hyderabad, Karnataka and other places in the country, he saw flags on several buildings and religious structures
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to respond to a plea seeking a ban on green flags with a crescent and a star, claiming that these flags are “un-Islamic, can flare passions, tensions and that they also resemble flags of Pakistan’s political party Muslim League”. The PIL, filed by chairman of Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board Waseem Rizvi, however, did not go well with the Muslim community who said such flags are very much part of the community in India.
The petition, which sought a ban on hoisting green flags with a crescent and a star at buildings and religious places across the country, was heard by a bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan. In his petition, Rizvi has claimed that such flags allegedly cause tension between the Hindu and Muslim communities.
The plea said that the crescent star flags in green owe its origin to the political party of an “enemy country”. Although used by the Indian Muslims as Islamic flags, these flags have no role or significance in Islam, said the petitioner.
Founder of advocacy group Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan Zakia Soman critisised Rizvi for his petition and even accused him of being politically motivated. She said, “The tricolour is supreme but at the same time, pluralism and diversity in the society has to be upheld. Green flags and saffron flags are part of the society and this is not an issue at all. Different cultural groups may have different symbols and logos and this is well permitted by the Constitution. The Supreme Court should take a serious view on why it’s time is being wasted.”
Soman added that the crescent star flags in green certainly hold importance in Islam and has cultural value among Muslims. “Green signifies trees, life, and water and because Islam was born in a desert land, green holds importance in Islam. Allah is believed to be the creator of the universe so; cresent and star signify elements of the universe. Senior member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, too did not appear impressed with the PIL. “Though there is no mention of such flags in the Quran, it cannot be termed Islamic. The Board will give a detailed view on the matter if the court asks us to do so.”
The green colour owes its origins to the erstwhile Muslim League, founded by Nawab Viqar ul-Mulk and Mohammad Ali Jinnah in 1906. But now, it was being used by Indian Muslims who were treating it as an Islamic flag.