India at 75: Like every year Muslims celebrate Independence Day with fervor

Indian Muslims taking out a tiranga rally. | Twitter Video Screengrab

Social media platforms were inundated with thousands of pictures of people posing with the national flag to mark India’s 75th Independence Day. 

Ubair ul Hameed |

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NEW DELHI — On the eve of India’s 75th Independence Day, Muslims across the country celebrated the “Har Ghar Tiranga” campaign exhibiting enthusiasm and vigour which is typically displayed on every occasion of national importance. Muslim institutions, including universities like Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia, religious seminaries and mosques hoisted the national flag on their buildings. 

Social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook were inundated with thousands of selfies with the tricolour by ordinary citizens, including Muslims. 


RSS “forced” to flaunt tricolour on social media
Facing criticism for its opposition to the national flag and favouring the saffron flag, the Hindu right-wing outfit Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) finally changed its profile pictures on social media to the national flag on August 14. The RSS also released a video of the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat hoisting the tricolour on August 15. 

Taking to social media, the Congress media and publicity head, Pawan Khera, tweeted, ‘After tremendous pressure for a week, a sheepish @RSSorg finally changes profile pictures to #Tiranga’.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 3 urged social media users this week to change their display profiles to tricolour to mark the 75th year of Independence. Several opposition leaders pointed out that the prime minister’s endeavour failed to move RSS. The RSS had not followed the Prime Minister’s request. The organisation’s official Twitter handle nor its chief Mohan Bhagwat heeded the prime minister’s appeal. 

A common question several opposition leaders posed was “Why no tricolour in RSS ‘ghar’ to mark PM Modi’s ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ initiative?”

An RSS leader told the media that the organisation does not take decisions under pressure. 

Congress leader Pawan Khera tweeted the screenshots of the RSS and its chief Mohan Bhagwat’s profile photos, with a message, “Sangh walon, ab toh tiranga ko apna lo (The people of the Sangh, at least adopt the tricolour now)”.

Senior Congress leader and MP Jairam Ramesh tweeted on August 3, “We are putting the DP of our leader (Jawaharlal) Nehru with a tricolour in his hands. But it seems that the message of the Prime Minister did not reach his family. Those who did not hoist the flag in their headquarters in Nagpur for 52 years, will they obey the Prime Minister?”

All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Derek O’ Brien also criticised the RSS. “In the build up to #IndependenceDay looking for a pic for my DP… If any of you have a picture of Savarkar, Golwalkar, Mukherjee or Hedgewar holding or hoisting the Tricolour, please send me…P.S. RSS never hoisted the Tricolor on their HQ for over 50 years,” he said in a tweet. 

All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi on August 4 questioned RSS in a tweet. “RSS had rejected independent India and the flag. RSS mouthpiece Organiser, reflecting its views that bhagwa flag be the national flag (17.7.47),” he said. 

Responding to these criticisms, on August 3 the RSS said that it had from the start supported the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ initiative and the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebration.


Ubair ul Hameed is a fellow with the SEED-TCN Mentorship Program. He tweets at @UbairUlHameed