Disha Ravi toolkit case: Separatist flags were not raised at Red Fort, ASG’s claim false

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On February 22, a Delhi Sessions Court granted bail to 22-year-old local weather activist Disha Ravi topic to 2 sureties of Rs 1 lakh every. She had been in judicial custody since February 14 for ‘editing’ a toolkit supporting farmers’ protest. Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg was amongst those that had shared the toolkit and ASG SV Raju, showing for the Delhi police, argued that the toolkit suggests a ‘foreign conspiracy’ towards India and is linked to the violence that befell in Delhi on Republic Day.

ASG, as reported by Bar & Bench, had mentioned in court docket simply days earlier than Ravi’s launch, “A separatist flag was put on Red Fort. Hundreds of policemen were injured.”

‘Khalistan flag’ claims widespread since Republic Day violence

On January 26, some teams amongst protestors who gathered for the farmers’ tractor rally veered off the course and were met with police lathi-charge and tear gasoline. Several demonstrators entered the Red Fort and hoisted flags on the enduring monument.

The claim that the Khalistani flag was hoisted at the Red Fort has been circulating on social media for the reason that violence. At the time, Alt News had debunked two movies used to claim that the protesters eliminated the Indian nationwide flag and changed it with the Khalistani flag on Red Fort. You can learn our detailed experiences right here – 1 and a couple of.

Soon after, one other video of two flags raised under the Indian nationwide flag was shared to additional the identical claim. The video confirmed a couple of protesters on high of the fort hoisting yellow and saffron-coloured flags under the tricolour.

Quote-tweeting the video posted by Twitter deal with @rosy_K01, actress Kangana Ranaut had mentioned, “Chatukaar media who is reporting Khalistan flag wasn’t hoisted is lying. Beware of them”. At the time of writing this text, her tweet garnered shut to five,000 retweets. The unique tweet has been marked as manipulated media by Twitter.

Film director Vivek Agnihotri, typically discovered amplifying misinformation on Twitter, posted the identical clip and mentioned, “This is the truth which today all kinds of Rajdeeps and Secular gang will try to whitewash. Pl don’t let that happen. Defeat India’s biggest enemies – #UrbanNaxals”. The tweet gathered shut to three,000 retweets.

FACT-CHECK

Alt News regarded for high-resolution pictures of the incident on Getty Images and located {a photograph} the place the textual content written over the flag is legible.

YELLOW FLAG

We have in contrast the yellow flag hoisted atop the Red Fort with footage of the identical flag carried through the protests. The textual content inscribed on the flag is ‘ਰਾਜ ਕਰੇਗਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ’ (the Khalsa shall rule).

According to The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies, ‘ਰਾਜ ਖਾਲਸੇ ਕਰੇਗਾ (the Khalsa shall rule)’ is a verse launched by the tenth Sikh guru Guru Gobind Singh. This is a well-liked verse generally inscribed on spiritual flags of the Sikh group. It can also be part of the Ardas (prayer) recited at Gurudwaras.

The full verse says, “Raj karega khalsa aki rahe nu koi; khwar hoi sub milenge, bache saran jo hoi.” (The Khalsa shall rule, no enemy shall exist, pissed off ones will submit and people searching for shelter shall be protected.)

The verse is utilized in in style tradition. For occasion, the textual content ‘ਰਾਜ ਕਰੇਗਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ’ inscribed on a yellow colored flag was the profile image of a Twitter user final energetic in July 2018. The identical flag was posted on Facebook web page ‘ਰਾਜ ਕਰੇਗਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ (The Khalsa shall rule)’. The verse has additionally been featured in in style Punjabi songs by Daler Mehndi and Diljit Dosanjh.

Akali Dal chief Manjinder Singh Sirsa had shared his views on the verse three years in the past – “#RajKaregaKhalsa I will say this thousand times, million times, neither the Supreme Court has banned it nor will it ever be banned.”

On January 31, Kangana Ranaut tweeted an article by right-wing propaganda web site OpIndia which alluded that the rectangle form of the flags deemed them Khalistan flags.

OpIndia’s article claimed, “As can be seen, there is no consistency in the Khalistan flag, but the Nishan Sahib has always been saffron triangular flag. Whether the yellow rectangle flag without the words “Khalistan” falls underneath Khalistan flag or the Nishan Sahib, is anyone’s guess.”

However, Khalistani flags seen across the world could be solely recognized if they’ve “Khalistan” inscribed on them. We contacted Amandeep Sandhu, creator of ‘Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines’, who knowledgeable us, “There is no legitimate, universally agreed upon Khalistan flag. Some make it rectangular, some triangular. All they do is write the word Khalistan on the Sikh flag.”

“Flags are one of the chief icons of any organised set of human beings – teams, unions, or states. Normally, flags are decided by the people who belong to these organisations or their elected or nominated members. Sometimes, they are accepted through conventions such as for a community, and even nations such as Austria, Latvia, Denmark, others,” he defined.

OpIndia’s claim that Nishan Sahibs are all the time triangular and saffron doesn’t maintain water.

For occasion, the form and color of the flag within the digital animation video ‘Nishan Sahib‘ posted below are rectangular and saffron. The part ‘Raj Karega Khalsa’ of Sikh prayers is enjoying within the background.

To additional verify if the flag could be linked with Khalistan, Alt News contacted unbiased journalist Sandeep Singh. He shared a video from the farmers’ protest the place a person holding a yellow colored flag inscribed with the slogan ‘Raj Karega Khalsa’. Hoshiarpur-resident Sukhwinder Singh refuted the claim that the flag represents the Khalistan flag. “We link this with the Nishan Sahib. If others want to link it with Khalistan they may. We don’t care but this is the symbol of our Khalsa,” he mentioned.

HISTORICAL CONTEXT

An previous watercolour portray from the 1860s exhibits a rectangular-shaped Nishan Sahib with a stable mild internal part and a darker border alongside its edges at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. “The shapes of these Nishan Sahibs are more rectangular with an irregular edge. All other Nishan Sahibs including the modern banner have always had a triangular shape with straight edges,” says the web site Sikh Museum curated by Sikh historian Sandeep Singh Brar. Therefore traditionally the Nishan Sahib were rectangle in form.

RECTANGLE NISHAN SAHIB POPULAR OUTSIDE INDIA

We discovered that these rectangular formed yellow colored Nishan Sahib are prominently seen within the United States and Canada. In the month of May this yr, Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh additionally posted a picture of an oblong Nishan Sahib that was hoisted “beside the US flag for one month to honour the Sikh community towards the pandemic, in the city of Holyoke, USA”.

Nishan Sahib flags in yellow color and rectangle form were raised at Parliament Hill by the Sikh group in Canada to have a good time Sikh Heritage Month. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Moreover, a search on Amazon exhibits that rectangular-shaped Nishan Sahibs are offered within the United Kingdom (1, 2).

SAFFRON FLAG

We once more in contrast the flag unfurled on the Red Fort with one other saffron flag held by a supporter of the tractor parade.

A easy Google search reveals that the flag is the Nishan Sahib, readily available out there. The textual content inscribed on the flag ‘ਡੇਗ ਤੇਗ ਫਤਿਹ, ਪੰਥ ਦੀ ਜਿੱਤ (Degh tegh fateh, Panth ki jeet)’ can also be a part of the Ardas, Sikh spiritual prayer.

“Degh is the kettle and symbolises the means of feeding the poor. Tegh means the sword and symbolizes the power to protect the weak and the helpless. Fateh means victory. The whole couplet means that grace, power and victory have been obtained (by the Khalsa) from Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh. It is a very apt motto chosen by Banda Singh Bahadur as it summarises some of the cherished ideals of Sikhism,” wrote Dr H.S. Singha in his guide ‘Sikh Studies‘.

Furthermore, ‘Panth ki jeet’ actually means the victory of the group or the sect.

The full verse reads, “Jahaa Jahaa Khaalsaa Ji Saahib, Tahaa Tahaa Ruchhiya Riyaait, Deg Teg Fateh, Bira Ki Paij, Panth Ki Jeet, Sree Saahib Ji Sahaai Khaalse Ji Ko Bol Baaley, Bolo Ji Waheguru.”

Its translation by Australia’s Gold Coast Sikh Council reads, “Wherever respected Khalsa is present, give your protection and grace; may the free kitchen and sword never fail; maintain the honour of your devotees; confer victory upon the Sikh people; may the respected sword always come to our assistance; may the Khalsa always get honours; Utter Waheguru (Wondrous God).”

A video of Sikh spiritual flags hoisted at the Red Fort was broadly shared on social media to falsely claim that Khalistan flags were raised by protestors of farm payments. Over the previous month, Alt News has investigated a number of claims of Khalistani flags being hoisted on the Red Fort. However, none of those claims are true and due to this fact, there is no such thing as a foundation for ASG SV Raju to counsel the identical in a court docket of regulation. All claims of Khalistani flags being raised at the Red Fort are false.

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