Hyderabad: Muslim groups across the country will adopt the Tricolour national flag as their mascot in their fight against the just enacted CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), NRC (National Register of Citizens) and NPR (National Population Register) etc. A demonstration march to this effect was held in Hyderabad in a massive rally on Friday. Muslim groups would keep aside their green flags for a while.

The rally held under the aegis of the United Muslim Action Committee (UMAC) which includes Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and several other active groups of minorities. The rally attended by around one lakh people in the busy streets of the Old City before and after Friday prayers took the city police by surprise by its sheer size and emotions.

Owaisi has been urging Muslims to adopt the Tricolour as their flag in their fight against the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre which has enacted CAA and is in the process of rolling out other laws in the coming days. UMAC, at the behest of Owaisi, has agreed to accept the Tricolour as it reflects the Indian Constitution which has in its preamble the word  “secular”. “If saffron is the colour of BJP and other Hindutwa groups, Tricolour is ours as we are interested in upholding secularism in the country,” said Owaisi addressing the rally at Mir Alam Tank, where a wave of national flags were displayed by the crowds who lustily cheered his speech and raised slogans against the Centre and the CAA.

In any of the rallies held by either AIMIM or other Muslim outfits in Hyderabad, the green flags are a routine, but since recently, Owaisi has been urging them to keep it aside and take up the Tricolour so that they can counter the charge that they were all anti-nationals. Incidentally, green flags also reflect the national flag of Pakistan and other Islamic nations.

Now, the UMAC is planning to persuade Muslim groups across the country to follow suit and wave the Tricolour in their rallies and demonstrations. Much to the relief of the committee, different Muslim bodies and other Opposition parties which are backing them are ready to adopt the suggestion, sources in the AIMIM told this newspaper on Saturday.

Sources also explained that it was not easy to make them accept the Tricolour as the symbolic flag of resistance against the CAA and other laws on the citizenship. “Owaisi has taken pains to see that there was a need to involve all secular forces in the country including opposition parties to rally under a common flag and tricolor is best suited for it,” said an AIMIM legislator.

UMAC has passed a resolution at the 10 January rally that all Muslims and others who support them should boycott the NPR and NRC in whatever form they are taken up. “Please don’t give your Aadhaar details to any of the Census enumerators and whoever visits your houses,” Owaisi told the large gathering at Mir Alam Tank.

The Tricolour flag is more than okay to the Congress. The committee took out another rally last week at Indira Park in the heart of the city where more than 75,000 people, mostly Muslims, turned up. These flash rallies planned through the social media have taken police by surprise due to the numbers.

Some BJP leaders have lodged a complaint with police against the UAMC and Owaisi for dishonouring Tricolour flags at the Mir Alam Tank rally. A 3 km long flag was waved along the rally while youths had cut it and used as scarves. As if acknowledging the mistake, Owaisi appealed to Muslims to respect the Tricolour as it is crucial in their fight against the BJP-led government.

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