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No, India’s Tricolour Wasn’t ‘Supplanted’ by Sikh Flag at Red Fort

Times Now wrongly claimed that the Indian flag was “supplanted” at Red Fort.

Updated
India
2 min read
Nishan Sahib at Red Fort.
i

On Tuesday 26 January, farmers protesting the Narendra Modi government’s farm laws reached Delhi's Red Fort and hoisted the Nishan Sahib, which is considered holy for Sikhs.

English news channel Times Now claimed that the Indian tricolour was "supplanted" and the Nishan Sahib was hoisted in its place.

No, India’s Tricolour Wasn’t ‘Supplanted’ by Sikh Flag at Red Fort
(Photo: Screenshot)

The channel also accused the protesters of desecrating a national symbol. The same claim was amplified by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, senior journalist Rahul Shivshankar, a handle called Pakistan First and various other users.

But, this claim is not true. The mast where the protesters hoisted the Nishan Sahib was empty. The Indian national flag continued to remain hoisted on top of the Red Fort and wasn’t disturbed by protesters.

This older picture from Red Fort shows clearly that the place where the Nishan Sahib was hoisted is usually empty.

No, India’s Tricolour Wasn’t ‘Supplanted’ by Sikh Flag at Red Fort
(Wikipedia)
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The Nishan Sahib symbolises the presence of the Khalsa and hence is hoisted at every Gurdwara premises.

Here is the Nishan Sahib at the Harmandir Sahib complex in Amritsar.

No, India’s Tricolour Wasn’t ‘Supplanted’ by Sikh Flag at Red Fort
(Photo: Wikipedia)

The Nishan Sahib is a triangular flag and not the same as the Khalistan flag. There is no official flag of Khalistan but most of the flags carried by pro-Khalistan outfits are rectangular and different from the Nishan Sahib. Here are some versions of the Khalistan flag.

Pro-Khalistan protesters, joined by a few Pakistanis and Kashmiris, held a protest outside the United Nations in New York on Thursday, August 15, 2019, demanding the reinstatement of Kashmir
Pro-Khalistan protesters, joined by a few Pakistanis and Kashmiris, held a protest outside the United Nations in New York on Thursday, August 15, 2019, demanding the reinstatement of Kashmir
Over 10,000 Sikhs at the Pro Khalistan London Declaration, to announce Non-Binding Referendum In 2020, for Punjab independence.
Over 10,000 Sikhs at the Pro Khalistan London Declaration, to announce Non-Binding Referendum In 2020, for Punjab independence.
(Photo courtesy: Twitter/Pannun_lawyer)

Rather than the idea of Khalistan, the inspiration for the protesters’ act comes from Baghel Singh, the Sikh general who had hoisted the flag at Red Fort after emerging victorious in his conflict against Mughals.

No, India’s Tricolour Wasn’t ‘Supplanted’ by Sikh Flag at Red Fort

The Nishan Sahib also holds immense significance for the Indian Army’s Sikh regiment.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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