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Pakistan-Like Crescent and Star Green Flags in India’s Kolkata City Stirs Controversy

Firhad Hakim on Monday became the first Muslim since independence to be elected as the Kolkata mayor. Hakim said his victory was also a “moral defeat” for the BJP.

NEW YORK (Dec 5, 2018) — The Newly elected Muslim mayor of Indian city Kolkata reportedly appeared to be in the crosshairs of a controversy when some social media users shared photos of his party flag on the internet alleging the new Muslim mayor had put up Pakistani national flags on city streets.

The flags are green with crescent and the star in the center. Like several cases before, this flag, commonly used by people of Islamic faith, has been misportrayed. India remains heightened with polarity ever since Modi and his party BJP came into power on the back of Hindutva.

Recent attempts of offer for talks by Pakistan’s newly elected PM Imran Khan were shunned by Modi government. Pakistan is India’s neighbor which considers the former its arch rival.

Pakistan’s national flag is different and has a white patch on the left.

Firhad Hakim, new mayor of Kolkata

The Pakistan’s national flag is a green field representing Islam while a vertical white stripe at the hoist side symbolizes religious minorities, and the white crescent moon and a five-rayed star at its center, symbolizing progress and light respectively.

India had such issues in past when Pakistan flags have been put up during India-Pakistan cricket matches in Mumbai and recently when Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s upcoming film Bharat’s Wagah border scene required Pakistan’s flag to be put up on Indian soil.

Firhad Hakim, the West Bengal minister for urban development and municipal affairs on Monday became the first Muslim since independence to be elected as the Kolkata mayor.

Hakim secured 121 votes in the 144-member Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to win the mayoral election. BJP’s Meena Devi Purohit bagged five votes, while 12 Left Front and two Congress Councillors had boycotted the election.

The result of the election, conducted through secret ballots, was announced by the city’s civic body’s municipal secretary, Harihar Prasad Mondal. It was necessitated following the resignation of Sovan Chatterjee from the post on November 22.

Hakim said his victory was also a “moral defeat” for the BJP.

Hakim, was chosen as the mayor designate by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) Councillors on November 22 in the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

After being elected the 29th mayor of the city since independence, Hakim said he should be known by his work and not by his religion and spelt out various development initiatives.

“I will work for the development and beautification of the city. I will work towards making the city pollution-free,” he said.

Hakim said the people would get tax rebates if they took up efforts to plant trees in their houses. He also stressed on waste management and recycling to keep the city clean.






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