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Bharatiya Janata Party, India

Last modified: 2015-05-17 by ian macdonald
Keywords: bharatiya janata party | bjp | lotus | saffron |
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Bharatiya Janata Party

[Flag of BJP] by Roman Kogovsek, 6 July 2005


See also:


About the flag

I saw the BJP flag on TV today and there is a small depiction at http://www.bjp.org/. I have not observed these parties too closely but I know that the symbol is usually a simple monochrome pictorial device on the ballot paper for the benefit of illiterate voters.
António Martins, 11 May 1999

Note: flag is usually represented in a 2:3 ratio.
Jaume Ollé, 23 May 1999

[Symbol of BJP] from the site. The symbol appears to be called Kamal Darshan (see ALT tag at http://www.bjp.org/index1.html). While they could have called it just kamal, meaning lotus, they have chosen a grandiose phrase, which loosely translates as lotus worship.

Ash Nallawalla, 23 February 1998

From http://www.bjp.org/organ.htm:

CONSTITUTION AND RULES

As amended by the National council at Gandhi Nagar (Gujarat) on 4th May, 1998

BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY CONSTITUTION AND RULES BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY

Article I :

NAME : The name of the Party shall be "Bharatiya Janata Party" (hereinafter referred to as "The Party").

Article V :

Flag: The Flag of the Party shall comprise of two vertical colours- saffron and green, in the ratio of 2:1 with the election symbol of the Party in blue colour in the middle of the saffron portion equal to half of its size. The green portion will be near the mast.

[My comment: I infer from this and the illustration that the total ratio of the flag is 1:3]

Article VI :

Election symbol : The election symbol of the Party shall be "Lotus."
Ivan Sache, 26 January 1999


Saffronizing the flag

There was recently an important debate, at least internal to the party, on the possible "saffronizing" of the flag of the Hindu party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). Up to now, the flag has a green stripe along the hoist, as prescribed by the party constitution and rules. On 9 April 2006, "The Times of India" reported that a journal of the RSS [the ultra-Hinduist organization allied to the BJP] had said: "BJP president Rajnath Singh is seriously contemplating changing the party's flag to completely saffron."
"Party sources agree that the BJP chief has been contemplating the idea, which appears like a suggestion for action from RSS, and feels the proposal could be acceptable within the party. The flag issue would have to be taken up by the national council for a decision, said party sources, adding that some other changes may also be thought of to "refurbish" the party's image. Obviously, the change in the party flag will have deeper ramifications in terms of its orientation.
The article leaves no doubt about the political and ideological orientation that such a change will entail as it states that "moreover, this colour has been under attack by the UPA's leaders [UPA is the government coalition ruled by the Congress Party, which unexpectedly defeated BJP] and saffronization as a word itself was turned into an abusive, unwanted object through their hate attacks. To have a complete saffron colour would be a fitting answer to Congress-Left appeasement policies and their anti-Hindutva drive."
Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1483127.cms

On 10 April, "The Times of India" reported that senior BJP leader L K Advani had denied any move to drop green colour from the party's flag and make it "totally saffron", saying the issue has not been discussed in the party. Asked about BJP President Rajnath Singh's reported comments in this regard, he said "I have spoken to him and he told me 'I have never said it'."
Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1484371.cms

On 11 April, the Chennai Online News Service reported that BJP chief Rajnath Singhhad said some of his party leaders had proposed a change in the colour of the party flag to full saffron. "Some senior party leaders have given me the idea but so far there has been no decision on carrying out changes in the present flag," he told reporters.
Source: http://www.chennaionline.com/

I have not found anything more recent on this question, so we can consider that the BJP flag has not been saffronized yet.
Ivan Sache
, 19 April 2006

According to "The Financial Express", 19 April 2006, BJP President Rajnath Singh ruled out changing the colour of the party flag. “The suggestion was discussed in detail at the party forum and was rejected,” he said in Bhadohi.
Source: http://www.financialexpress.com/latest_full_story.php?content_id=124376
Ivan Sache, 21 April 2006

According to the "Herald" (Goa), 2 May 2006, "the new Bharatiya Janshakti Party has also unequivocally made its saffron agenda crystal clear by adopting a saffron flag and the Aryan symbol of the rising sun."
Source: http://oheraldo.in/node/13062.
Ivan Sache, 3 May 2006


The last Mughal’s flag

Quoting "The Hindustan Times", 8 April 2008:

"BJP claims last Mughal’s flag

Did the last Mughal ruler design a flag with a lotus for the First War of Independence? The BJP has discovered one, which will be displayed on Tuesday when LK Advani and BJP chief Rajnath Singh flag off an event on Tuesday. According to party leaders, Bahadur Shah Zafar designed a green flag with a lotus on the top and a “roti”, which was used during the uprising.

“We have designed a similar flag for our function at the Red Fort,” said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar announcing the party’s programme to match the government’s plans to commemorate the 150th anniversary of 1857 uprising.
[...]"

BJP is Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People's Party), a conservative, nationalist party. Therefore, the "last Mughal's flag" should be considered with some caution.

Regarding the last Mughal, Lindsay Pereira writes:

"[...] Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Mohammed Bahadur Shah Zafar (1775-1862), son of Akbar Shah II, last of the Mughal emperors. A weak ruler, Zafar's reign was witness to unrest, British domination and the First War of Independence of 1857. He was nominated as a leader by nationalist forces and captured when the rebellion failed. Sadly, his sons were executed in his presence, and their severed heads presented to him.

The British exiled him to Rangoon (now Yangon, Myanmar). With his removal, the Mughal dynasty came to a close. The title Emperor of India was taken by Queen Victoria. Bahadur Shah died in exile on November 7, 1862 and is buried near Shwe Degon Pagoda, Yangon."
Source: http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/aug/30spec3.htm
Ivan Sache, 10 April 2008


Variants of the flag(?)

A report at http://bjpkarnataka.org/downloads/bjp-logo-and-flags contains an image titled http://bjpkarnataka.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/bjp-flag-_new.jpg. Is this a new flag?
Valentin Poposki, 26 May 2009

I wonder why this appears on the website of the Karnataka branch of the BJP. Looking at the main website, at www.bjp.org, I can't find any reference to a new flag. That website contains the party's constitution, and the section about the flag is identical to what we quote above, from 1999. Perhaps a watching brief on this one, unless someone better informed can tell us more ...
André Coutanche, 26 May 2009

[Flag of BJP] image by Randy Young and Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 5 April 2015

A photograph (seen at http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/photo/33714331.cms) shows a man at a political rally holding a variant of the BJP flag. The flag is divided vertically, green at the hoist and orange on the fly. This variant, however, shows the party's flower logo in yellow fimbriated blue on the orange field, and the party's acronym in white block letters in the green, "B" over "J" over "P."
Randy Young, 5 April 2015