New Delhi: Dramatic scenes were witnessed on Tuesday, as thousands of protesting farmers swarmed the Red Fort and hoisted flags on the lower ramparts of the historic landmark. Protesters who entered the Red Fort also put up a saffron-coloured flag on a pole inside the premises of the iconic monument in the national capital.Also Read - Who is Lakha Sidhana, Gangster-turned-Activist Named in Delhi's Tractor Rally Violence?
Soon after, social media was abuzz that a Khalistani flag was hoisted by the protesting farmers, triggering anger and outrage. Some claimed the national flag was taken off and farmers hoisted their flag in place of the Tricolour.
However, it was soon made clear that the flag was a Sikh Flag that is found in every Gurdwara and the same is carried invariably during religious processions. Also, the main Tricolour at the topmost pole at Red Fort remained untouched, contrary to several social media claims.
What is the ‘Nishan Sahib’?
The flag waved by the protesters is called “Nishan Sahib”, a triangular flag that represents Sikhism, and is sacred to Sikhs.
The emblem on the flag comprises of ‘Khanda’, a two-edged sword, Chakra, a disc, and two Kirpans that cross each other at the handles. This emblem was introduced during Guru Gobind Singh’s time and the Sikh community believe the Khanda to be a powerful tool that can differentiate truth from falsehood. It has also been said that Guru Gobind Singh used the Khanda to prepare amrit (holy nectar) by stirring it in sweetened water.
Apart from Gurdwaras, the flag is usually carried atop vehicles when people go for religious processions or even for religio-political gatherings, or during any movement.
The Nishan Sahib also holds immense significance for the Indian Army’s Sikh regiment. The flag is also present at every gurdwara of the Sikh Regiment and is treated with utmost respect and devotion by officers.
Khalistan supporters also use the Nishan Sahib as their symbol, but those flags have ‘Khalistan’ printed on them.