There is an uproar on the Home Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram's remarks in a meeting with police officers in India. Mr. Chidambaram expressed his concerns about a phenomenon called "saffron terror". The use of this phrase is understood to suggest something more than the colour of terrorists. The home minister was certainly not talking about a code worded plot of terrorists. He was referring to a concept as understood by him and others who might be agreeing to his approach to handling law and order in our country.
It is not an easy situation after these remarks.
The home minister of a country like India is a very powerful person. The police officers present there in that meeting also wield a huge amount of power.
It is likely that many people would now start packing their baggages with more care when they leave for out-of-station visits. In case the baggage is checked and a saffron dress is found by the police officer on duty, it might be construed to be indicating to the same phenomenon that the honourable home minister mentioned.
And what if there is a religious book in the baggage? Most of the religious books published for majority community carry a cloth cover which is also saffron. What should be the plan of action in such a situation?
Then there is a problem with spiritual discourses too. The majority community preachers come dressed in saffron. Are we supposed to attend such spiritual discourses in future or we should avoid them till the preachers change the colour of their dress? After all, post the instructions and guidelines from the home minister, the saffron colour clothed spiritual preachers might be subject of police investigations and all those who attend such discourses could be called to the police station for extended inquiries!
Where all is the colour saffron used? It is present in our national flag too. We have so much pride in our national flag and the saffron, white and green colours on our flag have meanings that are unquestionable.
During the festival of colours - HOLI - we might have a problem if the law enforcement agencies doubt our motive in using saffron colour. One should be cautious there.
And yes, very important, in the drawing classes that our kids attend to in their schools, we must be watchful whether the teacher is more focussed on saffron colour. We must regularly scrutinize the drawing books when kids come back from schools and look for any signs of this saffron phenomenon.
This is becoming a serious and daunting task Mr. Home Minster. The implications are huge.
The majority community in India might be in need for a major change at cultural, traditional and spiritual levels if this wave of thought catches momentum. But we have no choice after your remarks Sir. You are too powerful to be questioned about the propriety of your remarks! We are just a speck of dust in front of your powers and the forces.
But we are committed to work on nation buliding and we are hopeful that you would allow us to participate in spite of our seemingly doubtful background after your meaningful remarks as we have so much association with this single colour - Saffron.