Mumbai, Feb. 13
The Maharashtra state election commission (SEC) has sought clarification from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) about the use of the seal (Rajmudra) of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on its new flag.
The notice has been issued by SEC Secretary Kiran Kurundkar on 5 February, 2020 seeking clarification from MNS about its new flag. MNS’s new saffron-coloured flag bearing the octagonal ‘Rajmudra’ (royal seal) of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at its centre, was unveiled by MNS chief Raj Thackeray at recent party convention in Mumbai. Whereas the party’s earlier flag had stripes of saffron, blue and green colour.
The state election commission has sent the notice to MNS, in response to a complaints made by the “Sambhaji Brigade”, “Jai Ho Foundation”, “Akhil Bharatiya Maratha Mahasangh”, R. R. Patil Foundation and other organisations.
Reacting to the charge, MNS leader Shirish Sawant claimed that the party is yet to receive any notice from the state election commission. Besides, the topic of party flag does not fall in the jurisdiction of the election commission.
Vinod Patil, President of R R Patil Foundation, said that he was pained to see the use of Rajmudra in the MNS flag and sought the state government’s action against the party. We have already written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackreay about this. There is a three-party government in the state. They should take action against the MNS. .We never thought that the royal seal of Shivaji Maharaj will be the part of MNS flag”.
Rajmudra is the Royal seal of Shivaji, the first Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire. The script is Devanagari and language Sanskrit. It is usually stamped on the head of the letter, and in some cases, back. Loosely translated, it reads, “Ever growing in splendour like the moon on the first day of the bright half of the month, and adored by the world, this seal of Shivaji, the son of Shahaji, shines for the benediction of all”.
It is believed that, Rajmudra was given to Shivaji Maharaj by his father Shahajiraje Bhosale when he (Shahajiraje) sent Jijabai (Shivaji’s mother) and young Shivaji to handle “Pune Jagir” (estate). The earliest letter found containing this ‘authenticity stamp’ is from the year 1639.
The rules related to the use of national emblem in school textbooks, books on history, art or culture or in any other form have been stipulated in the Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act 2005.
As per the Indian Copyright Act 1957, anonymous works, photographs, cinematographic works, sound recordings, government works, and works of corporate authorship or of international organizations enter the public domain 60 years after the date on which they were first published, counted from the beginning of the following calendar year (ie. as of 2020, works published prior to 1 January 1960 are considered public domain). Posthumous works (other than those above) enter the public domain after 60 years from publication date. Any other kind of work enters the public domain 60 years after the author’s death. Text of laws, judicial opinions, and other government reports are free from copyright. Photographs created before 1960 are in the public domain 50 years after creation, as per the Copyright Act 1911. It is to be seen whether MNS’s new flag violates existing rules.
MNS was founded in 2006 after Raj Thackeray split from Shiv Sena. Lately, the party was not performing well enough in elections. Now, with Shiv Sena holding the secular flag, MNS has switched on to Hindutva. Last Sunday it had also organised a mammoth pro-CAA/NRC/NPR rally in Mumbai.