A troll news outlet masquerading as a newspaper The Telegraph is spooked. Reason is paint on tree trunks in Lakshadweep.
In Hindi, there is a phrase, “पीलिया के मरीज को सब पीला दिखता है” (a jaundice patient sees everything yellow). Essentially it means a person sees things the way the mind has prejudiced it.
Hence, when Lakshadweep administration painted the trees on the pavement white and red, The Telegraph suddenly cried ‘saffron’. Calling it ‘Sangh Parivar’ agenda in a Muslim dominated region, The Telegraph thought the painted trunks on trees is a ‘sinister’ move to turn the island into ‘another Kashmir’.
Congress leader Thaha Mallika tells The Telegraph that a lot of trees across India are painted in such red colour, but this ‘choice of colour’ (which is actually same brick red but Mallika sees it as ‘saffron’) has a ‘motive’ to provoke the population of the island.
Congress leader claimed that under ‘normal times’, the colour of paint on trees would not matter, but because of ‘Patel’s agenda’, people are upset at the choice of colour. He even went on to claim that painting the trees “saffron” was unfair as it was done when people were staying at home because of COVID.
In fact, this deranged piece in The Telegraph was triggered after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan passed a resolution in Kerala Assembly demanding that the Lakshadweep administrator Praful Khoda be recalled. This was also backed by the opposition. Their issue was with the ‘attempts’ of ‘Sangh Parivar’ to ‘impose their agenda’ on the people of Lakshadweep who would not even want to keep Mahatma Gandhi’s statue because of ‘unspoken’ Shariat. You see, a statue hurts the religious sentiments. Bamyan Buddha statues, anyone?
Pinarayi Vijayan was the first to mistake red for saffron where he claimed that even the coconut trees are ‘painted saffron’. Vijayan not being able to identify the very colour of his own party (red) would have been funny if the dislike for saffron wasn’t a garb to hate on Hindus. Obviously the ‘saffronisation’ is a euphemism for all things Hindus.
First things first, the colour painted on the trees is red and white and not saffron.
As one can see, the colour on the right is saffron, the one which is not right is red.
Secondly, what kind of population gets triggered over colours? What does it say about the tolerance level of people if they were to get ‘provoked’ by paint on trees?
And thirdly but most importantly, trees on pavements have been painted, mostly in such white and brick red colour, across India since decades now for multiple reasons. This work is also usually carried out by the administration like corporations. Tree trunks are usually painted red and white using Sinopia (geru) and lime.
Apparently, one of the reasons to paint trees is to make the termites and other bugs and pests averse to the trees. A coat of paint over them also avoids spread of fungus. The white paint acts as reflector at night especially on main roads and highways. Sometimes, fungicides and insecticides are mixed with the paints to protect them from fungal diseases.
The Telegraph may have woken up from slumber today, but people have seen and been curious about the colourful trees on Indian pavements since years. Apparently sometimes trees are also painted to denote that they are protected trees and felling them is not allowed unless authorised by competent authority.