The colour ‘green’ has been appropriated by one community. This community has every religious symbol donning green. Islam and the colour green have become synonymous with each other. This is not exclusive to India, but across the world – green and Islam go hand-in-hand.
Most Islamic nations have the colour green in their national flags. Their passports are coloured green. The offerings made to mosques and dargahs have dominant elements of the green shade. As such, this beautiful colour has become a taboo for Hindus to an extent. Hindus desist from using the colour green in their day-to-day lives, because of the Islamic connotations that have been associated with it over time.
Yet, this is not right. The colour green is not the copyrighted property of one single community or religion. In fact, it is universal in tone.
By the way, Hindus have historically associated much crucial value to the colour green, at least until the usage of it in Islamic practices, places of worship and homes was popularised. Today, green is not seen as a ‘Hindu’ colour, although it very much is. There is an immediate need to reclaim the colour green.
Green items, such as leaves, are used in many Hindu prayer rituals because the colour is representative of the natural world that the deities helped establish. Since the deities are associated with the colour green, it is symbolic of the happiness, peace and harmony that the deities bring to Hindus. Green also represents fertility, life and rebirth that are found in nature. India has always been an agricultural economy. As such, the colour green denotes the lifeline of India – farming.
The colour green is essential to Hindus and their practices. Worshipping nature is an integral part of Hindu thought. Nature, as mentioned earlier, is denoted best by green. During the nine-day festival of Navaratri, one day is reserved for wearing green clothes. Hindus consume food on banana leaves, which again, are green in colour. So, the colour green is not one which belongs to the Muslims alone. In fact, it belongs more so to Hindus, and it is about time that the community reclaims the colour back.
Wednesday is the day of greens. The day is ideal for planting trees, as green is the colour of the day. Keeping green plants at home, wearing green clothes and eating beans and gota mungdal on Wednesdays, are some standard Hindu practices. In light of such facts, does it not make sense for Hindus to stop distancing themselves from the colour, and instead embrace it?
The monopoly of one community over the colour green is, in part, a result of Hindus abandoning it. It is now time for Hindus to begin donning green and mainstreaming its usage. The colour green belongs just as much to Hindus as it does to Muslims, if not more.