New Delhi: Mumbai: A white curtain, which was once considered to be a symbol of prosperity and peace, has become a symbol for violence, police in India said on Friday.
In the city, there are more than 1,500 white curtain rods, with the number rising to about 2,500 after the government imposed the ban on new-build housing.
The white curtain is used to mark the boundary between two adjoining villages, and the rods are often used as a warning to anyone trying to enter their area.
Police said they had been made aware of the new-built housing ban on Friday and were examining the possibility of putting up a white curtain as a permanent symbol.
“The circular area in which it was placed has been altered to include an outer wall with the circular rod as a marker,” said Ankit Sharma, a senior police official in the city.
The circular rod, he said, was meant to symbolise the ‘pom poms’ of the area, the houses in which the residents live, and hence should not be used as an indicator of a person’s wealth.
It has been used for decades as a symbol by families to indicate a person of wealth, and to indicate that they have enough food to survive on.
People from poor sections of society, who live in densely populated areas, often use the rods to mark their place of residence.
Rods are made of wood, metal or stone, and often have a hole in the middle to prevent the rods from being easily ripped open by someone trying to take them out.
They are also used to make candles and a variety of other household objects.
In the past, a white rod would have been seen as a sign of prosperity, but the government has made the rods mandatory in new-building housing projects in Mumbai.
On Friday, the Bombay High Court directed the Maharashtra government to take up the issue with the state government.
It asked the Maharashtra home ministry to ensure that a circular rod is not made of the same material as a white one, and also ensure that the rods have a metal rod or a wooden rod in the center, in case the white rod is used as warning.
Chief Justice of India J S Khehar had directed the government to ensure the safety of people living in the area.