RSS continues to defy India’s Flag code even 70 years after Independence

The school authorities not only defied the Kerala government order, but also the flag code of the country

PTI Photo
PTI Photo

Ashlin Mathew

Kerala is where RSS, despite its best efforts, is falling short of its own expectations. The leaders and their acolytes seem to be willing to even defy orders to stay in the limelight. Maybe this is what they think of any law, that they can be bended.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had hoisted the National Flag on August 15 at a government-aided school in Palakkad. This was in spite of an order issued late on August 14, by Palakkad District Collector P Marykutty to V Sreekumar, headmaster of the Karnakiamman Higher Secondary School, Palakkad, stating that according to the law, only office heads or elected people’s representatives should hoist the flag on the occasion of Independence Day in government and government-aided schools.

“I came to know of the event only on August 14 in a daily report that is submitted by the police on the activities that would happen in the district the next day. As soon as I saw it, I called the headmaster of the school. I informed him about the government rule that I know of. When I understood that the school would still continue with the programme, I issued the order,” said Marykutty.

“According to my education and knowledge, government-aided schools can only allow government officials, elected persons or office heads to hoist the flag. Organisational heads cannot hoist the flag in a school. This is not a private school,” added Marykutty.

A circular issued by the Directorate of Public Instruction on August 5 stated that ‘Independence Day celebrations in educational institutions should be conducted appropriately and that the flag hoisting should be done by the Head of the Institution or any elected representative of the people’.

Marykutty insists that she would have followed the same procedure with any government organisation. “They didn’t follow rules. I have submitted the report to the government. If it were a private organisation, then I would not have issued the order,” said Marykutty.

The school authorities not only defied the Kerala government order, but also the flag code of the country. The Flag Code of India states that “the flag salutation will be followed by the National Anthem”. “But at the function, after hoisting the Tricolour, instead of singing the National Anthem, Vande Mataram was sung. Is this violation not an insult to the National Anthem,” asked MB Rajesh, Member of Parliament from Palakkad.

The Flag Code also states that: “The Headmaster will return the salute. Then the Flag will be unfurled. The school student leader may assist”. “After Bhagwat hoisted the Tricolour in Karnakiyamman High School, Palakkad, the assembly was dispersed even without singing the National Anthem. When someone reminded them, then the people who had remained there sung the National Anthem when the guests had already left,” added Rajesh.

“This was intentional and aimed at provoking the state. As peace and normalcy is prevailing in the state, the RSS is not happy with it. It is shocking that its chief is trying to ignite provocation and disrupt peace,” said Rajesh.

This is the same organisation which, through its mouthpiece Organiser in 1947, had stated that they did not agree that ‘The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the Tricolour, but it never (sic) be respected and owned by Hindus’.

National Herald’s multiple attempts to reach V. Sreekumar proved futile. His wife would answer the calls, only to state that he was busy all the time.

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Published: 18 Aug 2017, 8:45 PM