All the government schools in Jammu and Kashmir held the Independence day ceremonies today — marking India’s freedom anniversary from British rule 75 years ago — as they unfurled the national flag and sang the national anthem, following the directions of the Jammu and Kashmir administration.
The administration in Jammu and Kashmir had earlier directed officers to hoist the national flag inside the premises of government offices and buildings to celebrate ‘Aazadi Ka Maha Utsav’. The government-run schools at district and cluster level were ordered to hoist the flag and sing the national anthem and upload the videos on a government website.
“Today is our Independence day. On this day our country, nearly 74 years ago, attained freedom from British rule. We celebrate the day in the memory of the same,” said the Principal, Government Higher Secondary school (Boys) in Budgam.
He told The Kashmir Walla that the school had been preparing for the celebration of this day since 1 August with enthusiasm and passion. “You can see the flag unfurling right there. We just ended the ceremony due to the rainy weather, unfortunately. Otherwise, the ceremony would have continued,” he added.
The principal said that all the staff who were here – teaching and non- teaching – were present at the event. “And our students are NCC cadets who also are taking part in the district level event,” he added.
Talking about holding the event in the school, he said that they just followed the orders of the government. “Our country became slaves because of non cooperation 200 years ago. Today, if we live with cooperation, no power can defeat us.”
An unnamed top official had told a local news agency that the orders for hoisting the flag had been made by the government. “This is not the order of the School Education Department but the government wherein directives have been made to hoist Tricolour in all government buildings including in school buildings,” the official had said.
The Kashmir Walla reporters visited several other government schools and colleges. Many schools and colleges restricted the entry of our reporters in the premises and did not allow covering the ceremonies.
“Sir has told us that media is not allowed,” said the gatekeeper of the Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Kothibagh.
At the Government College for Women in Srinagar, the gatekeeper told one of our reporters, “I don’t know why you are not being allowed.”
Meanwhile, the roads in the city were deserted and the huge digital screens were installed amid rains in several parts of Srinagar, where the Independence Day ceremonies were being broadcasted live by Doordarshan News Channel. A handful of civilians and government forces were around the screens listening to the speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.