Sunday, January 31, 2010 - Lal Chowk: Tiranga betrayed

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    • Lal Chowk: Tiranga betrayed
    • Nancy Kaul
    • It is also pertinent that though the BSF and the CRPF have been unfurling the flag on Republic Day and Independence Day, one never sees officials of Jammu & Kashmir Police, not even the closest police station SHO, attend it? True, the official Government function takes place in Bakshi Stadium, but that does not mean that hoisting the flag at the Lal Chowk Clock Tower is unconstitutional or not within the parameters of Indian democracy.

      This abject negation of a ceremony so pregnant with the symbolism of the Republic cannot be without an ulterior motive. Behind the façade of untruth are murmurs that point a finger at the corridors of power. Indeed, the courage of men involved in counter terror operations is unquestionable, but the conduct and aspirations of certain politicians and top level officials is debatable.

      During the unrest created by the PDP and Hurriyat and other politicians in the Kashmir Valley over the making of makeshift Yatri tents in Baltal to provide better facilities to Amarnath pilgrims, the National Flag was torn down and spitted upon.

      De ragda, de ragda, Hindustan (after vehemently beating their shoes on the flag and ground), jive jive Pakistan,” was followed by a mad frenzy of slogans and hoisting of the Pakistani flag. The CRPF was asked to be a mute spectator to disrespect of such magnitude, and State DG allowed it to flutter at Lal Chowk for hours, atop the very same clock tower!

      Interestingly, it was the son-of-the-soil inclination of the PDP-NC combine that allowed the coronation of Kuldeep Khuda as State Police Chief, though better, more competent officers were available. He also enjoys an enviable proximity to certain Central leaders (the Home Minister attended the marriage of his daughter in Jammu).

      Today there are whispers that he suggested that the act of unfurling the flag was resented by the local population and the CRPF should not unfurl it, though they had been maintaining this tradition for two decades.

    • But today even the BJP is mum at this national sacrilege. Is this silence in acceptance of the separatists’ demands or self-rule and the erosion of Indian sovereignty in Jammu & Kashmir? Recently, BJP think tank Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation invited a supporter of PDP’s demand for self-rule at a function to observe Exodus Day on Jan. 19!
    • The author is convener, Daughters of Vitasta
    • User Comments:
    • The concerns raised by Nancy Ji need serious attention by the powers that be.Just down the memory lane, when this particular clock tower was set up in Lal Chowk some four decades earlier, the ( Indian ) name " BAJAJ ", prominently displayed on two sides of the said tower ( with a running clock on other two sides) was removed within days of its installation by the Islamic fundamentalists. So Lal Chowk was 'Pakistan' then and no wonder it continues to be same now as well and nearly half a million Kashmiri Pandits continue to live a life of refugees in their own country for the last over two decades out of six decades of Indian Republic....Orzuv ! RAMESH MANVATI

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