The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed that no bouquet be presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his tours within India, ANI reports.
In a statement, the MHA said, "It has been desired by the competent authority that no bouquet be presented to the prime minister. At best, it will be a flower along with a khadi handkerchief or a book may be presented to welcome the dignitary." The statement adds that "all States/Union Territories are requested to suitably sensitise all concerned to ensure strict compliance of the above instructions".
At best will be a flower among with a khadi handkerchief or a book may be presented to welcome the dignitary: MHA to all states
— ANI (@ANI_news) July 17, 2017
This order comes after the prime minister urged people to "give a book instead of a bouquet as a greeting", saying there is no joy greater than reading and no strength greater than knowledge. According to IANS, he made these comments at PN Panicker National Reading Day celebrations in Kochi during his Kerala trip in June 2017.
Highlighted the need for a strong movement of reading & having more libraries. This can ignite socio-economic changes across our society.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 17, 2017
Financial Express states that the instructions in this regard were issued to all states and union territories on 12 July.
The khadi reference harkens back to the time when Modi had also 'ejected' the Father of the Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in the 2017 wall calendar and table diary published by the Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC), official sources said in Mumbai on Thursday.
About a week after the trip, during his 'Mann Ki Baat' radio address, Modi also urged people to stop exchanging bouquets and instead gift khadi products.
"One can also use a khadi handkerchief to welcome people, and be a support to the innumerable underprivileged people. When I was in Gujarat, I had set a tradition of welcoming people by not giving bouquets, but books or handkerchiefs instead."
He added that, "The lifespan of a bouquet is very short. You receive it in your hand for a moment and then abandon it. But when you present a book, it becomes a part of the household, a part of the family."
With inputs from agencies.
Updated Date: Jul 17, 2017 21:26 PM