On Independence Day, Mohan Bhagwat restrained from hoisting Tricolour at Palakkad school, RSS chief defies order

Mohan Bhagwat was prohibited from hoisting the National flag at a school in Palakkad in Kerala on Independence day, however, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief went ahead with the programme defying the the district administration's order.

According to a report in Manorama, Bhagwat was scheduled to hoist the flag at Karnakiyamman school in Palakkad, which is run by RSS supporters.  However, Palakkad's district collector issued a statement adding that it was inappropriate for a political leader to hoist the national flag in an aided school. He added that only a teacher or elected representative of the people was allowed to do so, ANI reported. 

"The order is very clear on what can be done. We have abided by the rules. Let the government tell us whether we have violated any rule or law," VK Mani, a school official said.

 On Independence Day, Mohan Bhagwat restrained from hoisting Tricolour at Palakkad school, RSS chief defies order

File image of Mohan Bhagwat. AFP

A statement issued by Dr Manmohan Vaidya, RSS Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh on Tuesday with regard to the restriction read, "Dr Mohanji Bhagwat was invited by the management of Karnakayamman Higher Secondary school, Palakkad, Kerala, to participate in the golden jubilee celebrations of the school and Independence Day celebrations. At 11 pm on 14th August, 2017, the headmaster of the school received a notice from the district collector stating that only the institutional heads or an elected representative can unfurl the national flag in the school. It is however, learnt that no other school had been given similar information."

He added, "After due consultations, the school authorities decided that they will proceed as planned and that Sarsanghchalakji must exercise his constitutional rights. Dr Mohanji Bhagwat hoisted the flag along with other institutional heads of the school. We condemn such brazen attempts by the CPM led government of Kerala to deny the basic citizen rights of celebrating Independence Day and their continuous attempts to poison the state of Kerala with divisive politics."

As per India Today, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has challenged the collector's decision, affirming that there is nothing wrong in Bhagwat hoisting the flag.

The News Minute quoted Advocate E Krishnadas, BJP's Palakkad district president as saying, "The collector is acting like the branch secretary of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) that is why such a circular was sent at 11 pm last night. There is no such rule that only the headmaster can hoist the flag. So no circular can be issued based on a rule which doesn't exist. We are going ahead with the plan, why should we follow a rule which doesn't exist."

Speaking about the incident, Palakkad Lok Sabha member and CPI(M) leader MB Rajesh has accused the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) of trying to incite trouble in Kerala.

"This is a brazen violation of the law of the land. This is a school funded and supported by the Kerala government. The rules and regulations have to be followed. Today this did not happen," said Rajesh.

The decision is likely to spark debate in the state, which has already seen palpable tension between the BJP and the Left cadres.

Recently, E Rajesh, a RSS office-bearer was hacked to death in Thiruananthapuram. The BJP had alleged that CPM was behind the murder, however, the charge was vehemently denied by the ruling party. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley paid a condolence visit to the slain activist's house. "This kind of violence will neither suppress our ideology in Kerala nor it will be able to scare our workers", Jaitley said.

To up the ante, BJP will hold a "mega roadshow" in the state after Onam, which is likely to be attended by top leaders including president Amit Shah and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states early next month.

The RSS-BJP combine has claimed that 14 of its members had been killed by the Left cadres in past one year, while the CPM has alleged that 13 of workers lost their lives in violence perpetuated by the saffron organisations. Both sides have blamed each other for the "political killings".

With inputs from IANS

Updated Date: Aug 15, 2017 18:49:45 IST