PALAKKAD: The management of Karnaki Amman Higher Secondary School has said that they will proceed legally against the education department’s directions to initiate action against the headmaster and manager for allowing RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to hoist the national flag at the school on Independence Day and for singing Vande Mataram instead of the national anthem during the ceremony. “The school should get justice as the move is purely political in nature. As per reports, it was Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who had directed the education department to take action,” said school manager B Gangadharan.
“When the flag-hoisting issue had snowballed into a controversy, the management had replied to the charges. At that time, officials of the education department had informed that it was a ‘closed chapter’. Since it is being raked up again, we feel that we will not get justice by appealing to the government.”
“2015-16 happened to be the golden jubilee year of the school. The office-bearers had invited many VIPs, including Bhagwat. The RSS chief had expressed difficulty in attending the programme and assured us that he will come to the school when he is in Palakkad,” said Gangadharan, who is also the president of the Karnaki Amman Educational Society.
“Thus, Bhagwat had come to Palakkad only on August 13-15 as part of a function organised by the RSS. The decision of the management to delegate Bhagwat to unfurl the national flag was conveyed to all concerned departments, including revenue and police, as the RSS leader was being accorded Z category security. The tehsildar and assistant superintendent of police had visited the school to take stock of the security situation. They also demanded to see the names and telephone numbers of the people who will be sitting on the stage with Bhagwat,” he said.
At 11.30 pm on August 14, District Collector P Marykutty had sent a notice with the police, saying that Bhagwat should not be allowed to hoist the tricolour as he was an “outsider”. The Collector had also informed that there was “pressure” on her from Thiruvananthapuram, he added. Gangadharan clarified that though Vande Mataram was sung at the beginning of the programme, the national anthem was sung at the end of the programme.
The education department had argued that hoisting the tricolour in government and aided schools should be performed by school authorities, elected representatives or government officials as per rules. Therefore, the school had violated the norms as Bhagwat was a political leader and he should not have been allowed to hoist the flag.