Kerala: After last year's controversy, RSS chief to now hoist tricolour in Palakkad on Republic Day

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat hoisting a tricolour at a school in Palakkad on Independence Day last year had triggered a controversy.

Published: 05th January 2018 12:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th January 2018 10:11 AM   |  A+A-

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat (File | PTI)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The LDF government will have a sense of deja vu on Republic Day this year, as RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, whose hoisting of the tricolour at a school in Palakkad on Independence Day last year had triggered a controversy, is set to do so again on January 26. This time, it will be while attending an RSS event at Vyasa Vidya Peetom that Bhagwat will hoist the national flag. The school is under the administration of RSS’ Bharatheeya Vidya Niketan. The news has triggered reports of a stand-off.

“The sarsangh chalak is attending a three-day camp of RSS functionaries from the panchayat level at the Vyasa Vidya Peetom at Kallekkadu on the outskirts of Palakkad town. Since the programmes will begin on Republic Day, the chief will, naturally, hoist the national flag,” said P Gopalankutty Master, RSS pranta karyavah. Bhagwat’s hoisting of the national flag on Independence Day at Kannakiyamman Higher Secondary School last year had sparked a controversy with the government initiating action against the school. 

Referring to the incident, Gopalankutty Master said, “It was strange for the government to initiate action against school authorities. As per the flag code, everyone has the right to hoist the national flag on Independence Day and Republic Day. In fact the government should have acted against those who disrespected the national flag and the national anthem. There was no violation of the flag code in the said incident. The action against the school was politically-motivated.”

He also rubbished reports the RSS was challenging the government. “It is everyone’s duty to respect the national flag. The RSS leadership does not need to challenge anyone using the flag.Our programme was fixed over a year ago,” he said, adding, “Since more than 7,000 mandal level karyakarta (functionaries) will be attending the event, we wanted a bigger ground. This is why the event was shifted from Angamaly to Kallekkadu. At Angamaly, auditorium owners were asking rs 3 crore as rent, which we could not afford.”
He said the propaganda the RSS had no right to hoist the flag deserved no response as CPM’s agenda of appeasing fundamentalist forces like SDPI was clear to everyone.  

BJP Intellectual Cell convener T G Mohandas told Express the propaganda the RSS was triggering another stand-off with the government was baseless. “RSS has organised such events in the past too. The government’s permission is not needed to organise such camps,” he said.


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