Mohan Bhagwat ignores State government circular, which states that only heads of educational institutions can hoist the tricolour.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat unfurled the tricolour on Friday at a Sangh Parivar managed higher secondary school affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) here. He did so disregarding a State government circular restricting the right to hoist the national flag on Republic Day in educational institutions across the State only to the concerned headmaster or principal.
All the 1800 students and over 200 teachers of the school had attended the ceremony in which Mr. Bhagwat was the chief guest. BJP State president Kummanam Rajasekharan and top RSS leaders in the State also attended the function, which began at 9.10 am. The event became a mammoth gathering when over 8000 cadres of RSS from across the State, who arrived at the school for a three day regional sibiram, joined the students and teachers.
In his brief republic day message, Mr. Bhagwat chose not to mention the State government circular. However, he chose the occasion to speak about evolving more nationalistic feelings to fight divisive and terrorist challenges. Mr. Bhagwat will be present at the school for two more days, attending the sibiram.
The Vyasa Vidya Peetom Higher Secondary School at Kallekkad, where Mr. Bhagwat hoisted the national flag, is run by educational wing of the RSS, the Vidya Bharati Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha Sansthan. RSS leaders said the State government had no control over the private school affiliated to CBSE. They said the Flag Code empowered any citizen of the country to hoist national flag on Republic day.
The State government had issued a circular on January 17 laying the guidelines for hoisting the national flag on Republic Day in government and educational institutions. As per the circular, only heads of educational institutions can hoist the tricolour accompanied by the singing of national anthem.
On Independence Day last year, Mr. Bhagwat had kicked up a row by hoisting the national flag at Karnakiamman Higher Secondary School, a government-aided institution in the town, flouting an order by the District Collector.
It was only last month, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had directed the Education Department to initiate action against the Headmaster and Manager of the school for allowing Mr. Bhagwat to hoist the national flag violating the Collector’s order.