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Govt. orders all officers to turn up for Modi’s I-Day address

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The Union government has issued a circular ( see image) making it mandatory for its officers to be present at the Red Fort when Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoists the National Flag and delivers his address on Independence Day on August 15.

The July 20 circular, issued by Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha, directs the Secretaries to various Ministries and departments to caution the officers not to miss the Independence Day function. “You might also caution them that a serious view would be taken of their absence on this occasion,” it says. Giving the reason for making attendance of officers mandatory, Mr. Sinha writes: “It has been observed that there is, at times, low attendance of the official invitees to the ceremony. This is unacceptable considering that the occasion is of great national importance. This is clearly to remind the officers that it is their duty to attend the ceremony.”

While some officers described the circular as a routine one, issued every year ahead of the Independence Day function, others could not recall any past directive with such a strong tone and tenor. Some, however, said that when P.V. Narasimha Rao had been Prime Minister, the officers’ attendance was taken.

The circular reached the officers only on Tuesday as it moved from the Cabinet Secretary’s office to the Ministries and from there to the media heads in the Press Information Bureau and the administration. The covering note accompanying the circular makes it clear that the government would like to address a full house on Independence Day. The note says: “Subject: Independence Day Flag hoisting ceremony at Red Fort — Compulsory Attendance.”

This will be the second Independence Day address of Mr. Modi. Though not a comparable event, the International Day of Yoga, which included yoga sessions at designated places, on June 21 saw a similar directive for officers’ attendance. The media, especially television channels, were told to give maximum publicity to the event.

Correction

>> The reference to the International Day of Yoga as July 21 in the front page report, “Govt. orders all officers to turn up for Modi’s I-Day address” (some editions, August 5, 2015), is wrong. It should have been June 21.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 8:13:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/govt-orders-all-officers-to-turn-up-for-modis-iday-address/article7500492.ece

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