MHA issues guidelines for Independence Day celebrations

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an advisory for Independence Day celebrations. The Ministry asked all government offices, states, Governors etc to avoid congregation of the public and use technology for the celebrations.

Every year, Independence Day is celebrated with grandeur, gaiety, fervour and enthusiasm. This year also, Independence Day will be celebrated in a manner befitting the occasion. However, in view of spread of Covid-19 pandemic, while organizing various programmes or activities for the Independence Day celebrations, it is imperative to follow certain preventive measures such as maintaining social distancing, wearing of masks, proper sanitization, avoiding large congregations, protecting vulnerable persons, etc.; and follow all guidelines related to Covid-19 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health a Family Welfare, the statement said.

Therefore, all programmes should be organized in a way that large congregations of people are avoided, and technology is used in a best possible manner for celebration befitting the occasion. The events organized could be web-cast in order to reach out to people at large, who are not able to participate.

Keeping the above limitations and precautionary steps in view, the Independence Day Celebrations in Delhi shall consist of the following: –

(i)                  The Ceremony at Red Fort consisting of the presentation of a Guard of Honour by the Armed Forces and the Delhi Police to the Prime Minister (Pradhan Mantri), unfurling of the National Flag accompanied by playing of the National Anthem and firing of 21-gun salute, speech by the Prime Minister, singing of the National Anthem immediately after PM’s speech, and release of tricoloured balloons at the end.

(ii)                At Home” reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

For celebrations of Independence Day at different levels in the States/UTs, certain guidelines have been prescribed.

It may be ensured that the National Flag is hoisted at all State Capitals/Districts/ Block/Panchayat levels.

As regards holding of “At Home” reception at Raj Bhawan /Raj Niwas by the Governor/Lt. Governor on the Independence Day, the matter is left to the discretion of Governors/Lt. Governors. However, in view of Covid-19 pandemic, preventive measures such as maintaining social distancing, wearing of masks, proper 3 Yours faithfully, sanitization, avoiding large congregations, protecting vulnerable groups, etc., and other measures as prescribed and recommended by the Ministry of Health a Family Welfare, are followed.

It would be appropriate that Covid-19 warriors like doctors, health workers, sanitation workers, etc., are invited in the ceremony as a recognition of their noble service in the fight against Covid-19 Pandemic. Some persons cured from Covid-19 infection may also be invited.

Performance of Police/Military bands may be recorded at places of historic importance associated with the Independence movement; and recorded versions thereof may be displayed through large screens/digital media, during public functions and on social media.

Other functions of the day may include activities like planting of trees; interschool/inter-college debates on digital platforms; online quiz contests/patriotic essay writing and poetry competitions; launching of any important scheme, singing patriotic songs/delivering patriotic talks by selected boys/girls on the social media; illumination of Government Buildings/State Bhawans, etc; thematic webinars; online campaign by NSS and NYKS centred around patriotic themes; or any other activity deemed appropriate by the State Government/Union Territory Administration befitting the occasion. Other innovative ways of celebrating Independence Day may be considered like propagating patriotic or national integration messages/songs through digital and social media platforms, sound shows/lighting of important public buildings, waving of National Flags by people at rooftops/balconies, etc.

It would be appropriate that the theme of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” is suitably spread and publicised amongst the masses through various activities/messages in the functions and on social media during Independence Day celebrations.