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India Orders Hoisting of National Flags on All Educational Institutions in Kashmir

On 1st August, Indian authorities in Kashmir ordered the hoisting of the Indian flag on all educational institutions for the forthcoming Indian Independence Day (August 15th).

Like last year, the Chief Education Officer has issued orders to numerous schools in Kashmir, asking them to ensure that all members of the school, including students, teachers and all the workers, shall hoist the Indian flag at their homes and school buildings. In the order that has been issued, the Chief Education Officer stated that “there should not be any house uncovered and 100% saturation is to be achieved. A control room has been established in this office for daily monitoring.”

The government employees have been threatened with suspension in case they fail to participate in the Independence Day “celebrations”. The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary, Arun Mehta, stated that “All Government Officers and the general public at large hoist tricolor over their houses. It shall however be ensured that the flag is hoisted in an appropriate and befitting manner having due regard to the flag code.” The government employees and other members of the population have been directed to click “selfies” with the Indian flag on that day and to share the pictures on social media.

The initiative is another attempt of “forced identification with India” thrusted at Kashmiris against their will, who continue to struggle for the right to self-determination. The refusal to hoist the flag will result in intimidation and arrest of the individual. The fact that the Indian state has to coerce the people of Kashmir into raising an Indian flag is very telling.

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