Here is the news for you – different takes...
“Tricolour at 8 am, flags of separatists at 4 pm,” shouted the front page headline in The Times of India.
At exactly 8 am on Independence Day,the CRPF hoisted the tricolour at Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar.At 3.45 pm, Lal Chowk wore a totally different look. Hundreds of sloganshouting protesters swarmed the area and at 4 pm they planted flags of the Jamaat-e-Islami (which looks like the Pakistani flag) and those of terrorist outfit Hizb-ul Mujahideen on top of the same tower where the Indian flag had been hoisted.
If one were to go by the symbolism of the spectacle at Lal Chowk, the Valley’s alienation from the Indian Union seemed complete. One of the slogans of the protesters—“Jiyo, jiyo Pakistan, hum hain Pakistani’’—drove home the message. Among other slogans that rent the air were “Islam zindabad’’, “Lad ke lenge azadi’’ and “Allah-u-Akbar’’.
The report went on to state:
“They were aggressive in their gestures, but did not resort to violence.”
What do you expect protesters to do? Smile?
So, what happened to the Indian national flag at Lal Chowk? CRPF PRO Prabhakar Tripathi said the tricolour was taken down at about 10 am to protect it from rain.
Do flags at various building get removed during the monsoons to protect them? Did or did not the CRPF and intelligence sources expect some such thing to happen?
Now let us see what happened in Jammu. I had to look at another paper for that.
“Tens of thousands attend parallel I-Day celebrations in Jammu,” said the Hindustan Times.
Mubarak Mandi, the seat of the government during Dogra rule in Jammu and Kashmir, on Friday became the centre of India's 62nd Independence Day celebrations in Jammu, with tens of thousands converging there to mark the occassion.
Amid cheers and chants of Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Bamb Bamb Bhole, thousands of Jammuities gathered with the national tricolour, waving the flags as the celebrations began.
Right. Please note the location and the religious sloganeering.
The moment the tricolour was hoisted by Sangarsh Samiti convenor Leela Karan Sharma, the masses jostled to get closer to the podium. Some saluted while others stood at attention. The atmosphere turned emotional when the national anthem "Jana Gana Mana" was recited.
Sharma exhorted the people to remain peaceful and maintained that the government should take note of the "sea of humanity" and accept the group's demand.
Obviously, there were no aggressive gestures here.
Now let us look a little further…
“Unique Protest: SIMITI boycott Independence Day celebrations in Jammu,” said News Agency of Kashmir.
In a unique protest of pressing demands members of SASS today boycotted all the official functions organized on eve of I-Day celebrations and hoisted Tri-Colour at various places in Jammu Division.
Addressing the gathering SIMITI convener, Leela Karan Sharma, Brig (Retd) Suchet Singh and others in their speeches expressed their anguish that while the government is not giving any punishment to Afzal Guru who masterminded the attack on parliament and those who burn the national flag publically, there is a suppression of the nationalistic people who are raising their genuine grievances.
The Samiti also informed that the Samiti will organize a jail bharo andolan from 18th to 20th August 2008 The Samiti also informed that the Samiti will organize a jail bharo andolan from 18th to 20th August 2008, in which people thousands of people will court arrest in the various police stations in support of their demands of restoration of land, in the entire Jammu region.
So, it is all right for these people to boycott. Why? Only by hoisting the national flag they become patriots? Are they too not seeking ‘azadi’?
At least in Srinagar they chose the same venue as the official one.
As for the rest, let the pictures speak. And the reality.