January 24, 2009 1:00:31 am
Senior-most Indian teacher to unfurl Tricolour,two MNS members to be invited
The agitation launched by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) against schools not hoisting the national flag on Independence Day last year is showing results. The Mercedes Benz International School (MBIS) at Hinjewadi,which is all set to celebrate Republic Day on Monday,is the first to fall in line.
The MBIS will be celebrating Republic Day and the preparations are on, said administrator Sanjay Gaikwad. He said MNS members had recently visited the school and demanded that the school should hoist the Tricolour on Republic Day. But we had already decided to celebrate it, he said.
There are 280 students in MBIS,of whom 60 per cent are children of expatriates working in and around Pune. Nearly 60 per cent of the staff members are also expatriates.
The flag-hoisting ceremony will be held at 7.30 am. The school has made attendance compulsory for both students and staff on the day. It has also been decided that the flag will be hoisted by the senior-most Indian teacher, Gaikwad said.
He said the school already has the practice of singing the national anthem and the music teacher,a foreign national,will play the instrument on the occasion. The Republic Day celebrations at MBIS will be similar to those in other schools in the city and the students will be given snacks and sweets after the function. The school is also organising its Sports Day on the day.
Gaikwad said there are plans to invite two representatives of MNS for the function.
MNS leader Deepak Paigude said his party workers will keep a close watch on all the schools,including MBIS,on Republic Day. We will launch agitations against those who fail to hoist the Tricolour, he warned.
MNS workers had attacked MBIS on August 15 last year for not hoisting the Tricolour. They had pelted stones at the school and damaged a portion of the school building.
Raj Thackeray had justified the attack,saying that any school,whether national or international,that is functioning in India should follow Indian culture or else leave the country.
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