Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik Tuesday accused political parties of politicising an order mandating government employees to attend the Republic Day celebrations and said he stood by the order which was being issued since 2009.
Malik said there was nothing wrong in the order. “I stand by this. This is not a new order. It has been issued since 2009. This was there before me. Every year the same order is issued, not even with a change of comma or full stop,” he said. “I have the orders from 2009 to 2018 with me”, he said.
As per the order issued by the state administration on January 15, employees were warned that failure to attend the function will be construed as dereliction of duty and disobedience. “It is the duty of every government servant to attend the (Republic Day) function which commemorates an important turning point in the history of our nation,” stated the order issued by Deputy Secretary Chander Prakash. “All the officers and officials of the state government stationed at Jammu and Srinagar are, therefore, enjoined upon to attend the functions as part of their official duty,” it said.
The governor said the order went to all employees of the state government. “”There is nothing wrong in it. They have duty (on that day) and they should be present there. That is why it is being sent to them. There nothing like imposing nationalism on them.” “From where does nationalism come into this? They have to perform their routine jobs”, he said.
Lashing out at political parties for politicising the issue, Malik said they had become defunct and were losing their base which was why they were resorting to communalism. “Please do not do such things. It is not good,” he added. The governor alleged political parties were politicising the issue and dividing the society by communalising it to gain votes. “This type of politics has destroyed Kashmir”, he added.
PDP leader Waheed Para said nationalism could never be dictated. “There should be ‘will’ for such events, not forced diktats. This clears how things happen and are happening in the ‘integral’ part. Patriotism can’t be enforced it should be inherent,” Para tweeted. Independent MLA Engineer Rasheed termed it an “unconstitutional” order.
BJP leader Ram Madhav supported the governor, saying the order should be accepted as a matter of pride. “It is a matter of pride for every Indian. We all have to participate in the Republic day parade,” he said in response to a question on political parties reportedly criticising the order.