It took Jammu and Kashmir government officials around three weeks to remove the state flag, fluttering atop civil secretariat complex alongside National flag, after Narendra Modi led Union government at the center abrogated Article 370, which granted special status to the state, on August 5.
First of all the removal of the state flag was noticed by few passers-by and as the word spread across Srinagar, several representatives of media rushed to the spot to capture the sight of ‘Tiranga‘ flying high atop civil secretariat- the seat of power of J&K government.
Earlier, on August 6 J&K Assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh had removed the state flag from his official vehicle.
The state flag was also seen fitted alongside National flag on the official vehicles of dignitaries who had inspected the parade on August 15, across different district headquarters
Before the abrogation of Article 370, the Jammu and Kashmir state was permitted to fly its own flag along with the National flag under Article 370.
The state flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir on June 7, 1952.
Official sources claimed, the government officers waited deliberately as they never wanted to provoke the protesters marching on the streets in some pockets of old Srinagar to register their protest against the unilateral decision of abrogation of Article 370.
The common sentiment prevailing on the streets of Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir valley is that they have been stripped of their special status without holding any consultations.
Now, after the peaceful conduct of the Eid and Independence day celebrations, as the situation on the ground is limping back to normalcy, the decision was taken to remove the state flag.
Last week the government took the decision to reopen the primary and middle school sit received a poor response on day 1 as a majority of parents shied away from sending their children to schools but since then the attendance is reporting slight improvement across different parts of Kashmir valley.
Interestingly, the state flag was also seen fitted alongside National flag on the official vehicles of dignitaries who had inspected the parade on August 15, across different district headquarters, after unfurling the tricolor marking the 73rd anniversary of Independence day.
With this development, the National flag has taken precedence and will be fluttering atop the civil secretariat complex and other government buildings from now on.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.