An entire town in Telangana is the first in India where all the people stand still every morning when the national anthem is played.
At a time when madarassas in Uttar Pradesh chose not to sing the National Anthem on Independence Day, all the people in a town in Telangana sing the anthem every day. In fact, the entire town comes to a standstill for 52 seconds when the anthem is played out.
It is a practice that was launched by the Jammikunta police on Independence Day. At sharp 8 am every day, everyone stands still for the anthem. Vehicles stop, students salute and even people having their morning tea would put down their cups to stand at attention while the anthem is played on the public address system.
“There was no better occasion than Independence Day to start this initiative, which will be a permanent practice in the town from now on. I hope it spreads from here to others parts of the district, then the state, and finally the entire country,” Hindustan Times quoted Jammikunta police inspector Pingili Prashanth Reddy, the brains behind the initiative.
Reddy was saddened to see his countrymen, especially the youth, treating national events such as Independence Day and Republic Day as routine holidays. “They get up late even on these days, and most cannot even recite the national anthem! However, things changed for the better after a recent Supreme Court judgment mandated playing the national anthem before every movie screening at cinema halls. That was when the idea of honouring the national anthem every day struck me. I realised that people will understand the spirit of our anthem better, and even develop a patriotic sentiment, if they listen to it regularly,” the inspector told HT.
Public address systems have been installed at 16 different places across the town. “At 7.58 am, we will play recorded messages in Telugu and Hindi asking the people to stand up for the national anthem. The rendition will start exactly at 8 am. It will be followed by a couple of patriotic songs, during which people will disperse,” Reddy told HT.
“The response we received on Independence Day was overwhelming. People from all walks of life – from beggars to vegetable vendors and truck drivers – stopped their activities for 52 seconds to honour the national anthem as it was played on the public address system,” said Reddy.
Photo Courtesy: Hindustan Times