CHANDIGARH:15th August : Braving the rains and non cooperative authorities over 200 Citizens recited the National Anthem at the Open Hand Monument at Capitol Complex,Sector 1, on Independence Day. After a tussle with the administration over the permission the curator of the event, Jai Hey, had sought the High court’s permission for the same. Despite being armed with the court rulings and overflowing patriotism the assembly was stopped and questioned by the security staff. “It is amusing that initially we were made to seek permission to assemble peacefully at an open space, then we had to adjust our time so that the judges tea party does not get troubled by us. But the unity and conviction of the youth was the only real thing we sough,”said Dr Gaurav CHabbra, who filed a PIL for the same event
The gathering, led by a Brass band, starting from Matka Chawk, approached the Capitol complex by parading for over 3 kms in rain. “It is a matter of my fundamental rights that I can visit an open area and my duty to honour the national flag and a reciting Jan Gan Man at Chandigarh’s symbolic monument was the perfect solution,” Sahil Mohinder, an active member of the Parade said.
Ecstatic youngsters could be seen waving the tri-colour and joyously singing patriotic songs all along the Jan Marg-The people’s avenue. Mashaal Arora who participated in the event said,”This is the way Independence should be celebrated. By joining hands with each other and exerting one’s rights, the entire event made me feel humbled for my freedom and responsible so that i can preserve it.”
Advocate Harish Mahela, who represented Dr Chhabra in the PIL for ensuring that Open Hand Memorial could be used as the venue said, “The constitution gives the citizen rights and the government has the duty to ensure that those rights are not infringed. If for some reason the balance is upset, the citizen must set it right peacefully. The public interest litigation was aimed at ensuring that the open space is not reduced to a tea party venue and that the national honor is upheld.”
Earlier in the day, Dr Gaurav Chhabra along with 3 other youngsters reached the Open hand at 9 am, earlier then the high court function to recite the national anthem, It is noteworthy that the court had permitted the event only after its own function was over. “Our first recital was symbolic, we could not accept that the Anthem was secondary to a tea party. Also pressure on security forces was mentioned as the reason for the delay hence only four people reached the venue,followed by main function later.” he added.
The recitation of the National Anthem was followed by a tow minute silence for the tragedy in Leh.