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3 Aug 2017

August 15 just another bandh day this year

TNN | Aug 3, 2017, Darjeeling: This year, Independence Day won't be celebrated in the Hills the way it used to, because of the ongoing agitation. It was decided during the meeting of the Gorkhaland Movement Co-ordination Committee (GMCC) in New Delhi on Tuesday that there will be no pomp and show in the Hills on August 15 save for the customary hoisting of national flags and singing of the national anthem.
"Schoolchildren would have completed their preparations by now," said Rajen Tamang, a Darjeeling resident, recalling the pomp of previous years. "They would participate in parades and drills and these would be competitive. Thousands of people would gather for shows put up by students, in which traditions and cultures of the country would be highlighted. There would also be taekwondo and other martial arts displays and the best performers would be awarded. The day would end with the finals of a football tournament involving several clubs from the Hills. There will be nothing of that sort this year," Tamang said.
Compared to what went on in Kalimpong, the celebrations in Darjeeling looked dull. Independence Day in Kalimpong used to be celebrated for three days between August 15 and 17. All schools and colleges would participate in the celebrations at the Mela Ground. The celebrations in the Hills may have something to do with the fact that nearly every family has a member who is an ex-serviceman or still serving in the forces.
"Elsewhere in the country, Independence Day is treated just as any other holiday. In the Hills, we celebrate in the true spirit. Children are told of the country's freedom struggle and inspired to contribute towards the development of the country. There are probably very few regions in the country that have contributed so much towards the country's security. No wonder, people were so upset when they were called anti-national and terrorists. Probably, it's better that the celebrations aren't being organised this year as there has been no attempt by either the Centre or the state to resolve the impasse," said a 1971 War veteran.
Even had the GMCC been allowed to call off the strike in the Hills on Tuesday, the celebrations may not have been possible as all schools in the Hills have remained closed after summer break.
(Source & Courtesy: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/august-15-just-another-bandh-day-this-year/articleshow/59888348.cms)

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