To take the official Independence Day celebrations closer to the people, the Narendra Modi government has asked all states to ensure that August 15 is marked by fanfare in villages and panchayat headquarters apart from all districts and sub-divisions. In a communication to the chief secretaries of all states, the Home Ministry said that Independence Day should be observed in panchayat headquarters and the bigger villages with ceremonial hoisting of the tricolour by the sarpanch or village headman accompanied by the singing of the national anthem.
The sarpanch or the headman should deliver a speech to explain the significance of August 15 and exhort the people to work towards unity and integrity in the country, said the Home Ministry guidelines. The ministry has conveyed that the other functions to mark the day should include sports, including rural sports, displays by college students, planting of trees, inter-school, inter-college debates, community work, cultural programmes, prize distribution for work in the field of national integration, small savings, afforestation, family planning, etc.
The guidelines state that similar functions should be held at the state, district and sub-divisional level where the national flag is to be unfurled, respectively, by the chief minister, a minister, or the district or sub-divisional magistrate.