India issues solemnity order for Martyrs' Day

Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed all States and Union Territories (UTs) to ensure that the Martyrs' Day is observed with "due solemnity".

The MHA issued the specific instructions noting "in the past, it has been observed that while two minutes' silence is observed in some offices, the general public goes about its occupation in the ordinary course, unmindful of the solemnity of the occasion". The Ministry, however, mentioned that the event as like previous years will be observed with "two minutes' silence on January 30 (Martyrs' Day)" in the memory of those who sacrificed their lives during the struggle for India's freedom.

The death anniversary of Mahatama Gandhi is observed as Martyrs' Day on January 30. Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948.

Official communication in this regard was circulated last week from the Ministry of Health Affairs (MHA) to the Chief Secretaries and administrators of all state governments and UT administrations.

"Wherever feasible, the commencement and termination of the two minutes' silence period should be indicated by the sound of a siren or Army guns. Sirens should be sounded from 10.59 am till 11 am and after two minutes, all clear sirens should again be sounded from 11.02 am till 11.03 am. This procedure may be adopted where sirens exist," the order mentioned.

On hearing the signal (wherever available), the order further continues, "all persons would stand up and observe the silence".

"At places where no signal systems are available, suitable instructions can be issued to all concerned for observing the silence for two minutes at 11 am." the written communique directed.


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