The Narendra Modi government has called for a “fitting” commemoration of the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, which is observed as anti-terrorism day.
“You are requested to organise appropriate programmes, including the pledge-taking ceremony, to observe the anti- terrorism day in a fitting manner,” Joint Secretary in the Union Home Ministry, Satpal Chouhan, wrote to the chief secretaries of all state governments and Union Territories as well as the secretaries of central ministries.
The ministry told the states that the objective behind observing the day was to wean youths away from terrorism and violence by highlighting the sufferings of the common people and showing how that is prejudicial to national interest.
It has asked the states and UTs to organise debates or discussions in schools, colleges, universities and hold symposiums and seminars on the danger of terrorism and violence.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991, by LTTE cadres in a suicide bombing attack at a rally at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu.
This will be the first anti-terrorism day to be observed since the NDA government came to power last year. The observances were toned down in 2014 event with the new government being sworn-in only on May 26.
In the run up to its completing one year in office, the Modi government has been under attack from Congress both inside and outside Parliament with the party’s vice presidentRahul Gandhi leading the charge against it on issues such as its alleged failure to carry out development work and “taking credit” for work done under the previous UPA rule.
In its letter regarding the May 21 observances, the Home Ministry said, “Anti-terrorism and anti-violence pledge to be taken in all government offices, public sector undertakings and other public institutions.”
The ministry called for a determined and sustained drive to bring about a mass awakening against terrorism and violence by making appropriate projections through the media on May 21.
The states and ministries have been told to highlight the ill-effects of violence and terrorism by involving “prominent sports, film and other prominent personalities and distribution of T-shirts with anti-violence and anti-terrorism slogans”.
Home Ministry has asked the states and central government ministries to involve voluntary organisations and social and cultural bodies to organise programmes like lectures, talks, discussions, musical recitals and cultural functions.