Independence Day: Ladakh lives it up in its transition to Union Territory

Ladakh, which will become a Union Territory after the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, celebrated Independence Day with fervour on Thursday, with local BJP MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal saying the region has got “independence from Kashmir”.

The parliamentarian, whose speech in the Lok Sabha after the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir drew praises, was seen dancing and playing the drums along with locals.

Mr. Namgyal hoisted the national flag at the local BJP office along with party national general secretary Ram Madhav.

On August 5, the Centre stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status given under Article 370 and split it into two Union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, which will come into existence on October 31.

The region has got “independence from Kashmir” and the celebration is “just a trailer” for the development of Ladakh, he said.

Banners bearing slogans like “UT of Ladakh celebrates its 1st Independence Day” were hanging along roads of this picturesque town.

In a series of tweets, Mr. Namgyal said the tricolour in each and every house of Ladakh symbolises the patriotism of the people and their unwavering commitment towards India.

“Ladakh got independence from Kashmir,” he said, adding that the spirit of patriotism is very high among school students and adults alike in the region.

“So, we decided to celebrate Independence Day in the traditional Ladakhi style through the beating of the daman and surna,” he said, adding that these celebrations are “just a trailer for the development of Ladakh”.

Mr. Namgyal said, “On the occasion of Independence Day, we celebrate the martyrdom of our heroes. We paid our respects to the four young heroes who laid down their lives agitating for the UT status for Ladakh”. The four people died a few years ago.

The MP also shared pictures on Twitter of Buddhist monks hosting the national flag at his native village Matho, where people were celebrating the “1st Independence Day after the declaration of Ladakh as an Union Territory”.


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