Hyderabad: Every morning at 7:54 the small town of Jammikunta in Karimnagar district comes to a total standstill. As 16 loudspeakers placed at strategic locations across the town of 45,000 announce the singing of national anthem, road transport buses, autos, motorists, two-wheeler riders, children walking to school, general public on the road, everything and everyone stops. Life resumes only after the 52-second national anthem is played.
This daily ritual has been going on since one week and was started by Jammikunta Town police inspector P Prashanth Reddy from August 16 after, he says, he found out that 90 per cent of the town cannot recite the national anthem beyond Jana gana mana. “It is not just about patriotism but also about knowing your national anthem. In my interactions with public over the years, I have found out that most of the people cannot recite the national anthem completely. I started this initiative to not only instill a sense of patriotism in the town but also instill some sense of responsibility for the country,’’ Inspector Reddy says, claiming the initiative is a hit and he receives praises every day.
He says he is also experimenting national anthem as a crime prevention measure. “I believe it can be a good crime prevention tool. If a person leaves home in the morning with the intention of committing a crime but on the way pauses for a minute while the national anthem is played, he would change his mind. His sense of responsibility towards the society would be awakened and he may resist from committing a crime. I think that horrific crimes like Nirbhaya rape which stigmatised the entire country can be prevented if we instill pride for country in people especially the youth,’’ he says.
“The national anthem is also called the morning song of India. Rather than singing it in the dark cinema theatres and halls, I would rather sing it out in the sun alongside people from all walks of life. People says they feel good after the national anthem,’’ Reddy says.
Karimnagar Police Commssioner V B Kamalasan Reddy says the response is very encouraging. “Citizens voluntarily stop every where for the anthem. Even bus drivers stop and get down along with passengers. Many even salute also. It is all voluntary, there is no police intervention,’’ he says.
The loudspeakers at the 16 main places in the town are connected to the police station from where the anthem is played daily. “By 7:55 am the national anthem is over, and as everyone usually starts work by 8 am, they are ready. School children show lot of enthusiasm,’’ Inspector Reddy says. Sometimes in the evening, Reddy also speaks through the loudspeakers, telling public how to be a responsible citizen and help in prevention of crime.