Hyderabad: Life in Jammikunta, a town in Telangana, comes to a halt every day at 8 a.m. as people pause for a minute to sing the national anthem.
Since August 15, 2017, this has become a daily routine of the people in this town located in Karimnagar district, about 140 km from Hyderabad.
An initiative of a local Police Inspector, it is aimed at instilling sense of patriotism among people.
Sharp at 7.58 a.m. an announcement is made in Telugu and Hindi from public address system installed at 16 places in the town to alert the people and two seconds later the national anthem starts playing.
The vehicular traffic comes to a standstill and those walking stop. Office-goers, workers and school children all halt for 52 seconds to salute the national flag. Those who can sing the national anthem sing it while others stand in silence.
After the national anthem, patriotic songs are also played but people can disperse and carry on with their normal activities.
Over the last two years, the town police, with the help of volunteers, have trained citizens in paying respects to the national anthem. People have now become accustomed to the daily practice.
Jammikunta Police Inspector Pingili Prashanth Reddy introduced this practice to promote a sense of patriotism among people. “When the Supreme Court made playing of national anthem mandatory in cinema theatres before every show, I thought why not do a similar thing at the town level. The idea was well received by people belonging to all sections of the society,” he said.
Senior officials including Karimnagar district Superintendent of Police Kamalasan Reddy appreciated his idea and he soon got 16 loud speakers installed at different places.
The police official feels that besides instilling sense of patriotism and pride among citizens, beginning the day with the national anthem can keep them active through the day.
Inspired by this practice in Jammikunta, a similar initiative was launched in Godavarikhani town of Peddapalli district in 2018.
Godavarikhani Chamber of Commerce and Trade, with the help of local authorities, installed 25 public address systems and hoisted 111 national flags across the town.