The government wants you to put on t-shirts with national flag emblemWeeks after saying the public ought to participate in Constitution Day celebrations, the Home Ministry has posted t-shirt designs it says will be used on the day.
The government has issued a directive demanding compulsory attendance of civil servants and workers from the private sector to attend the Constitution Day functions across the country on September 20.
The government has also urged all the citizens to participate in rallies being organised to mark the event wearing traditional attire and carrying the national flag. It has also urged the people to celebrate the day by lighting lamps outside their homes for three consecutive days.
On Saturday, the Home Ministry took it a step further, by publicly displaying on its website various t-shirt designs with the national flag embedded on them. The part of the website where the t-shirts are being displayed reads: “Examples of t-shirts to be used on Constitution Day.”
It is unclear whether the ministry is distributing the t-shirts to government officials and civil servants. The government, in an effort to boost the use of national flags during formal programmes, also posted guidelines on how to use national flags during the events.
The move comes days after the government laid down new rules on playing the national anthem during the evening workship at the Pashupatinath Temple area and prior to that, in movie theatres before each screening. Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai had directed the Pashupati Area Development Trust to play the national anthem before the evening rituals every day without fail.
Following the notice about t-shirts, people have been posting their reactions on various social media platforms.
“It seems like the T-shirt merchants with their irresistible kickbacks have displaced the nationalist daura suruwal which delegitimized other dresses of our 123 ethnic groups?” one Twitter user wrote.
“Oh government, what type of half-pants should we wear? What about shoes? Can we wear slippers or not? And ‘chatre topi’? The Wheelchair Baba was asking if you could say something about it,” wrote another user.
Others used the opportunity to discuss the government’s priorities—or lack thereof.
“The t-shirts have been made, but when will the damaged roads be made?” one user wrote.
Regardless of the public opinion against the KP Sharma Oli administration’s hyper-nationalistic stance, the government has continued to roll out decisions that have garnered criticism from various sectors, some even comparing such decisions to the propaganda during the Panchayat rule.
“Instead of this drama,” one social media user wrote on Facebook, “it would have been better if [the government’ had published and distributed booklets containing information on the rules, laws and rights enshrined in the new constitution.”