As per latest reports, former Indian cricket captain, MS Dhoni is expected to hoist the National Flag in Leh on this Independence Day. Dhoni has been conferred the honorary title of Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Army. However, officials have not disclosed the exact location at which MS Dhoni is likely to unfurl the National Flag on August 15. He is currently posted in Khrew in Jammu & Kashmir’s Pulwama district, along with the other members of his Territorial Army battalion. He had joined the Territorial Army battalion, which is posted in South Kashmir on July 30 this year.
As per reports, the army officials, Dhoni would be travelling to Leh along with his regiment on August 10. A senior Army official stated, “Dhoni is a brand ambassador of the Indian Army. He has engaged in motivating members of his unit and has often been playing football and volleyball with the soldiers. He is also undertaking battle training exercises with the corps. He will remain in the valley till August 15.”
It is important to mention here that the central government has initiated a programme of hoisting the National Flag in all the villages of the state of Jammu & Kashmir (which has been bifurcated into two Union Territories, effective from October 31 this year), as a part of the Independence Day celebrations.
Recently, Article 370 of the Constitution that granted special status had been abrogated. The state was also bifurcated into two Union Territories- Ladakh (without assembly) and Jammu & Kashmir (with assembly). These steps were taken amidst massive troop mobilisation and deployment in the state. Dhoni remained stationed in the valley throughout the exercise of security mobilisation and deployment in the valley when all communication networks in the valley were also suspended in order to ensure that the state did not face a law and order breakdown following the move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution.
MS Dhoni hoisting the tricolour will come as a major inspiration for the youth to join the defence forces. His decision to join his Territorial Army Battalion for a two-month training had also been nailed by many. Former Indian cricketers Kapil Dev and Gautam Gambhir and showered praise on MS Dhoni for taking the big decision. Gautam Gambhir, who is now a BJP MP, had said, “Dhoni’s move is amazing. I have said many times before that Dhoni should wear the Army uniform only when he does something for the army and now Dhoni has decided to spend time with the Army, it shows that how devoted and serious he is to the Army. This step of Dhoni will work as inspiration for many young people of the country and they will be motivated to join the Army.”