What is 'national mourning'? Earlier, on the death of which foreign leader was the Indian flag lowered?

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
4 Min Read

New Delhi : One day national mourning has been observed in India on the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. In view of this, the national flag at Rashtrapati Bhavan has been lowered to half mast. The national flag will fly at half mast across India for one day on Tuesday. There will be no official entertainment programs during the national mourning. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian died in the helicopter crash. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar have expressed condolences on the demise of Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian. He noted the important role played by both the leaders in strengthening India-Iran relations. The Government of India declared a day of national mourning to honor the late President of Iran and to mourn his sudden demise.

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What is national mourning?

'National mourning' in India is a symbolic way of expressing the grief of the entire country. 'National mourning' is observed on the death or anniversary of a particular 'person'. According to the Flag Code of India, during national mourning, the national flag will fly at half-mast throughout India and at Indian institutions such as embassies etc. No formal and government programs are organised. No government work is done during this period. The first national mourning in India was declared after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

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The tricolour will fly at half-mast

Government gatherings and official entertainment programs have also been banned during the period of national mourning. Initially 'national mourning' was reserved only for the current and former President, Prime Minister, however, several changes were made after some time. Now in the case of other dignitaries, national mourning can be declared on the special instructions of the Central Government. If any major natural disaster occurs in the country, then 'national mourning' can also be declared at such a time. Along with this, the central government can also declare national mourning on the sudden demise of the heads of state of other countries.

Public holidays not required

Earlier there was a holiday in government offices on national mourning. However, a notification was issued by the Central Government in 1997, according to which, the public holiday is no longer mandatory. This provision was abolished. However, if a President or Prime Minister dies while in office, a vacancy occurs. At the same time, state governments also have the right to declare a public holiday on the death of any dignitary.

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Declaration of national mourning for these foreign leaders

Before Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the Indian government had announced a day of national mourning on the death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Shinzo Abe died on July 8, 2022, after being shot by an assailant while campaigning. PM Modi expressed grief over his demise and announced national mourning on 9 July 2022. Earlier, on May 14, 2022, a day of national mourning was declared on the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates. Earlier, national mourning was declared on 5 June 2021 on the death of Indian-origin Prime Minister of Mauritius Aniruddh Jugnauth.

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