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India Independence Day 2021 Highlights: PM Modi addresses nation from Red Fort; Prez Kovind pays tribute at National War Memorial

India Independence Day 2021 Highlights: In his address, PM Modi Modi lauded the Tokyo Olympic winners and Covid warriors. "In 75 weeks of the 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav', 75 'Vande Bharat' trains will connect different parts of the country, the prime minister announced.

By: Express Web Desk
New Delhi | Updated: August 16, 2021 08:09 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves at the audience during the 75th Independence Day function at the historic Red Fort, in New Delhi (PTI)

India Independence Day 2021 Highlights: India is celebrating its 75th Independence Day and marking another milestone in the history of the world’s largest democracy. Addressing the nation from Red Fort, PM Modi said the Centre will soon launch the Rs 100 lakh-crore Gati Shakti national infrastructure plan to boost the country’s economy. Giving a call for ‘Sabka Prayas’ along with ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ for building a new India, PM Modi said, “We have to ensure we meet our goal of building Aatmanirbhar Bharat when we celebrate 100 years of India’s Independence.”

Earlier in the day, Modi lauded the Tokyo Olympic winners and Covid warriors. “In 75 weeks of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, 75 ‘Vande Bharat’ trains will connect different parts of the country, the prime minister announced. The development of Jammu and Kashmir is visible on the ground, Modi said, adding that the delimitation exercise is on and preparations are underway for assembly polls there. PM Modi also hoisted the tricolour at the Red Fort before his speech.

Hours after PM Modi’s address, the Congress accused him of only making announcements about schemes in his Independence Day speeches and not implementing them, even as it hit out at him for not withdrawing the three farm laws against which the farmers have been protesting. Meanwhile, West Bengal CM and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee called for strengthening voices against all forces that try to stifle freedom.

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India Independence Day 2021 Highlights: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses nation from Red Fort on India's 75th I-Day; This year's Olympics contingent part of the ceremony; Follow latest news and updates here:

19:37 (IST)15 Aug 2021
Trimmed guest list, shipping container ‘wall’, flower shower: Scenes from Red Fort

Special blocks for Olympians and ‘Covid warriors’, two Indian Air Force choppers flying past, a ‘wall’ of shipping containers for security – these were the scenes from the Red Fort as the national capital celebrated the 75th Independence Day on Sunday.

The event, which is usually witnessed by more than 25,000 people, was only restricted to Covid warriors, sportspersons, ministers, MPs, Home Ministry officials, and media persons due to the pandemic. However, unlike last year, hundreds of school children – also NCC cadets – were invited this time and they sang patriotic songs.

At 6.20 am, guests started arriving at the Fort whose ramparts were decked with flowers in the colours of the national flag. Keeping with the ‘new normal’, all seats were placed two metres apart to maintain social distancing. Sanitiser dispensers were set up at entry points and sanitary kits were placed under each seat. Prime Minister Narendra Modi then inspected the Guard of Honour and addressed the nation. Read more.

A view of the 75th Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort in New Delhi, Sunday, August 15, 2021. (PTI)


19:06 (IST)15 Aug 2021
Assam CM Himanta Sarma requests ULFA(I) chief Paresh Baruah to join peace dialogue

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma made an appeal Sunday to Paresh Baruah, chief of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent), to join talks for peace.

“On behalf of the 3.09 crore people of Assam, I appeal to Paresh Baruah of the ULFA (I) to come forward for dialogue,” Sarma said during his speech on the country’s 75th Independence Day in Khanapara, Guwahati.

The Chief Minister said this was a particularly significant Independence Day for Assam, as it was for the first time that no militant outfit had called for a bandh. Earlier this week, ULFA (I) broke tradition and said it would not call for any armed protest on August 15. Sarma also posthumously conferred the ‘Chief Minister’s Special Service Medal in a Crisis Situation’ to six Assam Police personnel killed in violence along the interstate border with Mizoram on July 26. Read more.

18:48 (IST)15 Aug 2021
Watch | Independence Day celebrations underway at Attari- Wagah border

A dance performance was held at the Attari-Wagah border as part of the Independence Day celebrations. Earlier in the day, BSF troops at the border had exchanged sweets with their Pakistani counterparts.

18:27 (IST)15 Aug 2021
Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin unveils 75th Indian Independence Memorial Pillar

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin unveiled the 75th Indian Independence Memorial Pillar in Chennai to mark the occasion.

PTI Photo
17:32 (IST)15 Aug 2021
Indian naval ship on UK goodwill visit at centre of Independence Day celebrations

An Indian Navy frontline frigate docked at Portsmouth harbour on England's south coast as part of a goodwill visit was at the heart of Sunday's Independence Day celebrations in the UK. INS Tabar, which arrived at Portsmouth on Thursday to undertake the annual bilateral exercise Konkan between the Indian Navy and Britain's Royal Navy, hosted a special flag hoisting ceremony with its approximately 300 crew on board under the command of Captain Mahesh Mangipudi.

A small group of special guests led by Indian High Commissioner Gaitri Issar Kumar were invited for the celebration of the 75th anniversary of India's Independence, held in a Covid-secure setting. (PTI)

INS Tabar (PTI)
17:02 (IST)15 Aug 2021
Will have to bow before China if dependence on it increases: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

Speaking after hoisting the national flag at a Mumbai school on the 75th Independence Day, the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said, if dependence on China increases, we will have to bow before it. 

“No matter how much we shout as a society about China and boycott Chinese items, but from where does everything that is in your mobiles come from? If the dependence on China increases, then (we) will have to bow before China,” Bhagwat said. “Economic security is important, he said, adding the adaptation of technology should be based on our terms. “We have to be swa-nirbhar”, he said. Read more. 

16:52 (IST)15 Aug 2021
Let’s strengthen voices against all forces that stifle freedom: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

On the occasion of the 75th Independence Day, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Sunday called for strengthening voices against all forces that try to stifle freedom. Banerjee, who became Chief Minister for the third time earlier this year, also penned a song, “Desh ta sobar nijer” (This country belongs to us all), which she shared on Facebook.

“On the 75th Independence Day, let us all come together to strengthen our voices against all forces that aim to stifle our freedom. We must never forget the sacrifice of those who fought a long and hard battle for this day. Warm wishes to all my brothers and sisters. Jai Hind!,” she tweeted.

On Sunday, taking part in the Independence Day programme organised by her government at Red Road in Kolkata, the Chief Minister unfurled the national flag and took salutes from various police wings during the parade. Read more. 

CM Mamata Banerjee at the Independece Day event at Red Road, Kolkata. (Express Photo by Partha Paul)

16:36 (IST)15 Aug 2021
Women farmers lead Tiranga tractor parade in Haryana

Farmers in Haryana's Uchana Kalan, Jind carried out a Tiranga tractor parade, led by women, to mark the occasion of the 75th Independence Day.

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16:33 (IST)15 Aug 2021
BSF hoists flag for first time at remote Naxal base in Odisha

A special anti-Naxal operations squad of the Border Security Force (BSF) on Sunday marked the Independence Day by hoisting the national flag for the first time at a newly-created base in a remote Maoist violence-hit region of Odisha, officials said.

The company operating base (COB) of the border guarding force is located at Mohupadar, about 90 km from the district headquarters here and deep inside the jungles along the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border. The base, manned by the troops of the 160th BSF battalion, was operationalised on May 28 as part of expanding the footprints of the security forces in some of the most troubled Naxal violence-affected regions of the state and simultaneous ushering of development works. (PTI)

16:23 (IST)15 Aug 2021
Uttarakhand to form committee to make law on Population Control: CM Dhami

In his Independence Day speech, Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami announced that they will form a committee to make a low on Population Control. 

In a slew of announcements, the chief minister also stated that students of Class 10 and 12 will be provided free tablets for their education. Dhami said the state government has also decided to constitute a high-level committee to address the apprehensions about the land laws in Uttarakhand, PTI reported.

16:03 (IST)15 Aug 2021
Army, BSF exchange sweets with Pak counterparts along LoC, IB

Army and BSF personnel on Sunday exchanged sweets with their Pakistani counterparts at various forward posts and border outposts along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir on the occasion of India's 75th Independence Day, officials said. 

Troops at Tatapani crossing point in Mendhar, the Rawalakot crossing point in Poonch and border outposts of Octerio, Chinaz and Chambiliyal, exchanged sweets with the Pakistani counterparts, PTI reported.

Meanwhile, troops at the Attari-Wagah border in Punjab also shared sweets on the occasion.

Border Security Force (BSF) Commandant Jasbir Singh presents sweets to Pakistani Wing Commander Hassan on occasion of India's 75th Independence Day, at the India-Pakistan Attari-Wagah border. (PTI)

15:46 (IST)15 Aug 2021
Ex-servicemen hold march at Singhu border on 75th Independence Day

On the occasion of 75th Independence Day, ex-servicemen on Sunday held a march at the Singhu border where protesting farmers are celebrating 'Kisan Mazdoor Azadi Sangram Diwas', PTI reported. 

Veteran farmer leader Satnam Singh hoisted the Tricolour at the Singhu border and some cultural programmes are also lined up, farmer leader Raminder Singh Patiala said. 'Satnam Singh (85) hoisted the Tricolour at 11 am, following which the former servicemen marched in their dresses. Students of DAV college in Jalandhar will perform 'Bhangra' for around one-and-half-hour,' he said.

Meanwhile, another leader said that the national flag was hoisted at the Tikri border and a Tiranga yatra will be carried out at the Ghazipur border.

15:37 (IST)15 Aug 2021
In Pics | ITBP jawans celebrate at the banks of Pangong Tso, Ladakh

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police jawans celebrated the 75th Independence Day at the banks of Pangong Tso in Ladakh.

Photo: PTI
15:19 (IST)15 Aug 2021
Will resolve Mekedatu, Mahadayi and Krishna project disputes: Karnataka CM Bommai

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said he is committed to resolve all the water disputes including the contentious Mekedatu balancing reservoir across Cauvery river, Mahadayi drinking water project and the third stage of the Krishna Upper project.

“We have to complete the third stage of Upper Krishna project to irrigate 5.5 lakh hectares land. That is our priority. We know the background of it,” Bommai said in his maiden Independence Day speech as Chief Minister from the Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw Parade Ground.

The Chief Minister also announced a number of schemes in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to celebrate the event till August 15, 2023 to mark the platinum jubilee (Amruth Varsh) or 75th year of the Independence Day of India, starting from Sunday. Read more.

15:09 (IST)15 Aug 2021
In Pics | Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal unfurls 115-feet-high National Flag in his constituency

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal unfurled a 115-feet high National Flag in his constituency, New Delhi, Sunday, while remembering the Anna Andolan against corruption in the national capital.

14:58 (IST)15 Aug 2021
In Pics | Army personnel celebrate Independence Day in Srinagar

The Indian army personnel along with members of the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee, who are on a 4-day visit to Kashmir and Ladakh to review facilities being provided to the troops, celebrated the Independence Day in Srinagar. 

14:47 (IST)15 Aug 2021
US President Joe Biden says ties with India 'more important than ever' on its 75th Independence Day

In a statement on Saturday, US President Joe Biden wished all those celerating, "a safe and happy Indian Independence Day." He said that India's journey was "guided by Mahatma Gandhi’s message of truth and non-violence" and its "foundational commitment to respecting the will of the people through democracy continues to inspire the world and is the basis of the special bond between our two nations."

"This past year, our nations have come together in new ways as we tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, including working in partnership with Japan and Australia—through the Quad—to expand global manufacturing of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and to strengthen our “last-mile” coordination to reach people throughout the Indo-Pacific. In this moment of great challenges and opportunities, the partnership between India and the United States is more important than ever," the statement read.

14:15 (IST)15 Aug 2021
PM giving same speech for seven years, nothing implemented on ground: Congress

The Congress on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of only making announcements about schemes in his Independence Day speeches and not implementing them, even as it hit out at him for not withdrawing the three agri laws against which the farmers have been protesting. Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said for seven years the country has been listening to the "same speeches" by the prime minister but nothing is being done for any aggrieved section, including small farmers.

"He announces new schemes but these are never implemented or seen on the ground. He says a lot of things but never adheres to them. And now, by bringing the three new farm laws, he has spelled doom for the farmers," Kharge told reporters after the prime minister's Independence Day speech. Kharge also took exception to the prime minister targeting the previous regimes on the issues of small farmers and development, saying the country will not progress by criticising the Congress from the ramparts of the Red Fort again and again. (PTI)

14:09 (IST)15 Aug 2021
Deshbhakti curriculum to start in Delhi schools from September 27: Arvind Kejriwal

The Deshbhakti curriculum will be implemented in schools across Delhi starting September 27, to mark freedom fighter Bhagat Singh’s birth anniversary.

The curriculum, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, will be activity-based, and aims to inculcate patriotism among children.

“This is not something that will require rote learning. Children will be told about the stories of the nation, there will be discussions about their responsibilities and duties to the nation and how they can contribute,” he said. The curriculum was adopted by the State Council of Educational Research and Training last week.

13:58 (IST)15 Aug 2021
75 years of Partition: A black peacock, 72-yr wait, and a homecoming

As India and Pakistan celebrate 75 years of their Independence, the quest in the hearts of Punjabis — to trace their roots on the either side, to get just one glimpse of their ancestral homes, and to revisit the streets where they spent their childhood in — remains.

While most of families, who moved either to India or Pakistan in 1947, have been unable to revisit their ancestral homes again, some like Tarunjit Singh Butalia (56), have been lucky. In his case, the search began with a “kaala mor (black peacock)” that his grandmother would often mention in conversations about the past. The black peacock was painted outside their ancestral haveli at village Butala in Pakistan’s Gujranwala in 1947. With that as landmark, Butalia finally traced the haveli, 72 years after the Partition, in December 2019. Most of the plaster from the haveli’s wall was gone, but the black peacock was still perched there. Read more

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech: When and where to watchPrime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 75th Independence Day on Sunday. (PTI/File)

Ahead of the 75th Independence Day on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday said the pain of partition can never be forgotten and announced that August 14 will be remembered as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day in memory of people’s struggles and sacrifices during that period.

“Partition’s pains can never be forgotten. Millions of our sisters and brothers were displaced and many lost their lives due to mindless hate and violence. In memory of the struggles and sacrifices of our people, 14th August will be observed as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

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First published on: 14-08-2021 at 13:55 IST
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