India is celebrating its 73rd Republic Day Wednesday. Given that Republic Day this year falls in the 75th year of India’s Independence, the government said it would hold week-long celebrations, beginning on January 23 to mark the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and culminating on January 30, which is observed as Martyrs’ Day. The ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony will be held at Vijay Chowk on January 29.
On Wednesday, India displayed its military might and cultural diversity at the annual parade at Rajpath. Apart from cultural performances by more than 480 dancers from across the country, and as many as 21 tableaux, the parade also featured a grand 75 aircraft flypast by the Indian Air Force.
Ahead of the parade, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to the armed forces personnel killed in action at the National War Memorial.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal unfurled the national flag at his residence in Delhi on Wednesday to mark India’s 73rd Republic Day. Greeting the people on the occasion, he said, “The Indian Constitution is the largest written Constitution in the world. This Constitution, composed by Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, encapsulates the hopes and aspirations of every Indian.”
Security has been beefed up in the national capital ahead of the Republic Day celebrations. The Delhi Police has made multi-layer security arrangements, including installation of a facial recognition software and deploying 27,000 personnel across the city, to prevent any terror-related incident.
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other ministers and officers led Republic Day celebrations in Maharashtra with a ceremony at Shivaji Park. Besides the local police, additional personnel were deployed at the venue and across the city to maintain law and order and avoid any untoward incident. Personnel from the State Reserve Police Force, Quick Response Team, Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad and a dog squad were deployed at Shivaji Park.
In a short ceremony to mark the 73nd Republic Day, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath congratulated the public and spoke about the importance of the Indian Constitution. “Our Republic is an integrated expression of our lofty democratic values and unwavering allegiance to the Constitution of India and our unity in diversity. Let us resolve to build ‘Ek Bharat- Shreshtha Bharat-Self-reliant India’,” he said.
Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot extended his greetings to the people of the state on Wednesday. He dedicated the celebrations to the “undying human spirit to triumph in the face of adversity.”
Meanwhile, Karnataka’s tableau was showcased during the main parade at Rajpath. It is the 13th time in a row that Karnataka’s tableau has been selected. Additionally, it was the only South Indian state whose tableau was showcases this year. According to the Karnataka government, the music and lyrics of the tableau was composed by Praveen D Rao.
Former chief minister B S Yediyurappa also unfurled the national flag in Bengaluru.
At 8 am on Wednesday morning, Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi unfurled the national flag at Marina Beach in Chennai, in the presence of Chief Minister M K Stalin. The parade lasted about 28 minutes due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in the state. After a march past by the contingents of the armed forces, police and paramilitary forces, the Tamil Nadu government showcased its Republic Day tableau, which was rejected by the Centre. The tableau depicted a statue of Queen Velu Nachiyar riding a horse with a sword in hand and women soldiers.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar unfurled the national flag at Red Road in Kolkata in the presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Earlier, Banerjee said the Narendra Modi government, with the promise of installing a statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at the India Gate, cannot absolve itself of the injustice done to her state by rejecting its Republic Day tableau on the legendary freedom fighter.
Banerjee saluted the freedom fighters and jawans who have sacrificed their lives to protect the country and ensure the safety and security of the citizens.
The Trinamool Congress supremo also called on the country, whom she described as pillars of the Indian democracy, to protect, preserve and follow the ideals of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity.
“Heartiest greetings to all on the Republic Day. On this day, let us once again take pledge to protect the basic structure of the Indian Constitution, including and particularly its federal character,” she tweeted.
“Let us strive to protect, preserve and follow the ideals of Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, as enshrined in our Constitution, which, among other things, gives us our inalienable rights,” Banerjee said in another Twitter post.
“I salute all our freedom fighters and jawans whose valiant sacrifice and their selfless duty protect our country and ensure our safety and security. My heartiest congratulations to all the countrymen who are the pillars of our democracy. Jai Hind,” she added.
A short programme was held on the Red Road in the heart of Kolkata to celebrate the day with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols, amid the presence of Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, the chief minister and Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee.
Chandigarh UT adviser Dharam Pal unfurled the national flag during a Republic Day function at Parade Ground in Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Wednesday.
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday greeted the people on Republic Day. “Heartiest greetings and best wishes to all on the auspicious occasion of 73rd Republic Day. My homage to the great men and freedom fighters of India, who sacrificed their lives for the country. Tributes to the Jawans and officers of Jammu & Kashmir Police, Army and other Central Security Forces, who continue to make supreme sacrifice for unity & integrity of the motherland,” he tweeted.
Speaking at a ceremony, Sinha said, “After the historic changes in August 2019 & subsequent transformative reforms, Jammu and Kashmir is poised to become the latest success story among Indian states and a model of Socio-Economic development for the country. Central government under the strong and able leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi took the bold and decisive step of breaking the shackles erected in the path of development of J&K.”
In Rajasthan, Republic Day was celebrated amid tight security arrangements. Governor Kalraj Mishra unfurled the Tricolour at Sawai Man Singh stadium. The celebrations were held at all district headquarters of the state with the compliance of Covid-related guidelines like social distancing and wearing face masks.
“Hearty congratulations to the country, the people of the state and the brave soldiers posted on the border on the 73rd RepublicDay. On this occasion, I call upon all of you to take a pledge to participate in the overall development of the country and the state along with safeguarding the unity and integrity of the nation,” Mishra said in a tweet.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was also present during the ceremony and speaking to reporters, he said, “Republic Day gives an opportunity to take a resolution that in the coming times, we should strengthen our constitution further. Today, whether it is a constitution, whether it is a democracy, such an environment has been created for it that I do not know what will happen in the coming time,” reported PTI.
Sikkim Governor Ganga Prasad unfurled the National Flag at the Manan Kendra here on the occasion of the 73rd Republic Day function. The governor was given a guard of honour by the police personnel. Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, other ministers and senior officials attended the function.
Speaking at the function the governor lauded the progress made by the state in all sectors. He said that the border state will receive a further boost in its development aspirations once it gets connected with the railway network soon. “The construction of railway infrastructure is underway in a big way and the project is likely to be completed soon,” Prasad said, adding that the railway network was bound to give a boost to development of the state in a big way.
The governor said that it was a matter of great satisfaction that Sikkim which has been doing well on parameters like law and order and cleanliness for years has been recognised by the NITI Aayog and other national-level institutions.
(With PTI inputs)
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