Bengaluru: A spirit of freedom and nationalism marked the 70th Independence Day celebrations in Karnataka on Monday, with colourful parades and rich cultural repertoire depicting the freedom struggle and supreme sacrifices of our martyrs.
The day-long celebrations began with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah hoisting the Tri-colour and inspecting the guard of honour from the army, navy and air force personnel, police and other contingents at the Sam Manekshaw parade ground in this tech hub.
About 10,000 people, including women and children, joined Siddaramaiah in singing the national anthem at the colourful ceremony on a partly cloudy and breezy day.
An army helicopter hovered over the sprawling parade ground, showering rose petals.
Clad in a long blue kurta and white dhoti (veshti), the Chief Minister went around the parade ground in an open jeep, taking salute from over 50 contingents and witnessed an impressive march-past by about 2,000 participants, with military and police bands playing patriotic and national songs through musical notes.
Besides one battalion each of soldiers, air and sea warriors, about 40 platoons of the state reserved police, Rapid Action Force, Scouts and Guides, NCC, fire brigade and home guards celebrated the event with school- and college-going students.
After Siddaramaiah addressed the gathering in the native language (Kannada), in which he referred to the state government’s socio-economic schemes for the less privileged, about 3,000 boys and girls from state-run schools and colleges in the city re-enacted major events of the freedom struggle and clashes between the patriotic citizens and British troops prior to the 1857 police mutiny.
Through song and dance and short plays, the youth relived the lives of freedom fighters, including Sangoli Rayanna and Kittur Rani Chennamma from the state, who fought against the British army in the 19th century.
Martial arts and daring feats and acrobatics on motorcycles by the military as well as the state police teams kept the crowds spellbound.
Later, Siddaramaiah presented medals and awards to police officers and distributed prizes to the participating organisations.
Governor Vajubhai Vala also hoisted the national flag at Raj Bhavan in the city.
Cabinet ministers and deputy commissioners unfurled the Tricolour in the other 29 district headquarters across the state amid tight security.
Independence Day functions were also held in several schools and colleges across the state where hundreds of students and teaches participated in various events.