BENGALURU: It was a day filled with pride and the spirit of patriotism for those gathered at Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Ground for the 70th Independence Day celebrations on Monday.
“I have been waiting to see an Independence Parade for long. I have watched it only through television but today I truly experienced the spirit and patriotism,” said K Manjunath, a resident of R T Nagar. “I really enjoyed the function and I will definitely try to come next year as well. The performance by children was enthralling,” he said.
Sisters Vijayalakshmi and Pallavi caught the attention of many with their cheeks painted with images of freedom fighters. While Vijayalakshmi, a Class 7 student, had Sangolli Rayanna painted on her cheek, Pallavi, a Class 3 student, had Chandra Shekhar Azad.
“Our father is an artist, so he helped us paint our favourite freedom fighters on our cheeks during Independence Day and Republic Day. We have so far painted pictures of Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and former president A P J Abdul Kalam,” said Vijayalakshmi.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah unfurled the national flag and received the guard of honour amid cheers from nearly 11,000 people.
A few seconds before the Chief Minister unfurled the national flag, an IAF helicopter showered flower petals. (Normally, petals are thrown only after the CM hoists the flag.) Amid patriotic songs and chants from spectators, contingents of various armed forces, police and emergency services and school students marched to the beat of the band.
The crowd cheered on as students of various schools put together an impressive show. As many as 680 students of three schools in Audugodi - Government Girls High School, VIP School, Munichinnappa Government Primary School - performed ‘Shanthi Kranthi’, a dance drama that paid tribute to India’s freedom fighters.
The show-stopper of the day was a performance by 700 students of Government High School in Chikkabidarakallu (Bengaluru North): the dance drama ‘Jaya Bharathi’ commemorated state’s freedom fighters like Rani Chennamma and Sangolli Rayanna.
The display of Mallakhamb, a mix of yoga, gymnastics, and acrobatics by the Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre was received wide applause.