NEW DELHI: Mounting concerns caused by the sudden rise in coronavirus cases has forced the Delhi government to stall all its programmes planned to mark the 75th anniversary of Independence for an indefinite period.
Senior officials associated with the arrangements of the proposed celebrations said the sharp spike in daily count of Covid infection cases had “disturbed” the planning and preparations and directions had been issued to put all activities on hold for the time being.
“This Covid wave is obviously a matter of concern. It is not the right time to hold events or organise gatherings. All plans will remain suspended till the next order. No date has been specified otherwise the plan was to organise a big event every week. Unfortunately, Covid numbers have played spoilsport,” a senior government official said.
He said the first causality was a special event scheduled for March 27 in which families of prominent freedom fighters of Delhi were invited.
“The discussion on the freedom movement as part of the celebrations –75th anniversary of Independence was to be held at the IICC. The families of freedom fighters, including Mir Mushtaq Ahmed, Hakim Ajmal Khan, and Jugal Kishore Khanna, were also invited. Sadly, it had to be cancelled due to the Covid scenario. We had planned a mobile exhibition, which has also been shelved,” the official said.
As per the initial 75-week long celebrations, cultural functions, heritage walks and discussions were proposed at Qudsia Bagh, Kashmere Gate and their vicinity, where most of the activities took place during 1857 rebellion.
The programmes were to be held jointly by Delhi Tourism, the state archeology department, Delhi Archives, and the arts, culture & language department. The government had also planned to illuminate all historic buildings related to the freedom movement in Delhi.
The government will tie up with non-government agencies such as INTACH to conduct heritage tours and baithaks at sites connected with the 1857 revolt and subsequent developments such as St James Church, Kashmere Gate.