India’s 74th Independence Day celebrations are set to be carried out with adherence to COVID-19 protocol.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurled the national flag and delivered his seventh consecutive Independence Day speech from the iconic Red Fort on Saturday.
The PM also received the Guard of Honour contingent, consisting of one officer and 24 men each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. Major Shweta Pandey assisted the PM in unfurling the National Flag, following which PM Modi addressed the nation.
Here are the updates from his speech:
India’s freedom struggle has become a beacon in the world, say PM Modi
Continuing his speech, PM Modi says:
Those in a blind race of imperialism, gave two World Wars to take it to the point of destruction. But in the midst of this, India remained firm in its resolve to be free. History can not deny that India was a bulwark against expansionism.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, 130 million Indians took a resolution to be aatmanirbhar (self-sufficient).
PM Modi continues his speech:
Despite the coronavirus and other disasters, Independence Day brings in its own enthusiasm and joy, and this year is special because next year we will be entering the 75th year of freedom.
These two years we have to go forward with a firm resolution on the things that we have to achieve.
In our past, under foreign rule, there was never a moment when our forefathers did not desire or fight for freedom. Revered Bapu, Gandhiji, led our struggle for freedom.
Much was done to prevent India from being free; those who ruled us thought they were here for ever, but our struggle for freedom finished their hopes.
They (the foreign rulers) thought that this country with so many languages, places, and princely states would never coalesce into one. But they forgot that there was an underlying unity in this diversity.
PM Narendra Modi begins his speech:
My dear countrymen and women, my greetings to you all on this auspicious day of our independence.
Today, as we breathe the air in a free country, we acknowledge the sacrifice of lakhs of sons and daughters of Mother India who gave their all for our freedom.
Our men in uniform — Army, Paramilitary, Police — who are always ready to defend our freedom and safety: I bow to them.
I also recall Sri Aurobindo Ghosh, who traversed the distance between revolutionary to spiritualism. I bow to him too.
In this time of coronavirus, lakhs of people — our Corona warriors — and who served the people of the country without counting the cost to themselves: I bow to them.
Lakhs have been affected, thousands have lost their lives due to coronavirus. I express my condolences to families of those affected. For the last few months we have been going through one crisis or the other… floods and other disasters. I express my sympathies with those affected and would like to say that the State and Central govts will work together to help all.
PM Modi unfurls the national flag
PM Modi unfurls the tri-colour flag, as the National Guard gives ‘Rashtriya Salute’ to the National Flag.
The unfurling of the tri-colour is synchronised with the 21 Gun Salute fired by the gunners of the elite 2233 Field Battery (Ceremonial). The ceremonial battery is being commanded by Lt Col Jitendra Singh Mehta and the Gun Position Officer is Naib Subedar (AIG) Anil Chand.
PM Modi arrives at Red Fort
PM Narendra Modi has arrived at the Lahore Gate of the Red Fort, where he is received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar.
The defence secretary will introduce the General Officer Commanding (GoC), Delhi Area, Lt Gen Vijay Kumar Mishra to the Prime Minister.
Red Fort on the eve of 74th Independence Day celebration in New Delhi.
| Photo Credit:
Sushil Kumar Verma
On his arrival at 7.18 a.m. in front of the Lahore Gate of the Red Fort, the prime minister will be received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar.
The defence secretary has introduced the General Officer Commanding (GoC), Delhi Area, Lt Gen Vijay Kumar Mishra to the PM.
The PM then inspected the Guard of Honour, which was positioned directly in front of the National Flag across the moat below the ramparts.
Capital turns into a fortress for Independence Day celebrations
A day before the Independence Day celebration, the city has been turned into a fortress with multiple layers of security. Due to the pandemic all the necessary safety guidelines will be enforced and arrangements have been made on the rampart for only 100 VVIPs as per social distancing norms.
A senior police officer said that Delhi Police has made multilayered arrangements in connection with the Independence Day celebrations. Necessary coordination has been made with agencies like the NSG, SPG and ITBP. All the agencies will work in close coordination with each other to cater to all kinds of threat inputs. SWAT teams and ‘Parakram’ vans have been strategically stationed and the borders have been sealed.
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