India is all decked up to celebrate its 76th Independence Day on August 15. This day commemorates India's independence from colonial rule after two centuries of oppression and suppression at the hands of the British. The celebration of Independence Day honours the sacrifices and tireless efforts of our courageous leaders and freedom fighters who gave their entire life for the sake of the nation and the countrymen.
On this day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will first hoist the 'Tiranga' at the iconic Red Fort in New Delhi. Continuing with the traditions, he will then address the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort. Notably, this will be Prime Minister's ninth Independence Day address to the nation from the Red Fort.
Upon his arrival at the Red Fort, the Prime Minister will be received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt and Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar. The Defence Secretary will introduce the General Officer Commanding (GoC), Delhi Area, Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, AVSM, to the Prime Minister. The GoC Delhi Area will then conduct PM Narendra Modi to the saluting base where a combined Inter-Services and Delhi Police Guard will present a general salute to the Prime Minister. Thereafter, the Prime Minister will inspect the Guard of Honour.
The Guard of Honour contingent for the Prime Minister will consist of one officer and 20 men each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. Indian Air Force is the coordinating service this year. The Guard of Honour will be commanded by Wing Commander Kunal Khanna. The Air Force Contingent in the Prime Minister's Guard will be commanded by Squadron Leader Lokendra Singh, the Army contingent by Major Vikas Sangwan and the Naval contingent by Lieutenant Commander Avinash Kumar. The Delhi Police contingent will be commanded by Additional DCP (East Delhi) Achin Garg.
After inspecting the Guard of Honour, PM will proceed to the ramparts of the Red Fort where he will be greeted by Rajnath Singh, Ajay Bhatt, Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pandey, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari. The GoC Delhi area will conduct the Prime Minister to the dais on the ramparts to hoist the National Flag.
After being hoisted, the Tricolour will receive a 'Rashtriya Salute'. The Air Force band, consisting of 20 men will play the National Anthem during hoisting of the National Flag and presenting of the 'Rashritya Salute'. The Band will be conducted by Master Warrant Officer Raghuvir.
Squadron Leader Sunita Yadav will assist the Prime Minister in unfurling the National Flag. It will be synchronised with the 21 Gun Salute fired by the valiant gunners of the elite 8711 Field Battery (Ceremonial). The ceremonial battery is commanded by Lt Col Vikas Kumar, SM and the Gun Position Officer will be Naib Subedar (AIG) Anoop Singh.
The National Flag Guard comprising five officers and 128 men from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Delhi Police will present Rashtriya Salute at the time of unfurling of the National Flag by the Prime Minister. Wing Commander TVR Singh from the Indian Air Force will be in command of this Inter-Services Guard and Police Guard.
The Air Force Contingent in the National Flag Guard will be commanded by Squadron Leader Mihir Zokarkar, the Army contingent by Major Akash Joshi, the Naval Contingent by Lieutenant Commander Praveen Saraswat. The Delhi Police contingent will be commanded by Additional DCP (Central Delhi) Akshat Kaushal.
As soon as the National Flag is unfurled by the Prime Minister, flower petals will be showered at the venue in Amrit Formation by two MI-17 1V Helicopters. The formation is of 129 Helicopter Unit, the Nubra Warriors, led by Wing Commander Anand Vinayak Agashe with Wing Commander Nikhil Mehrotra in the second helicopter. Following the two Mi-17 in line astern formation will be two Dhruv helicopters from 111 Helicopter Unit, 'The Snow Tigers'. The formation is led by Wing Commander Abhijeet Kumar with Wing Commander KS Vishal in the second helicopter.
After the showering of flower petals, the Prime Minister will address the nation. At the conclusion of the speech of the Prime Minister, the cadets of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) will sing the National Anthem. Seven hundred ninety-two boys and girls NCC cadets (Army, Navy and Air Force) from different schools across the country will take part in this festival of National Fervour. These cadets will be seated at 'Gyan Path' in front of the Red Fort's ramparts in a geographical formation of the Map of India. They will adorn dresses of the regions they are representing, symbolising India's cultural diversity. It is being done to carry forward the message of 'Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat'.
For the first time, a home-grown howitzer gun, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), developed under the Government's 'Make in India' initiative, will fire during the ceremonial 21-gun salute. The gun is completely indigenous, designed and developed by DRDO. The gun will stand as a testament to India's growing capacity of developing arms and ammunition indigenously. Lt Colonel Gagandeep Singh Sandhu is commanding the gun unit with the firing instructor Naib Subedar Gulab Wable. The gun has been especially customised, with certain technical specifications being tweaked for the ceremony.
In continuation to the initiative taken during Republic Day 2022, the unsung heroes of the society, who are usually overlooked, have been invited as special guests for the Ceremony. These include anganwadi workers, street vendors, mudra scheme borrowers and mortuary workers.
As part of 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav', the Ministries of Defence and Culture came together in partnership with the National Gallery of Modern Art to pay a unique tribute to the bravehearts of India's struggle for freedom. In a mammoth art project, Kala Kumbh, five hundred master artists worked tirelessly to create ten scrolls, each 75 meters long, out of which eight are displayed here. The monumental scrolls continue the ancient Indian tradition of narrative art and bring to life historic events that led India to break away the shackles of colonial rule.
This year, a wall hanging of prominent Freedom Fighters and from different States and Union Territories are adorning the magnificent walls of Red Fort. These hanging walls will also have different cultural, natural and religious heritage of that particular State and UT. These prominent freedom fighters are Pattabhi Sitaramaiyya from Andhra Pradesh, Moje Riba from Arunachal Pradesh, Kushal Konwar from Assam, Vir Kunwar Singh from Bihar, Vir Narayan Singh from Chhattisgarh, Lala Har Dayal from National Capital Territory of Delhi, Pursottam Kesava Kakodkar from Goa, Bhikaji Cama from Gujarat, Rao Tula Ram from Haryana, Padam Dev from Himachal Pradesh, Saifuddin Kitchlew from UT of Jammu & Kashmir, Bhagwan Birsa Munda from Jharkhand, Karnad Sadashiva Rao from Karnataka, Accamma Cherian from Kerala, Abdul Sattar UT of Ladakh, Chandra Shekhar Azad from Madhya Pradesh, Bal Gangadhar Tilak from Maharashtra, Rani Gaidinliu from Manipur, Phan Nonglait from Meghalaya, Ropuiliani from Mizoram, Khaikhojam Kuki from Nagaland, Laxman Nayak from Odisha, Bhai Parmanand from Punjab, Sagarmal Gopa from Rajasthan, Trilochan Pokhrel from Sikkim, K Kamaraj from Tamil Nadu, Sarojini Naidu from Telangana, Sachindra Lal Singh from Tripura, Anushuya Prasad Bahuguna from Uttarakhand, Mangal Pandey from Uttar Pradesh and Chittranjan Das from West Bengal. This gesture is a fitting tribute to these towering personalities for their unparalleled contributions, sometimes unsung, for the cause of Freedom.
Another beautiful addition to the celebration is one of India's favourite pastime, the kite flying. Murals on kite flying are displayed at Meena Bazar depicting diverse colours, sizes and techniques of kites representing Unity in Diversity mantra of our Motherland.
Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav
Under the banner of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, this year's Independence Day is truly special in a number of ways.
This Mahotsav (or the grand celebration) is dedicated to the people of India who have not only been instrumental in bringing India thus far in its evolutionary journey but also hold within them the power and potential to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of activating India 2.0, fuelled by the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
As part of the Mahotsav or grand celebration, several events and campaigns have been organised for over the last 75 weeks to celebrate independence and the glorious history of India's people, culture and achievements.
The official journey of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav commenced on March 12, 2021 which started a 75-week countdown to the 75th anniversary of India's independence and will end post a year on August 15, 2023.
The Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav campaign is based on five broad themes- Freedom Struggle, Ideas@75, Resolve@75, Actions@75 and Achievements@75. Over the past 75 weeks, different events based on the themes were organised to commemorate 75 years of the country's independence.
Har Ghar Tiranga
'Har Ghar Tiranga' is a campaign under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to encourage people to bring the Tiranga home and to hoist it to mark the 75th year of India's independence. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (August 13) said he was overjoyed and proud of the amazing response to the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' movement. He also said record participation was being seen from people across different walks of life in the campaign.
"Overjoyed and proud of the amazing response to the #HarGharTiranga movement. We are seeing record participation from people across different walks of life," Modi said in a tweet.This is a great way to mark Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, he said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the people of India to hoist the tricolour at their homes between August 13th and 15th to celebrate the 75th Independence Day.
In a tweet, PM Modi had earlier said, "This year, when we are marking Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, let us strengthen the Har Ghar Tiranga Movement. Hoist the Tricolour or display it in your homes between 13th and 15th August. This movement will deepen our connection with the national flag."
Last month, Prime Minister Modi launched the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign to encourage people to bring the Tiranga home and hoist it to mark the 75th year of India's independence. The idea behind the initiative is to invoke the feeling of patriotism in the hearts of the people and to celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Ministry of Culture said.
On July 31, 2022, while addressing the Mann Ki Baat radio programme, the Prime Minister of India urged Indians to replace their social media profile picture with the Flag of India from August 2 to August 15.
Notably, the National Flag of India (in its present design) was adopted in the meeting of the Constituent Assembly on July 22, 1947, days before India gained Independence on August 15, 1947. The colours of the National Flag of India hold great significance and were chosen distinctively to portray the spirit of India. Saffron indicates strength and courage, white indicates peace and truth and green stands for fertility and growth. The Chakra present in the center of the Flag symbolizes motion, progress, and advancement.
The dignity of the National Flag of India is governed by the Flag Code of India and its amendments. It describes the conventions, practices, and instructions for the display of the National Flag.
Commonwealth Games 2022: India's best ever performance
India clinched as many as 61 medals including 22 Gold Medals at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (held in the UK). This might seem fewer than the 101 medals won at the Delhi Commonwealth games in 2010 and the 26 Gold Medals won at Gold Coast in 2018. But after accounting for sports that did not take place, it is actually India's best ever showing at the Commonwealth Games.
On August 13, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted the Indian contingent at his residence to felicitate the players in New Delhi. The Indian athletes produced a sensational show in Birmingham, claiming 61 medals, including 22 gold, 16 silver and 23 bronze.
The golden period of Indian sports is knocking on the doors, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday as he hailed the gutsy show of the Indian contingent which returned with 61 medals from the Commonwealth Games.
Over the last seven decades, the Indian economy has seen several ups and downs. In 1947, India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was Rs 2.7 lakh crore which has increased to 3.17 trillion US dollars now, making India the sixth-largest economy. By 2031, India is expected to become the third largest economy. India's economic history has been marked by several critical milestones amongst which are the crisis years of 1966, 1981 and 1991.
Recently, on August 1, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said India's economy is much better than most countries, adding that India is still the fastest growing economy. "Global agencies have ranked India's economy high," the minister said in a reply to the debate in the Lok Sabha.
"We have never seen a COVID-19 pandemic of this kind...all of us were trying to make sure that people in our constituencies are given extra help. I recognise that everybody -MPs and State Government- has played their role," Sitharaman said.
"Pandemic, second wave, Omicron, Russia-Ukraine (war), even today largest supply components in China are under lockdown...in spite of that, we have held inflation well within 7 per cent or below. That has to be recognised," she said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman defended the Indian economy saying that despite global headwinds, it is still being recognised as the 'fastest-growing' worldwide. She dismissed fears of a recession or stagflation and added that India has adequate foreign exchange reserves and the macroeconomic fundamentals are "perfect". She credited the government for managing inflation and the country's debt efficiently.
Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) projected India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 7.2 per cent for 2022-23.
In view of the 75th Independence Day celebrations, a multi-layered security cover along with Facial Recognition System cameras have been installed at each entry/exit point at Red Fort in the national capital where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on August 15, Delhi police said on Sunday. (ANI)