Ascetics at the mega Hindu religious fair, Kumbh Mela in Allahabad today immersed themselves in the hues of spirituality and nationalism, as the country celebrates its 64th Republic Day. Pilgrims from far and wide congregated on the banks of the holy river Ganges to seek independence from environmental pollution and pay their tribute to war heroes. Ascetics in saffron robes were sighted with national flags, as they shouted slogans to express their patriotism. Pilgrims and hermits jointly pledged to clean the holy river, in the same manner as the Ganges cleanses their souls. The campaign to raise awareness about the Ganges came after the centre decided to tag Ganga as a C-grade river, because of ever-increasing pollution.