Independence Day is like Eid in old Delhi, say residents

People cook a lavish meal at their homes, women wear tri-coloured bangles and salwar-kameez, and patriotic songs are played all through the day,” said a resident of old Delhi.
Independence day is a very important festival in old Delhi.
Independence day is a very important festival in old Delhi.
Updated on Aug 16, 2019 02:02 AM IST
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New Delhi | ByAdrija Roychowdhury

It’s t 11am and Mohammad Naeem is busy making arrangements for unfurling the tricolour on the terrace of a 200-year-old mansion in old Delhi. “Independence day is a very important festival in old Delhi. People cook a lavish meal at their homes, women wear tri-coloured bangles and salwar-kameez, and patriotic songs are played all through the day,” said Naeem who is president of the Delhi Youth Welfare Youth Organisation and one of the founders of the Hazrat Shah Walliullah Public library at Churiwalan in Jama Masjid.

“In the past five years, the security arrangements in this part of the city have been increased. Guards are stationed on the terrace of all the houses from the previous night,” said Naeem. The heightened security, however, has not diluted the enthusiasm with which residents of old Delhi celebrate August 15. “In fact there are newer ways in which the day is celebrated for example bursting fireworks in the evening,” said Naeem.

Abu Sufiyan, another resident of old Delhi who established the cultural platform, ‘Purani Dilli Walo ki Baatein’, said, “Earlier people would start with the celebrations from August 14 itself. Independence Day is celebrated just like Eid here. Tighter security might have resulted in celebrations beginning a day later, but the excitement and fervour has remained same.”

Sikandar Changezi, co-founder of the Hazrat Shah Walliullah Public library, said, “Old Delhi saw the freedom struggle most closely. Majority of the freedom fighters in Delhi belonged to the walled city. Political meetings attended by the stalwarts of our freedom struggle were held in the houses and mansions here.”

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