Selfies debut on R-Day as mobile phones allowed for first time
Colourful tableaux, massive missiles, imposing tanks and elegant camels — what more can a self-photographer ask for in the background to record momentary privilege? As India celebrated its 67th Republic Day, selfies made a debut at Rajpath on Tuesday with no restrictions on carrying cellphones to the venue.
“Since I had no place to deposit my cellphone, I left last year without watching the parade,” said Lucknow resident Madhav Singh. “But, this year I have clicked many pictures. And they are certainly going up on Facebook and WhatsApp.”
The selfie phenomenon has become increasingly popular with the global proliferation of smartphones that have built-in digital cameras, and the ability to share photos instantly on social media to engage one’s network in real time events.
As the excited crowd settled in, waiting for the sun to shine, dignitaries formed favourite subjects for photos. Visitors broke into applause when defence minister Manohar Parrikar welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Soon, people were craning their necks and standing on their toes with mobiles held high. Some even tried to snap selfies with a turbaned Modi in the background. “With my mobile camera, I could click a selfie with the French President; of course, with him in the background,” said Raman Singhal, who had come from Gurgaon.
The craze also created problems for some visitors who could not get a clear view of the parade as people kept standing up with their phones. “People here are busier capturing the moment than enjoying it,” said Delhi resident Vinay Kumar.