HT Image
HT Image

United colours of India unfurl again on 61st Republic Day

From Jammu and Kashmir to Kerala, from Gujarat to Assam, Indians celebrated a peaceful 61st Republic Day on Tuesday, undaunted by terror threats, Maoist shutdowns, separatist boycotts or even the morning fog that blanketed New Delhi where thousands congregated for the grand parade of military might and cultural diversity. Republic Day Special
By HT Correspondent | IANS, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 27, 2010 01:33 AM IST

From Jammu and Kashmir to Kerala, from Gujarat to Assam, Indians celebrated a peaceful 61st Republic Day on Tuesday, undaunted by terror threats, Maoist shutdowns, separatist boycotts or even the morning fog that blanketed New Delhi where thousands congregated for the grand parade of military might and cultural diversity.

Security was tight in the wake of threats but the enthusiasm was intact. In state capitals, towns and villages, in offices, housing complexes and schools, people gathered to hoist the tricolour and sing the national anthem. A holiday for some, but for others a chance to remember the day India became a republic 60 years ago.

It was the annual gooseflesh moment even for those who chose to stay at home and watch the colours of India unfold on their television screens in direct telecasts of the parade from New Delhi.

Held against the backdrop of presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhavan, the parade that goes down the Rajpath boulevard and culminates at Red Fort eight kilometres away was as always the cynosure of national and global attention.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh started the proceedings by paying tribute to the unknown soldier at India Gate before reaching the saluting dais to greet President Pratibha Patil and chief guest for the occasion, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

It was a solemn start to the spectacle of colour that was to follow with Patil, India's first woman president, first giving away three Ashok Chakras, the country's highest award for gallantry. Two of these were posthumous.

Then the extravaganza, including a flypast, began.

The cold and foggy morning had failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the thousands of spectators who turned out to witness India proudly displaying its military might and cultural melange.

The 110-minute parade also reinforced a trend that has been evident for the past few years in that where it was once a display of India's arms imports, the military hardware developed in the country is increasingly on display.

Thus it was Tuesday, with the Arjun main battle tank, the Agni-III intermediate range ballistic missile and the Shaurya hypersonic missile to name just a few, taking centrestage and vying for attention with the marching contingents drawn from the armed forces, the paramilitary forces and the National Cadet Corps.

There was also the contingent of the 61st Cavalry, one of the very few active horse-mounted regiments in the world, and a unique camel mounted squad and band of the Border Security Force.

The tableaux from the states highlighted vignettes from lives in the states and the country. The Maharashtra tableau, for instance, showcased the daily life of Mumbai's "dabbawalas" who ferry food across the city and this immediately caught President Patil's attention and she was seen explaining the concept to her South Korean counterpart.

Chief ministers and governors presided over functions in their states, as did district collectors and Indian ambassadors and high commissioners in their respective countries.

In Orissa, where thousands defied a Maoist boycott call to participate in the function, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik hoisted the tricolour at Cuttack despite a threat e-mail that he would be killed if he went to the town.

There was similar defiance in other Maoist stronghold states like Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand.

In the northeastern states of Assam, Tripura and Manipur, a 17-hour shutdown called by separatist rebels was not enough to keep people away.

"Despite a boycott call by militants, it is heartening to find people coming to attend Republic Day functions across the region," Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said in the state's main city Guwahati.

The run-up to the Republic Day was peaceful compared to previous years, with an estimated 50,000 security personnel deployed in the three northeastern states to foil any terror attacks.

Jammu and Kashmir was also incident free with Governor N.N. Vohra doing the honours in Jammu and the function in Srinagar being presided over by Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather.

Vohra asked separatist leaders to "settle problems through dialogue" and said they must "seriously reflect on the untold losses suffered by people in the past years and recognise the futility of continuing on the path of confrontation" in the state.

There was some tension though with mobile services being jammed in many parts of Jammu and Kashmir, which was on high alert following terror threats.

Officials said services had been jammed following inputs that the militants might use mobile phones to trigger explosive devices or pass on directions on the phone.

But the threats fell on deaf ears this Republic Day.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Delhi High Court.(Mint file)
Delhi High Court.(Mint file)

Delhi HC directs UP police to give post mortem report of farmer

ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 05:58 AM IST
A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna asked Uttar Pradesh police to provide both the original documents to the Delhi Police on March 5 and said that the document shall be retained in safe custody.
Close
Mizoram home minister Lalchamliana confirmed that the three people crossed over and entered Serchip district bordering Myanmar on Wednesday.(AP Photo )
Mizoram home minister Lalchamliana confirmed that the three people crossed over and entered Serchip district bordering Myanmar on Wednesday.(AP Photo )

At least three Myanmar cops cross into India seeking refuge

By Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Guwahati
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 04:43 AM IST
  • Those entering India can be granted refugee status, but they will be deported if the government decides against it
Close
These will be part of a long-awaited overhaul in how India sees and approaches dangers in the digital domain.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
These will be part of a long-awaited overhaul in how India sees and approaches dangers in the digital domain.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Cyber policy to factor in threat from state actors

By Sunetra Choudhury, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 04:12 AM IST
  • The 50-odd pages document, anchored by the national security adviser’s office, is now awaiting the approval from the Prime Minister’s office before it is released.
Close
Till Wednesday night, India vaccinated a total of 949,147 people, or 712 per million in Phase 2, which covers the most vulnerable sections of the general public.(AP)
Till Wednesday night, India vaccinated a total of 949,147 people, or 712 per million in Phase 2, which covers the most vulnerable sections of the general public.(AP)

Phase 2 of vaccination drive stuck in first gear

PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 04:09 AM IST
  • Delhi, which gave shots to 1,679 people per million population in the second phase till Wednesday night, was in the second spot, while Odisha (1,283 doses per million) was third.
Close
But the bench was emphatic that before it examined Purohit’s bail plea, it would want to take a look at the regulations, which were notified by the central government on February 25.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
But the bench was emphatic that before it examined Purohit’s bail plea, it would want to take a look at the regulations, which were notified by the central government on February 25.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

OTT regulations a necessity as some even show porn, says SC

By Utkarsh Anand, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 02:49 AM IST
  • The scenes that caused offence have since been deleted, and the makers as well as the OTT company have apologised.
Close
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain said he will reply to these arguments on Tuesday when the matter will be next heard.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain said he will reply to these arguments on Tuesday when the matter will be next heard.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

‘Can’t mandate perverse equality’: SC on plea over commission for women

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 02:35 AM IST
  • The medical fitness team of the Army tested close to 615 women SSC officers entitled for permanent commission, following the apex court judgment, on five counts: psychiatry, height, appendage (bone structure), physical and eye and ear.
Close
Cities in southern and western India, which perform the best on the more tangible indicators, have the lowest positive bias in their overall scores on account of CPS. The CPS bias is also higher in smaller cities than larger ones.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Cities in southern and western India, which perform the best on the more tangible indicators, have the lowest positive bias in their overall scores on account of CPS. The CPS bias is also higher in smaller cities than larger ones.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

N-E cities have the strongest feel-good factor

By Roshan Kishore, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 02:19 AM IST
  • The EOL report has calculated its overall scores on the basis of four parameters: quality of life, economic ability, sustainability and citizen perception.
Close
The EoL index evaluates the performance its cities across four pillars — quality of life, economic ability, sustainability and citizen perception.(File photo)
The EoL index evaluates the performance its cities across four pillars — quality of life, economic ability, sustainability and citizen perception.(File photo)

Economic might led Bengaluru to top

By Sharan Poovanna
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 02:07 AM IST
  • Bengaluru, India’s technology capital, is an economic powerhouse on account of the presence of some of the world’s largest corporations.
Close
But party insiders said he was forced to withdraw his comments after the central leadership expressed serious reservations about them.(PTI)
But party insiders said he was forced to withdraw his comments after the central leadership expressed serious reservations about them.(PTI)

BJP names Metro Man as its Kerala CM face, then retracts

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 01:32 AM IST
  • K Surendran, the state BJP president who made the original announcement claimed he was quoted out of context.
Close
The fire in Similipal biosphere reserve came at a time when Odisha topped the list of forest fire incidents with 8688 fire spots since February 25 as per the Forest Survey of India’s fire alerts system. (ANI PHOTO).
The fire in Similipal biosphere reserve came at a time when Odisha topped the list of forest fire incidents with 8688 fire spots since February 25 as per the Forest Survey of India’s fire alerts system. (ANI PHOTO).

Similipal blaze contained, Odisha asks for rapid response to forest fires

By Debabrata Mohanty
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 12:38 AM IST
  • The biosphere reserve spread over an area of 5569 sq km contributes 38% of the total protected area network in Odisha. It is also one of the oldest tiger reserves in the country having the largest zone of Sal trees.
Close
PM Modi in his address also asked students to practice three mantras. He said that students should follow the goals set by them in their lives by following the mantras of self-confidence, self-awareness and selflessness.(PTI Copy)
PM Modi in his address also asked students to practice three mantras. He said that students should follow the goals set by them in their lives by following the mantras of self-confidence, self-awareness and selflessness.(PTI Copy)

Top military meet in new avatar, to be ‘multi-layered and informal’

PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 12:00 AM IST
  • For the first time, junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and jawans are taking part in the top conference, as reported by Hindustan Times on Wednesday.
Close
A bird flies past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo(REUTERS)
A bird flies past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo(REUTERS)

Four days into March, Mumbai sizzles at 38 degrees Celsius

UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 11:52 PM IST
  • According to the IMD's forecast, Friday and Saturday may see higher daytime temperatures that could rise to 39 degrees Celsius.
Close
India’s vaccination drive has completed 17,711,287 jabs as of 7pm on Thursday.(HT Photo)
India’s vaccination drive has completed 17,711,287 jabs as of 7pm on Thursday.(HT Photo)

More than 1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses given in a day: Government

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 11:16 PM IST
“Total 10,93,954 vaccine doses were given till 7 pm today, the forty-eighth day of nationwide COVID19 vaccination,” the health ministry said in a statement.
Close
File photo of Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi as he resigns from his post, in Bengaluru on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)
File photo of Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi as he resigns from his post, in Bengaluru on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)

Complainant fails to join probe against Karnataka ex-minister Ramesh Jarkiholi

By Arun Dev
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 11:01 PM IST
  • A police officer said that the complainant's status as witness in the case of alleged sexual exploitation against former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi is also unclear.
Close
Urban housing minister Hardeep Puri release ease of living index on Thursday. (Sanjeev Verma/HT File Photo)
Urban housing minister Hardeep Puri release ease of living index on Thursday. (Sanjeev Verma/HT File Photo)

‘Choice between smart city and decay’: Minister on Ease of Living Index report

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:42 PM IST
The Union minister also hailed the smart cities project as one of the fastest implemented projects anywhere in the world. He, however, said, “there is some kind of perception deficit.”
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP