The united colours of patriotism at Red Fort


New Delhi : As the first rays of the sun touched the magnificent Red Fort Friday morning, thousands of youths who had marched all the way from Meerut to Delhi to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1857 uprising, cheered and proudly waved miniature replicas of the national flag.

Support TwoCircles

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram were present at the ceremony.

In his address, Kalam told the marchers to pledge that as citizens of the country, they will work with full dedication, hard work and honesty to take the nation forward.

With intense patriotism burning bright in every eye and dressed in white overalls and red-green caps, the marchers held their banners high to express national pride.

With a host of fairs being put up in the vicinity, including a food fair and a crafts fair, besides an exhibition that revisits the struggle for independence triggered 150 years ago, the scene at the Red Fort was that of celebration and joyous revelries.

Human Resource and Development Minister Arjun Singh told the marchers: "The Lal Qila (Red Fort) is not made up of stones but of stories and the history of the freedom struggle that started in this place around this time 150 years back.

"The yatra (journey) that you undertook over the past four days isn't just a march but a united voice against caste, creed and various other forms of distinction. Just like our brave patriots who had stood together to fight for freedom, your march is significant of the same emotion."

A vibrant cultural programme depicting the history of independence, the struggles of freedom fighters like Mangal Pandey, Rani Lakshmibai and Tantiya Tope and the final triumph was staged amid lots of colour, dance, music and a live commentary.

In it, the colours of the various states of the country, from Assam to Punjab and from Kashmir to Kerala, were weaved together in the form of a number of short dances.