By Quaid NajmiMumbai 15th August : Maharashtra on Monday began to erupt into Joyful, colorful and Patriotic celebrations of the nation’s 75th Independence Day at official, public and political levels with large crowds taking part in the festivities.
The official state event was held in the Council Hall in Pune where Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari unveiled the national Tricolour in the presence of high-ranking officials, police and civil officials.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde lowered the flag of India at his residence , ‘Varsha then later on at Mantralaya in the presence of an array of officials, and addressed the crowd briefly.
The Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hoisted the flag at Nagpur and others Bharatiya Janata Party cabinet ministers RadhaKrishna Vikhe-Patil, Sudhir Mogantiwar, Chandrakant Patil, VijayKumar Gavit, Girish Mahajan, Mangal Prabhat Lodha Ravindra Chavan, Atul Save and Suresh Khade in their respective districts.
From the Shinde Group of Shiv Sena ministers Gulabrao Patil Dadaji Bhuse, Sanjay Rathod, Sandipan Bhumre, Uday Samant, Tanaji Sawant, Abdul Sattar, Deepak Kesarkar and Shambhuraj Desai, lowered the flag in their respective districts.
Nationalist Congress Party Chief of Opposition Ajit Pawar, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, Congress state President Nana Patole performed the honours at their respective party’s headquarters with large numbers of employees joined them to sing the National Anthem and chanted ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ as well as “Vande Mataram’.
The General Managers of Central Railway Anil Kumar Lahoti raised the Tricolour at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Konkan Railway Chairman Sanjay Gupta carried the national flag to the Konkan Rail Vihar in Navi Mumbai and Western Railway General Manager Prakash Butani lifted it at the Churchgate headquarters.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority Chairman Sanjay Sethi hoisted the national flag and paid tribute to freedom fighters.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat carried the tricolour to the headquarters of the organization in Nagpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh.Other MLAs, MPs and elected representatives also performed the honors in their areas of residence.
Similar events were held in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport as well as the Indian Army, Indian Navy and India Air Force stations in Mumbai and other regions of the district collectorates, in the state in prestigious central and state public institutions, private companies malls, multiplexes, villages, cultural and social organizations.
The thousands of housing societies or residential complexes, as well as slums in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik, Nagpur held their own I-Day flag-raising events with many thousands of locals taking part, despite the rainy weather in certain areas, but they did not dampen the celebrations.
The Maharashtra Congress had last week organized a ‘Tiranga Rally’ in all districts which culminated in other social organizations also participated in our Tricolour procession, and urged citizens to hoist the nation’s flag on their own homes and to be a part of the celebration.
First time since two years of epidemic the 75th I-Day was a good day for business for thousands of small street-based vendors who sell miniature Tricolours constructed of cloth or paper, India map cut-outs, balloons, badges and tie-pins mementos, stickers, tiny statuettes, and other cult nationalism-themed items.
The most prominent public buildings, like the Mantralaya, CSMT, Churchgate Station, BMC Headquarters, the Siddhivinayak Ganpati Temple and other temples and mosques, churches and gurudwaras, local government offices, etc, all across the city and in other parts of Maharashtra were lit in the nation’s flag colors over the last few of days with thousands of people flocking to see and take selfies.
Social media has also exploded into Patriotic sentiment with greetings, pictures of the Tricolourflag, creative memes or messages, images of the freedom struggle heroes of India or heroines, obscure tidbits of the fight to Independence as well as other fascinating information to educate the next generation.
A number of Bollywood celebrities such as Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ranveer Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut, Anoushka Kohli, Priyanka Chopra, and many more along with prominent cricketers, industrialists and other prominent personalities have flooded social media with photos as well as messages of I-Day celebrations and arousing the Patriotic spirit of our nation.
The Maharashtra Police implemented stringent security measures throughout the state in order to guarantee a peaceful Independence Day especially in the Maoist-infested areas of eastern Maharashtra such as Gadchiroli and the surrounding areas.
(Quaid Najmi may be reached via [email protected])