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India set to celebrate 76th Independence Day; PM Modi to address nation for 9th time from Red Fort

This year, a wall hanging of prominent Freedom Fighters and from different States and Union Territories are adorning the walls of Red Fort

New Delhi: India is all decked up to celebrate its 76th Independence Day on August 15. This day commemorates India’s independence from colonial rule after two centuries of oppression and suppression at the hands of the British. The celebration of Independence Day honours the sacrifices and tireless efforts of our courageous leaders and freedom fighters who gave their entire life for the sake of the nation and the countrymen.

On this day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will first hoist the ‘Tiranga’ at the iconic Red Fort in New Delhi. Continuing with the traditions, he will then address the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort. Notably, this will be Prime Minister’s ninth Independence Day address to the nation from the Red Fort. Upon his arrival at the Red Fort, the Prime Minister will be received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt and Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar.

The Defence Secretary will introduce the General Officer Commanding (GoC), Delhi Area, Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, AVSM, to the Prime Minister. The GoC Delhi Area will then conduct PM Narendra Modi to the saluting base where a combined Inter-Services and Delhi Police Guard will present a general salute to the Prime Minister. Thereafter, the Prime Minister will inspect the Guard of Honour.

The Guard of Honour contingent for the Prime Minister will consist of one officer and 20 men each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. Indian Air Force is the coordinating service this year. The Guard of Honour will be commanded by Wing Commander Kunal Khanna. The Air Force Contingent in the Prime Minister’s Guard will be commanded by Squadron Leader Lokendra Singh, the Army contingent by Major Vikas Sangwan and the Naval contingent by Lieutenant Commander Avinash Kumar. The Delhi Police contingent will be commanded by Additional DCP (East Delhi) Achin Garg.

After inspecting the Guard of Honour, PM will proceed to the ramparts of the Red Fort where he will be greeted by Rajnath Singh, Ajay Bhatt, Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pandey, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari. The GoC Delhi area will conduct the Prime Minister to the dais on the ramparts to hoist the National Flag.

After being hoisted, the Tricolour will receive a ‘Rashtriya Salute’. The Air Force band, consisting of 20 men will play the National Anthem during hoisting of the National Flag and presenting of the ‘Rashritya Salute’. The Band will be conducted by Master Warrant Officer Raghuvir.

Squadron Leader Sunita Yadav will assist the Prime Minister in hoisting the National Flag. It will be synchronised with the 21 Gun Salute fired by the valiant gunners of the elite 8711 Field Battery (Ceremonial). The ceremonial battery is commanded by Lt Col Vikas Kumar, SM and the Gun Position Officer will be Naib Subedar (AIG) Anoop Singh.

The National Flag Guard comprising five officers and 128 men from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Delhi Police will present Rashtriya Salute at the time of hoisting of the National Flag by the Prime Minister. Wing Commander TVR Singh from the Indian Air Force will be in command of this Inter-Services Guard and Police Guard.

The Air Force Contingent in the National Flag Guard will be commanded by Squadron Leader Mihir Zokarkar, the Army contingent by Major Akash Joshi, the Naval Contingent by Lieutenant Commander Praveen Saraswat. The Delhi Police contingent will be commanded by Additional DCP (Central Delhi) Akshat Kaushal.

As soon as the National Flag is hoisted by the Prime Minister, flower petals will be showered at the venue in Amrit Formation by two MI-17 1V Helicopters. The formation is of 129 Helicopter Unit, the Nubra Warriors, led by Wing Commander Anand Vinayak Agashe with Wing Commander Nikhil Mehrotra in the second helicopter. Following the two Mi-17 in line astern formation will be two Dhruv helicopters from 111 Helicopter Unit, ‘The Snow Tigers’. The formation is led by Wing Commander Abhijeet Kumar with Wing Commander KS Vishal in the second helicopter.

After the showering of flower petals, the Prime Minister will address the nation. At the conclusion of the speech of the Prime Minister, the cadets of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) will sing the National Anthem. Seven hundred ninety-two boys and girls NCC cadets (Army, Navy and Air Force) from different schools across the country will take part in this festival of National Fervour. These cadets will be seated at ‘Gyan Path’ in front of the Red Fort’s ramparts in a geographical formation of the Map of India. They will adorn dresses of the regions they are representing, symbolising India’s cultural diversity. It is being done to carry forward the message of ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’.

For the first time, a home-grown howitzer gun, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), developed under the Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, will fire during the ceremonial 21-gun salute. The gun is completely indigenous, designed and developed by DRDO. The gun will stand as a testament to India’s growing capacity of developing arms and ammunition indigenously. Lt Colonel Gagandeep Singh Sandhu is commanding the gun unit with the firing instructor Naib Subedar Gulab Wable. The gun has been especially customised, with certain technical specifications being tweaked for the ceremony.

In continuation to the initiative taken during Republic Day 2022, the unsung heroes of the society, who are usually overlooked, have been invited as special guests for the Ceremony. These include anganwadi workers, street vendors, mudra scheme borrowers and mortuary workers.

As part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the Ministries of Defence and Culture came together in partnership with the National Gallery of Modern Art to pay a unique tribute to the bravehearts of India’s struggle for freedom. In a mammoth art project, Kala Kumbh, five hundred master artists worked tirelessly to create ten scrolls, each 75 meters long, out of which eight are displayed here. The monumental scrolls continue the ancient Indian tradition of narrative art and bring to life historic events that led India to break away the shackles of colonial rule.

This year, a wall hanging of prominent Freedom Fighters and from different States and Union Territories are adorning the magnificent walls of Red Fort. These hanging walls will also have different cultural, natural and religious heritage of that particular State and UT.

These prominent freedom fighters are Pattabhi Sitaramaiyya from Andhra Pradesh, Moje Riba from Arunachal Pradesh, Kushal Konwar from Assam, Vir Kunwar Singh from Bihar, Vir Narayan Singh from Chhattisgarh, Lala Har Dayal from National Capital Territory of Delhi, Pursottam Kesava Kakodkar from Goa, Bhikaji Cama from Gujarat, Rao Tula Ram from Haryana, Padam Dev from Himachal Pradesh, Saifuddin Kitchlew from UT of Jammu & Kashmir, Bhagwan Birsa Munda from Jharkhand, Karnad Sadashiva Rao from Karnataka, Accamma Cherian from Kerala, Abdul Sattar UT of Ladakh, Chandra Shekhar Azad from Madhya Pradesh, Bal Gangadhar Tilak from Maharashtra, Rani Gaidinliu from Manipur, Phan Nonglait from Meghalaya, Ropuiliani from Mizoram, Khaikhojam Kuki from Nagaland, Laxman Nayak from Odisha, Bhai Parmanand from Punjab, Sagarmal Gopa from Rajasthan, Trilochan Pokhrel from Sikkim, K Kamaraj from Tamil Nadu, Sarojini Naidu from Telangana, Sachindra Lal Singh from Tripura, Anushuya Prasad Bahuguna from Uttarakhand, Mangal Pandey from Uttar Pradesh and Chittranjan Das from West Bengal. This gesture is a fitting tribute to these towering personalities for their unparalleled contributions, sometimes unsung, for the cause of Freedom.

Another beautiful addition to the celebration is one of India’s favourite pastime, the kite flying. Murals on kite flying are displayed at Meena Bazar depicting diverse colours, sizes and techniques of kites representing Unity in Diversity mantra of our Motherland.

Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav

Under the banner of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, this year’s Independence Day is truly special in a number of ways.
This Mahotsav (or the grand celebration) is dedicated to the people of India who have not only been instrumental in bringing India thus far in its evolutionary journey but also hold within them the power and potential to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of activating India 2.0, fuelled by the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

As part of the Mahotsav or grand celebration, several events and campaigns have been organised for over the last 75 weeks to celebrate independence and the glorious history of India’s people, culture and achievements.

The official journey of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav commenced on March 12, 2021 which started a 75-week countdown to the 75th anniversary of India’s independence and will end post a year on August 15, 2023.

The Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav campaign is based on five broad themes- Freedom Struggle, Ideas@75, Resolve@75, Actions@75 and Achievements@75. Over the past 75 weeks, different events based on the themes were organised to commemorate 75 years of the country’s independence.