It was an occasion to wear one’s patriotism on the sleeves and flaunt it. Some even chose to paint it on their cheeks. Wristbands, caps, badges and even clothes in the colours of the national flag were the order of the day.
The 69th Independence Day celebrations began on a colourful note. The government marked the celebrations at the Manekshaw Parade Grounds on MG Road, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah hoisting the tricolour.
Thousands of people gathered at the grounds to celebrate the occasion. These included at least over 2,000 schoolchildren, apart from various battalions of the armed forces and the police, senior army, police and IAS officials and the general public.
The Independence Day parade was led by Fakirappa Basappa Revannavar. Following this, 62 troops participated in the march past. Among them were the Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indian Red Cross, Karnataka State Industrial Security Force, fire services, Scouts and Guides and students of several schools from across the State.
After the synchronised performance of various troops in the march past, hundreds of school students enthralled the audience with dance shows. As part of the cultural programme, there were performances of North East Warriors and the Mallakhamba.
Help promised to farmersAddressing the gathering on the occasion, Siddaramaiah said the government was celebrating the occasion with a heavy heart in the wake of the farmers’ suicides in the State.
As many as 58 farmers had committed suicide in 2013, while the number was 48 in 2014. However, this year, in just three months (April-June), the number was 39. In July alone, the number was 182, he pointed out, listing out several government schemes to support farmers.
While planning to set aside Rs 737.41 crore for crop loans during the current year, the government plans to pump in more funds to co-operative institutions. Assistance for this would be sought from the union government too, he said.
The State has proposed to set up an industrial development zone on 10,000 acres near NH-4, over the next five years. To attract more investments to the State, the government would organise a Global Investors Meet in November this year, he added.
The government aims to set up a Central Command Centre in Bengaluru to tackle terrorist activities. This year, 30 new police stations, including 10 women police stations, would be established to heighten the security, the chief minister said.