India celebrates 65th R-Day amid security
Amid tight security arrangements, India on Sunday is celebrating its 65th Republic Day while displaying a grand parade in the national capital that showcased the mighty strength of Indian military along with its colourful cultural heritage.
The national capital has been turned into a fortress with over 50,000 security men including paramilitary forces being deployed to man the city.
The parade ceremony commenced at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid homage to the martyrs.
Besides the Prime Minister, the President, the Vice President and a host of other Indian ministers, politicians, dignitaries, every year, there is a visitor from a foreign country.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is the chief guest of the parade this year.
Over 35,000 armed men are guarding the parade route from Vijay Chowk to Red Fort.
All kind of vehicular movement on the parade route has been restricted from 4 am on Sunday. Private vehicles have been barred from entering the Rajpath from 6 pm on Saturday.
In his address on the eve of the 65th Republic Day, President of India Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday hit out at the politics of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) without naming the outfit or its chief Arvind Kejriwal by warning against "populist anarchy" as a substitute for governance.
"Equally dangerous is the rise of hypocrisy in public life. Elections do not give any person the licence to flirt with illusions. Those who seek the trust of voters must promise only what is possible. Government is not a charity shop. Populist anarchy cannot be a substitute for governance," said the President in his speech.
"False promises lead to disillusionment, which gives birth to rage, and that rage has one legitimate target: those in power," Mukherjee said without naming Kejriwal, the Delhi Chief Minister, who had sat on a dharna on the street for two days outside Rail Bhawan in demand of Delhi police reforms and its reporting to the Delhi government.
The President said: "I am not a cynic because I know that democracy has this marvellous ability to self-correct. It is the physician that heals itself, and 2014 must become a year of healing after the fractured and contentious politics of the last few years."
Meanwhile, Republic Day is being celebrated across India in all states while the security arrangements are heavy in Jammu and Kashmir and in some Northeast states.
In Kashmir valley even mobile phone and internet services have been suspended for a period for an incident free Republic Day celebration.
(Posted on 26-01-2014)
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