Bangalore, Aug 15 IANS | 2 years ago

Independence Day will be meaningful when political freedom coupled with economic independence reaches everyone, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Thursday.

"Political freedom without economic independence is meaningless. Our government feels the I-Day celebrations would be more meaningful when economic independence reaches the last person in society," he said on India's 67th Independence Day.

Admitting that opportunities were not made equally available to all sections of society resulting in social crisis, the chief minister said the I-Day was not just an occasion for celebration but to introspect if the purpose of independence had been fulfilled.

"We may not be in any position to negate the possibility of a situation wherein equality as a principle of democracy can come to conflicting terms with an unequal social order, an apprehension the Indian constitution architect Babasaheb Ambedkar expressed," Siddaramaiah recalled.

Noting that the objective of democracy was to ensure equitable distribution of wealth, power and opportunities, he said his government would implement the promises the Congress made in the May election.

"The people of Karnataka opted for a change... Change does not mean one party has completed its tenure and another party had replaced it to govern. Our action should be evident and the people should be able to see visible changes."

Since the model code of conduct was in force for by-elections in the Bangalore Rural and Mandya Lok Sabha seats Aug 21 and in three assembly segments (Chitradurga, Dharwad and Mysore), he said he would not dwell upon his government's future schemes on this occasion.

Earlier, under a cloudy sky and breezy weather, the chief minister hoisted the tricolour and reviewed a guard of honour from an open jeep at the Field Marshal Manekshaw parade ground in the city centre.

Even as he took the salute and martial music rent the air, a military chopper showered rose petals from a low altitude over the flower-decked dais, drawing cheers from about 10,000 people thronging the venue.

About 2,000 personnel from the military, state police, Home Guards, fire brigade, scouts and guides and 3,000 students from various schools in the city marched past.

Patriotic songs, cultural shows and martial arts lasted for over two hours. Daring feats and acrobatics on motorcycles by the military as well as state police teams kept the crowds spellbound.

Later, the chief minister presented medals and awards to police officers and distributed prizes to the participating organisations.

(Posted on 15-08-2013)