August 15, 2012
I-Day parade at Red Road, Chief Minister inspects guard of honour
West Bengal experienced a moment filled with `nostalgia` today on the occasion of 66th Independence Day. Wave of `poriborton` (parivartan) indeed as this was a new Independence Day celebration with the entire function held on Red Road breaking the age old tradition of holding the programme at BBD Bagh. A concept to bring the masses on a larger platform since she felt Independence Day was a day for all to celebrate and it was this idea which was instrumental behind shifting the venue of Independence Day celebrations from the government headquarters at the State Secretariat at Writers` Building in BBD Bag to Red Road in the heart of the city. Chief Minister wanted a similar programme close on the lines of Republic Day on this occasion. Chief Minister
The main programme commenced on Red Road around 10:30 AM with the hoisting of National Tricolour by Chief Minister. Ms. Banerjee walked down to the saluting base leaving her car behind and greeted all immediately after reaching the venue and took her place. Chief Minister after hoisting the National Tricolour inspected a guard of honour. For the first time in 64 years, Kolkata witnessed a full-fledged Independence Day pageant, with a police parade and tableaux, instead of the simple flag-hoisting ceremony in front of Writers Buildings before a restricted set of invitees. City and state police, members of civil society, social organisations and school children, participated in the march past.
The entire atmosphere around the Red Road was filled with a unique `nostalgia` mixed with pride and excitement of this day. Chief Minister was seen reciprocating the salute given to her by the various contingents comprising of the school children.
Red Road which was decked up with the National Tricolour witnessed a 'nostalgic' moment as representatives from different parts of West Bengal performed their traditional music and dance. The air around the venue was roaring with the beats of Dhamsha and Madol played by tribal people. A group of young girls from North Bengal performed their traditional dance on the song which was a ballad describing the beauty and picturesque locals of their district, it requested the tourists to visit their place once and experience the `nostalgic` feeling around. The song also mentioned the beauty of forests which adorn the place. Im yet another beautiful song performed by a tribal people who had come from Birbhum welcomed people to their district, it said their place may be simple but have immense warmth. Yet another group which had come down from Sikkim filled the air across Red Road with the beats and rhythm of the percussion. The dance group from Midnapore performed their traditional dance which was a welcome to Goddess of wealth and shower prosperity on them. Dancers from Purulia performed Chau dance.
The inmates from the Alipur Central Jail also performed dance on the music from rabindranath Tagore`s Balmiki Protibha choreographed by noted dancer Alokanana Roy.
The Independence Day celebration came to an end with the performance by the Kolkata Police band which was represented by young boys and girls in uniform. Among them one of the officers had bagged the `Best Singer Award` in the television programme Indian Idol. The band performed a beautifully orchestrated medley of patriotic songs – `Bharot amar Bharotbarsho`, `Akash bhara surjo tara`, `Bangla r mati, Bangla r jol`, `Mukti r mandir, shopan o tole` and concluded with `Sare jahan se achha, Hindustan hamara`.