Modi leads Independence Day celebrations from Red Fort, unfurls national flag, addresses nation
New Delhi, August 15, 2022
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation on Monday in celebrating the 76th Independence Day from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in the capital, where he unfurled the national flag and delivered the customary address to the nation.
A large number of people, including Union Ministers, leaders of political parties, senior officials, diplomats, people from all walks of life and schoolchildren were amongst those present on the occasion.
Upon his arrival at the Red Fort, Modi was received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar.
The Defence Secretary introduced the General Officer Commanding (GoC), Delhi Area, Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, to the Prime Minister. The GoC Delhi Area then conducted the Prime Minister to the saluting base, where a combined Inter-Services and Delhi Police Guard presented general salute to the Prime Minister. Thereafter, he inspected the Guard of Honour.
The Guard of Honour contingent for the Prime Minister consisted of one officer and 20 men each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. Indian Air Force was the coordinating service this year.
The Guard of Honour was commanded by Wing Commander Kunal Khanna. The Air Force Contingent in the Prime Minister’s Guard was commanded by Squadron Leader Lokendra Singh, the Army contingent by Major Vikas Sangwan and the Naval contingent by Lt Commander Avinash Kumar. The Delhi Police contingent was commanded by Additional DCP (East Delhi) Achin Garg.
After inspecting the Guard of Honour, the Prime Minister proceeded to the ramparts of the Red Fort where he was 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 V R Chaudhari. The GoC Delhi area conducted the Prime Minister to the dais on the ramparts to unfurl the national flag.
After being unfurled, the Tricolour received a "Rashtriya Salute". The Air Force band, consisting of 20 men, played the National Anthem during unfurling of the National Flag and presenting of the "Rashritya Salute". The Band was conducted by Master Warrant Officer Raghuvir.
Squadron Leader Sumita Yadav assisted the Prime Minister in unfurling the National Flag. It was synchronised with the 21-Gun Salute fired by the gunners of the elite 8711 Field Battery (Ceremonial). The ceremonial battery was commanded by Lt Col Vikas Kumar, SM and the Gun Position Officer was Naib Subedar (AIG) Anoop Singh.
The National Flag Guard comprising five officers and 128 men from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Delhi Police presented Rashtriya Salute at the time of unfurling of the National Flag by the Prime Minister. Wing Commander TVR Singh from the Indian Air Force was in command of this Inter-Services Guard and Police Guard.
The Air Force Contingent in the National Flag Guard was commanded by Squadron Leader Mihir Zokarkar, the Army contingent by Major Akash Joshi, the Naval Contingent by Lt Commander Praveen Saraswat. The Delhi Police contingent was commanded by Additional DCP (Central Delhi) Akshat Kaushal.
As soon as the National Flag was unfurled by the Prime Minister, flower petals were showered at the venue in Amrit Formation by two MI-17 1V Helicopters. The formation was of 129 Helicopter Unit, the Nubra Warriors, led by Wing Commander Anand Vinayak Agashe with Wing Commander Nikhil Mehrotra in second helicopter. Following the two Mi-17 in line astern formation were two Dhruv helicopters from 111 Helicopter Unit, The Snow Tigers. The formation was led by Wing Commander Abhijeet Kumar with Wing Commander K S Vishal in the second helicopter.
After the showering of flower petals, the Prime Minister addressed the Nation.
At the conclusion of the speech of the Prime Minister, the cadets of National Cadet Corps (NCC) sang the National Anthem. Seven hundred ninety-two boy and girl NCC cadets (Army, Navy and Air Force) from different schools across the country took part.
These cadets were seated at "Gyan Path" in front of the Red Fort's ramparts in a geographical formation of the Map of India. They wore dresses of the regions they were representing, symbolising India’s cultural diversity.
For the first time, a home-grown howitzer gun, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), developed under the Government’s "Make in India" initiative, fired during the ceremonial 21-gun salute. The gun is completely indigenous, designed and developed by DRDO, standing as a testament to India’s growing capacity of developing arms and ammunition indigenously. Lt Colonel Gagandeep Singh Sandhu commanded the gun unit with the firing instructor Naib Subedar Gulab Wable. The gun had been especially customised, with certain technical specifications being tweaked for the ceremony.
In continuation to the initiative taken during the Republic Day 2022, the unsung heroes of the society, who are usually overlooked, were invited as special guests for the ceremony. These included anganwadi workers, street vendors, Mudra scheme borrowers and mortuary workers.
As part of "Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav" (75 Years of Independence), 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 were displayed at the venue. 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, wall hangings of prominent freedom fighters and from different States and Union Territories adorned the walls of Red Fort. These wall hangings also have different cultural, natural and religious heritage of that particular State and Union Territory. 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 from 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.
Another 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 the Unity in Diversity of India.
For the first time as part of Independence Day celebrations, a special Youth Exchange Programme has been organised between August 09-17, 2022.
A total of 26 officers/supervisors and 127 cadets/youths from 14 countries – US, UK, Argentina, Brazil, Fiji, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, The Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Seychelles, UAE & Uzbekistan – are in India for the Independence Day celebrations. Apart from attending the main event at the Red Fort today, the youth will be visiting places of cultural and historical importance in Delhi and Agra.