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India celebrates its 63rd Independence Day
New Delhi, Aug 15 (Agencies):
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Published on 15 Aug. 2009 11:26 PM IST
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August 15, 1947, the most important day in the history of India, the day when the long suppressed nation found utterance, it was the day when India got independence from the British rule. The stroke of the midnight brought with it a ray of new hope for India, as our first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru said, the world was asleep but India awoke to life and freedom. A new nation was born! Since then August 15 is celebrated as the independence day in India every year. Gujarat GANDHINAGAR, AUG 15 (PTI): Gujarat Governor S C Jamir extending greetings to people of the state for the 63rd Independence Day said that creating atmosphere of social reform and trust is the need of the hour. “It is unfortunate that the present era has become victim of value erosion, violence and hatred. It is the need of the hour to create an atmosphere of social reform, mutual trust, amity and integrity in the nation,” Jamir said in a statement.. “In the present scenario of tryst with terrorism, it has become utmost necessary to follow the humanitarian principle of non-violence, equality and unity in diversity practiced by Mahatma Gandhi,” he said. “It is our moral and national responsibility to preserve intact the fine fabric of social equality,” Jamir added. The governor also called upon the people to rededicate themselves to lead the nation to peace, progress, prosperity and integrity by following the path paved by the great freedom fighters. Karnataka BANGALORE, AUG 15 (IANS): In a gesture to the veterans who participated in the country’s freedom struggle, the Karnataka government on the occasion of the 63rd Independence Day Saturday enhanced the monthly honorarium to freedom fighters by Rs.1,000 to Rs.4,000. Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa announced that freedom fighters from the state would be paid Rs.4,000 per month with effect from August as against Rs.3,000 per month hitherto. “The state government will also pay with effect from this month honorarium of Rs.2,000 each to those who had participated in the Goa Liberation Movement,” Yeddyurappa said in his 30-minute Independence Day speech at the Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw parade ground here. Recalling the struggle and sacrifice of freedom fighters in making India free from colonial rule, Yeddyurappa said his government would develop places across the state where the struggle for independence was waged as memorials to remind people of their patriotic leaders. “We are taking measures to develop freedom memorials in the memory of Vidurashwatha at Gauribidanaur, Shivapura near Maddur, Isloor in Shimoga district, Mailara Mahadevappa of Mote Bennur near Haveri, Gangadhar Desphande at Hudli in Belgaum district and Hardikar Manjapa’s struggle in Almatti,” the chief minister said. The state government has earmarked Rs.100 million (Rs.10 crore) in the budget to develop the memorials in the honour of the valiant freedom fighters. Paying tributes to Kargil martyrs, including 16 from the state, Yeddyurappa said a war memorial would be built in Bangalore in the honour of Indian soldiers who died in the two World Wars and other wars so far. Bihar PATNA, AUG 15 (IANS): Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar hoisted the national flag on Independence Day Saturday and promised adequate relief to people affected by drought, better infrastructure in the state and more measures to curb corruption. Speaking at the Gandhi Maidan here, Nitish Kumar expressed concern for the millions hit by drought this year due to scanty rainfall in the state. “My government is committed to provide adequate relief to people affected by the drought,” he said. The chief minister added that he would seek help from the central government in this regard. Early this week, the state government declared 26 of its 38 districts drought-hit in view of the scanty rainfall. Bihar has recorded a 38 percent rainfall deficit so far this monsoon, affecting the transplanting of paddy seedlings. Bihar had targeted sowing of paddy over 8.77 million acres this year, but the crop could only be planted over 3.83 million acres so far. Nitish Kumar reiterated that he would make all efforts to make Bihar a developed state by providing education and healthcare facilities to all and improving road connectivity. West Bengal KOLKATA, AUG 15 (IANS): Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee unfurled the tri-colour and took the salute as West Bengal celebrated the 63rd Independence Day Saturday. Bhattacharjee also offered floral tribute at the martyrs’ column as the police band played the national anthem at the rain-drenched function near the state secretariat. National Cadet Corps volunteers and Rapid Action Force personnel gave a guard of honour to the chief minister before the programme ended with a cultural presentation by a choir group. Later, Bhattacharjee garlanded the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in the hub of the city. Another function was held at Gandhighat in Barrackpore, about 25 km from here where Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi took part in a prayer meeting and offered flowers at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial column. The governor, a grandson of the Father of the Nation, sat through the function listening to the rendering of ‘ramdhun’. Uttar Pradesh LUCKNOW, AUG 15 (IANS): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Saturday accused the central government of not aiding in the state’s development schemes, while pledging to improve the law and order situation and find a “permanent solution” to the power shortage. She unfurled the tricolour in front of the state assembly and in her speech alleged that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was “not co-operating in the development schemes of the state”. “The central government has still not released the Rs.80,000 crore (Rs.800 billion) package we sought for undertaking development schemes in the state, particularly for the backward regions in Bundelkhand and Poorvanchal,” Mayawati said. “I want to make it clear that non-cooperation by the central government will not come in the way of Uttar Pradesh’s development as our government is determined to carry out development with its limited resources,” she added. Expressing concern over the scanty rainfall in Uttar Pradesh and its effect on crops, Mayawati said: “Our government has earmarked Rs.580 crore to carry out relief measures in all the drought-hit districts. I have instructed an additional responsibility to senior officials to ensure farmers, labourers and financially weak people in the drought-affected districts do not face any kind of problems.” Orissa BHUBANESWAR, AUG 15 (PTI): Amid tight security in view of Maoists’ call for observing a “Black Day” in some parts of Orissa, Independence Day was celebrated with enthusiasm in the state today with the government promising an exploitation free society and asking the Red Rebels to shun violence and return to the mainstream. “A society devoid of exploitation can be possible only through good governance and the state government is capable of providing it”, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said unfurling the National Tri-colour at the state-level function here. Lamenting that Maoists had become enemies of the society by obstructing development activities, he asked the ultras to give up the path of violence and come back to the social mainstream to contribute towards overall progress. In its endeavour to ensure balanced development, the state government has set a target of providing electricity to all by 2012, said Patnaik, who also took the salute at an impressive parade. Highlighting his government’s achievements, the chief minister said state’s economy, industrial and farm sector and infrastructure had been strengthened during last nine years. Elaborate security arrangements were made across the state in view of the call given by Maoists to observe Black Day, particularly in southern parts like Rayagada, Malkangiri and Koraput where the ultras had put up posters and blocked roads by felling trees in some areas. Punjab, Haryana CHANDIGARH, AUG 15 (PTI): Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh today celebrated the Independence day with enthusiasm as the occasion was marked by unfurling of the tricolour and impressive march pasts. Tight security arrangements had been made on the occasion and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere, official sources said here. Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator General (retd) S F Rodrigues unfurled the national flag at Parade Ground here and his Haryana counterpart Jagan Nath Pahadia inspected the guard of honour at Rohtak. Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana, Parkash Singh Badal and Bhupinder Singh Hooda were chief guests at Ferozepur and Sonipat respectively. Badal’s son and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal unfurled the tricolour at Ludhiana. During the occasion, Rodrigues honoured J S Dhillon, coach of Beijing Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra. The Punjab Chief Minister lauded the role of Punjabis in the country’s freedom struggle. Sukhbir in his maiden appearance at the Independence celebrations following his taking over as Deputy to his father, vowed to usher the state in an era of accelerated development and making Punjab power surplus due to the scheduled commissioning of new power projects, including at Lehra Mohabbat and Rajpura in coming years. In Haryana, Pahadia hoisted the national flag and inspected the Guard of Honour at the state level function at Rohtak. While appreciating the role of people of Haryana during the country’s freedom struggle, Pahadia said the Haryana government is providing a number of concessions, facilities and other financial benefits to the families and dependents of the freedom fighters and ex-servicemen. Rajasthan JAIPUR, AUG 15 (PTI): Independence Day was celebrated across Rajasthan with full patriotic fervour amid tight security arrangements. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot unfurled the National Flag at SMS stadium here. He inspected the parade comprising 16 platoons including that of Rajasthan Police, Traffic Police, NCC, MGD Girls school, Saint Angila Sofia Girls Schools and others. During the occasion, Gehlot awarded Police Medal for excellent service to selected officials. Gehlot on the occasion congratulated citizens for Independence Day and said that water, electricity crisis and inflation are the big challenges today. He assured that his government would leave no stone unturned to provide relief to the citizens in this regard. Gehlot also said that people should voice their demand peacefully instead of staging protests and blocking roads. Jammu & Kashmir SRINAGAR, AUG 15 (IANS): Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, in his Independence Day speech here Saturday, said his government would not tolerate human rights violations by the security forces and also apologised for the lapses in the probe into the rape and murder of two women in Shopian district. “I cannot overlook the tragic incident that occurred at Shopian. I accept that there were mistakes by the administration and the government initially with regard to this incident,” Abdullah said. “I am sorry and apologise this. But my government is determined to bring the guilty to book in the Shopian incident,” the chief minister said while addressing the main parade at the Bakshi Stadium in summer capital Srinagar amid tight security. Asiya Jan, 17, and her 22-year-old sister-in-law Neelofar were found dead off a stream in their village in Shopian May 30. Their autopsies confirmed that they were raped and murdered, triggering violent protests in the valley. The state government set up a commission under a retired high court judge to investigate the case. On the commission’s recommendation, four police officers were arrested for their alleged role in “the destruction, dissipation and suppression of evidence”. “Wherever there have been violations of human rights we have acted promptly,” Abdullah said. The chief minister stressed that the separatists should engage in a meaningful dialogue with the government. “I want to write a new chapter in the progress and development of the state and for this I need the support from everybody,” he said. Kerala THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, AUG 15 (IANS): Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan criticised the central government’s economic and globalisation policies in his Independence Day speech here Saturday while highlighting his Left government’s achievements in the state. “The decision to go ahead with the policies of globalisation and liberalisation has affected many and the recent signing of the ASEAN trade pact is going to be detrimental to the interest of the farmers. When such pacts are signed it should be discussed in the parliament and with state governments. This trade pact will badly affect the farmers in the state, who, through our policies, have got some relief,” Achuthanandan said. He also said that the proposed Food Security Act, if implemented, could mean that close to five million people, who are currently in the above poverty line category, would not be eligible to avail of ration facilities. “Likewise, the prime minister assured us that we would be given 100,000 tonnes of rice during the Onam season, but the agriculture minister has now said we will get only 15,000 tonnes,” he said. While detailing the achievements of the state government led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in the last three years, Achuthanandan said that while prices of essential commodities had gone up, close to 26 lakh (2.6 million) families in Kerala were given rice or wheat at Rs.2 per kg. “During the Onam season (in the first week of September), we will give free Onam kit to 25 lakh families. We aim to achieve a production of 10 lakh tonnes in the next two years and also achieve self-sufficiency in vegetable and egg production,” he said. He added that the state’s tourism industry has been growing consistently.

 
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