Bengaluru, Aug 15 (IANS) Gaiety, patriotic fervour and spirit of freedom marked the 73rd Independence Day celebrations across Karnataka on Thursday amid tight security.
The day-long fete began in the southern state's capital with Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa unfurling the Tricolour at the sprawling Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw parade ground under a cloudy sky with a gentle breeze wafting.
Around 8,000 people, including women and children, joined the Chief Minister and other dignitaries in singing the national anthem, rendered by the police band, after a hovering military chopper showered rose petals on the gathering.
Before delivering his I-Day address, Yediyurappa, clad in a white safari suit, inspected the guard of honour in an open jeep and took the salute from the Army, Navy and Air Force personnel and the state police forces.
Contingents of the three defence services (Army, Air Force and Navy), state reserve police, fire brigade force, National Cadet Corps (NCC), Home Guards, Bharat Scouts and Guides and boys and girls from about 100 state-run schools across the city staged a march past in their immaculate uniforms and colourful dresses.
After the Chief Minister's address and the parade, about 2,500 school children re-enacted many scenes from the war of Independence and the freedom struggle, including non-violent protests and clashes with the colonial police.
Attired in traditional dresses, about 100 young artistes staged cultural programmes, including folk dances and songs, depicting the supreme sacrifice of the martyrs to the tunes of patriotic songs, including the famous "Sare Jahan Se Achha, Hindustan Hamaraa," and "Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo".
Through song and dance and short plays, the youth relived the lives of freedom fighters, including Sangoli Rayanna and Kittur Rani Chennamma of Karnataka who fought against the British Army in the 19th Century.
Martial arts, daring feats and acrobatics on motorcycles by the military as well as the state police teams left the crowd spellbound.
Later, Yediyurappa presented President's medals and gallantry awards to the selected police officers and distributed prizes to the participating organisations.
According to the reports from across the state, the Deputy Commissioners hoisted the national flag, received salute and inspected guard of honour from the police and other security forces in their respective places.
The I-Day events were, however, subdued in the flood-hit districts and in towns and villages where monsoon rains were still active.