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Home > News > PTI

Marching on history's path to Red Fort

May 07, 2007 08:30 IST

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A march to the Red Fort in New Delhi from Meerut by an over 10,000-strong contingent to commemorate the historic 150th anniversary of India's First War of Independence was flagged off on Monday.

Flagging off the march at a youth rally at the Kranti Park on Monday morning, Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar asked the participants, who had come from all the four corners of the country, to remember the message of Mahatma Gandhi.

"We have started to march with the same spirit as that of the freedom fighters of 1857 but we have to remember that the message of Gandhi regarding truth and non-violence should not be forgotten in any case," he said.

Comprising participants from far-off areas, including Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar and Jammu and Kashmir, the marchers followed a special team of 85 Army personnel who were horse-back.      

Dressed in separate colours of red, green and blue, they marched to the tune of patriotic melodies playing in the background and held aloft banners, flags and posters in depicting nationalistic messages referring to the 1857 War of Independence.

A team of scouts and guides was also part of the march as also a fleet of tableaux, including one depicting the Red Fort.

Shakeel Ahmed Khan of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, which is organising the march, said such events should have the participation of the common man.

"The central message is that every community fought against the British at that time together and the essence of this initiative is the participation of the people because such programmes should not just be organised in Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi," he said.

Bollywood actor Farooq Sheikh, who was also present on the occasion, said everyone should participate in such events regardless of political affiliations.

The participants, all enthusiastic, said they hoped to spread the message of brotherhood and communal harmony.      

"The onus lies on young people like us to spread the message of communal harmony and national solidarity," said Neetu Chaurasia from Punjab.

The marchers will cover a distance of 60 km to assemble at the Red Fort in Delhi on May 11.

The function at the Red Fort will be attended by President A P J Abdul Kalam, Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

On their way to the Capital, the marchers would halt at Modinagar, Muradnagar and then Ghaziabad and interact with with eminent scholars in over 30 sessions.

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