In a rousing display of patriotism and unity, over 15,000 people from Aurangabad, Maharashtra on Wednesday participated in a mass singing of national anthem Jana Gana Mana, creating a world record in the process. With a tally of 15,243, they took India into the 'Guinness Book of World Records' for "the most people singing a national anthem simultaneously", erasing the previous record held by Pakistan for 5,800 individuals, the organisers said.
Andrea Banfi, Head of Adjudicators, Guinness World Records Ltd, who had flown in from London, handed over a certificate acknowledging the feat, to Rajya Sabha member of Parliament and chairman of city-based Lokmat Media, Vijay Darda, who accepted it on behalf of the local citizens.
Lokmat Media had organised the event at a sports complex here in Central Maharashtra to commemorate the completion of 100 years of the National Anthem. Talking to news persons, Darda showered praises on the city residents for creating the record.
"Aurangabad has done the nation proud, and we are humbled to have helped in the process. This is our collective gift to the nation on the eve of Republic Day. Aurangabad has put up a truly splendid show of national solidarity and India's unity in diversity."
People came from all walks of life and far-flung areas of Aurangabad to take part in the event. The entire stadium, with an official capacity of 45,000, was jam-packed. Hence, the final GWR tally of 15,243 came as a surprise to everyone.
Banfi said, "We were not able to include all the people present at the packed stadium in the count, as it was physically impossible to court everyone.
"After the first singing, many people left. But, for us to do a proper count as per the GWR standards, we requested Lokmat Media to ask the people to assemble once again, in a particular order, and sing the anthem again. The figure of 15,243 is what we arrived at after the second singing," Banfi added.