Police band plays patriotic songs from MGR’s film during guard of honour

Apart from a public display of patriotism, Independence Day celebrations also serve to showcase the talent of the country’s schoolchildren.

Spanish tourists Adriana and Isabel were swept off their feet by the spectacular performances by 1529 schoolchildren and 244 college girls at the Armed Reserve grounds here on Thursday.

Sporting the Indian national flag, the two women, one a schoolteacher and the other a medical professional, joined news photographers on the ground and braved the hot sun for over two hours to capture the spectacle on camera."

This is the most amazing thing we have ever seen in India so far," Adriana said as Isabel nodded in agreement.

“We were told that the children took only four days to prepare for the performance. I don’t think anyone in our country would be able to do it in such a short time. The folk dance and gymnastic performances were astounding. We could see that the children and people here are really dynamic. It is nice to feel their culture and enjoy it from close quarters,” Isabel gushed.

The celebrations began at 9 a.m. with the entry of Collector L. Subramanian in a car piloted by a motorcycle-borne policeman as per customary practice. Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan, sporting a cross belt and striped neck scarf, received the Collector and accompanied him to the flag mast where the latter unfurled the national tricolour before accepting the guard of honour.

Departing from the usual practice of playing the patriotic Hindi song ‘Sare Jahan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamara,’ while according the guard of honour, the police band this year played ‘Accham Enbathu Madamaiyada Anjamai Dravidar Udamaiyada,’ a popular Tamil song that featured in former Chief Minister and actor M.G. Ramachandran’s movie.

The Collector and the Superintendent of Police released two doves before walking up to the gallery where a group of freedom fighters were seated. Mr. Subramanian honoured them by draping them with shawls.

He later distributed government welfare assistance to beneficiaries who included the physically challenged, widows and the elderly. The school students who took part in the cultural programmes were awarded certificates.

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