On August 15, 1947, a large number of Vizagites had assembled on the long Beach stretch from the one Old Town area of the present RK Beach, to witness the sunrise, as they believed that a new dawn had set in the country, after 200 years of colonial rule.
A few old timers who had lived that era, had reminisced that the city rejoiced from dawn to dusk. Every house had a rangoli in the front and every house had a flag fluttering high from the terrace. More importantly everything was sold for free on that day, including a couple of bakeries that had flourished under the British rule. The sweets shops distributed sweets free of cost.
Well that was a different era, as it was 75 years ago. Now, with about six lakh flags being distributed by the government, the Tricolour was seen adorning almost all the rooftops in the city. Many had purchased the flags to hang them from the balconies. Every year, Independence Day is celebrated in schools and colleges, but this year was different. It was not a low-key affair, as almost every education institution organised elaborate programmes that took place from 7 a.m. to post noon.
The schools and colleges premise reverberated with high decibel patriotic songs and students were seen dancing to patriotic themes.
Beach Road as usual was the hub of all activities. Since last one week, it only witnessed numerous rallies and performances, but on Monday it reached its crescendo with people visiting the beach carrying the Tricolour. All government offices and prominent spots, including Beach Road, were decorated and lit up with the Tricolour theme and the city wore a festive look.