Chennai: A rich tableaux of floats depicting the various welfare measures and populist schemes of the AIADMK government and pageantry marked the patriotic fervour filled 72nd Republic Day Celebrations in Tamilnadu today.
It was a muted celebrations with the government not allowing cultural programmes by school and college students in view of the corona pandemic.
Normally every year freedom fighters, general public, school and college students would participate in the R-Day celebrations.
Taking into account the prevailing unusual situation arising out of the corona pandemic, cultural events by school and college students were avoided this year.
Also taking into account the age factor and to prevent spread of coronavirus, district collectors were directed to honour the freedom fighters at their respective houses by presenting them shawls.
The government has made all arrangements for live telecast of the R-Day celebrations in TV and AIR and the public, school and college students and senior citizens were advised not to throng the beach front to witness the event.
At a colourful function in front of the tastefully decorated Gandhi Statue at Marina Beach front, Governor Banwarilal Purohit unfurled the National Flag and took the salute at the ceremonial march past.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami presented the Anna Medals for Gallantry and the Gandhi Adigalaar Police Medals to police personnel.
After the customary introduction of the officials of the Army, Navy, IAF, Coast Guard and Police department, the Governor unfurled the National Tricolour.
It was followed by a Coast Guard helicopter showering petals on the function venue.
The Governor took the salute at the ceremonial march past in which contingents of the Army, Navy and Air Force, Coast Guard, Central Reserve Police Force, CISF, Railway Protection Force, Chennai City Police, Mounted Police, Tamilnadu Commando Force (men and women), Coastal Security
Group, Tamilnadu Fire Service, Home Guard, NCC, Bharat Scouts and ex-servicemen participated.
The defence forces showcased their might by displaying the aircrafts, besides, ships and helicopters.
A spectacular and acrobatic motorcycle display by the police department was the highlight of the event.
Various traditional cultural programmes of several states and folk dances of Tamilnadu organised by the South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur, Information and Public Relations department added colour to the Republic day fete.
In all 17 departments, including Police, Information and Public Relations, Agricutlure, School Education, Fire and Rescue, took part in the pageantry of floats highlighting various welfare schemes of the government.
The floats displayed by the Police and Health Departments were adjudged as the best floats at the parade.
After a fly past by the IAF aircrafts, the Chief Secretary introduced the Parade Commander to the Governor which was followed by the National Anthem.
Later colourful balloons were released in the air, bringing an end to the Republic day fete, in which representatives of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and IAF, the Chennai City Police Commissioner, Ministers, diplomats and dignitaries from various fields, participated.
Elsewhere in the State and in the districts, the Republic Day was celebrated with patriotic fervour.
Collectors unfurled the National Flag in their respective districts and inspected the Guard of Honour.
The day was also celebrated in various central and state government institutions like Southern Railway, Madras High Court, Income-Tax, Central Excise, RBI, Chennai Port Trust, Airport, Curoms and Central Excise, ONGC, Indian Oil Corporation,
Rajaji Bhavan and Shastri Bhavan housing various Central government departments, and AGS office.
Leaders of various political parties also unfurled the National Flag in their respective party offices and addressed their party workers.