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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 11, 2007
Rally to commemorate 150th anniversary of 1857 uprising culminates (Lead:1857 uprising)
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Rally to commemorate 150th anniversary of 1857 uprising culminates (Lead:1857 uprising)

The rally to commemorate the 150th year of the1857 uprising against British colonialists culminated on Friday with a grand function at the historic Red Fort in Delhi.

New Delhi, May 11 : The rally to commemorate the 150th year of the1857 uprising against British colonialists culminated on Friday with a grand function at the historic Red Fort in Delhi.

The event was attended by President A P J Abdul Kalam, Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh, NDA Chairman Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, among others.

In his address, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said: "Around 150 years ago on this day, the door of the old Delhi city was opened to the rebellious soldiers of Meerut. From this door, they entered Delhi and challenged the English rule".Sonia Gandhi said the uprising was a symbol of struggle for freedom."The entry to the Red Fort was in a way a mark of common people pledging to end colonial rule. Actually, India's common people stood behind every soldier to further the movement," she said.

As many as 40,000 youth from the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), the National Service Scheme (NSS), the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and the Scouts and Guides reached here this morning after a march from Meerut's Victoria Park, exactly 150 years to the day that mutinous soldiers stormed the Walled City of Delhi and attacked British officers and their families.

The youth were dressed in red, blue and green, and hailed from various states. he celebrations were also marked by a cultural programme and creative performances in which 2,000 folk performers from seven Zonal Culture Centres of the Ministry of Culture, along with eminent artistes of national and international repute, participated.

Men with swords performed traditional martial arts, an acrobatic girl spun on her stomach on a wooden pole and two people dressed as English colonialists walked on stilts in a colourful pageantry in front of Red Fort, which was decorated with flowers.

The celebrations have been organised by the Ministries of Youth Affairs and Sports and Culture.

There will be puppetry shows, acrobat performances, martial arts, dance and various forms of entertainment for the general public in the evening.

Multi-media screens have been put up, which will form a backdrop to the important highlights of the uprising.

The Delhi Government has declared a public holiday today to commemorate the event.

Delhi Police and para-military personnel have been deployed to keep strict watch on activities.

The 1857 uprising started from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and later spread to other parts of the country.

It was seen as an act of defiance by a handful of Hindu and Muslim soldiers, who refused to use rifle bullets said to be greased with beef and pork fat.

This uprising brought an end to the British East India Company's rule over the country, and led to direct rule by the British Government of much of the Indian subcontinent for the next 90 years.

ANI

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