Lakhs walk to mark Deshnayak Divas
Kolkata: The grand procession of Deshnayak Divas, led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, turned historic with lakhs of people from all communities and walks of life taking part in the rally covering an area of nearly 7 km stretch from Shyambazar Five-Point Crossing.
It showcased Bengal's tradition of communal harmony, when the rally passed through north Kolkata and ended at the central business district. At the same time, Deshnayak Divas on the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was celebrated all across the state. The National flag was hoisted in most of the locality and clubs. People paid floral tributes to Netaji's statue at different places. Processions were taken out in different parts of the state as a mark of respect to Netaji.
The rally from Shyambazar started right after 12.15 pm, when a siren alarm was blown, at the time of his birth. Banerjee herself blew a conch shell along with other women to mark the auspicious moment. Lakhs of people joined her when the rally passed through Bhupendra Bose Avenue, Jatindra Mohan Avenue, Chittaranjan Avenue, Esplanade and Rani Rashmoni Avenue.
People from all religions and walks of life were found carrying the National Flag and shouting "Jai Hind" slogans. At the same time, a sea of people were found standing on both sides along the road to express their gratitude towards the Chief Minister.
People standing at verandas and terraces of the buildings on both sides along the route of the rally were found making videos in their mobile phones. Besides MPs and senior ministers including Sudip Banerjee, Nusrat Jahan, Firhad Hakim, Aroop Biswas, both sports and cinema fraternity marched along with Banerjee.
Senior bureaucrats of the state government including Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and Commissioner of Kolkata Police Anuj Sharma also attended the rally to pay their respect to Netaji.
The Kolkata Police band, playing patriotic songs, was in a decorated truck at the beginning of the rally followed by six motorcycles mounted with fire fighting arrangements. The rally was so long that people continued reaching Dorina Crossing in queues even when Banerjee ended her concluding speech.