Republic Day – 2006 Illuminations

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I was asked by the webmaster, if I could send some photos of Republic day parade to I had been attending Republic day Parade and Beating Retreat ceremonies as an official invitee. A car parking sticker is essential to reach the venue. The security agencies are very strict and even ball pens are not allowed,  forget the camera! Only accredited press photographers have access to cover events from vantage positions. Now being a humble citizen of India, even to see the illuminations of our landmark buildings, I had to be at mercy of Delhi police to get closer to illuminated buildings.

On 26th January I went to  India Gate Hexagon. Parked  my car close to barrier on Rajpath. Used barrier as a prop for my camera and took couple of photos. Police man on duty hassled me to leave immediately so I moved on. On return journey I thought I could get closer to Vijay Chowk but again I was confronted with a barrier at Rajpath. Here like me many spectators were having view of illuminated buildings; some like me were taking pictures. Vijay Chowk was out of bound for civilians as place had to be sensitized for Beating Retreat ceremony on 29th . Parking of car was a problem as I did not know where to park my car so left my wife in car.

I was very keen to get some photos from closer range, so made another attempt on 29th .I watched the ceremony on TV and left home, which is about 30 minutes drive from Rajpath, after the President had left. I thought, by the time I reach all VIPs would have left and I could reach Vijay Chowk. Here once again I was wrong. Delhi Police had not opened road leading Vijay Chowk. I took detour and some how reached Rafi Marg. Luckily I found parking area open to public close to Metro station. I started walking towards Vijay Chowk but once again Delhi police chap wanted me to leave area and go to Rajpath barrier. I followed his instructions .I was unhappy that people are shoved around even on National day when they want to take pride in seeing historical buildings.

I took some more photographs and returned to my car. I found some people were walking towards Vijay Chowk, so I followed them. The cop who had asked me to leave had probably gone off duty. After some distance, another Home guard obstructed my further movement but some how I convinced him to allow me to take pictures. Lot of people had already reached Vijay Chowk. The furniture suppliers were busy removing chairs provided for spectators, who had come to witness the ceremony. I walked up Raisina Hill where Rashtrapati Bhawan is located to have closer view. Here once again just before reaching top , few Jawans from para military force obstructed visitors proceeding further, so I had to content with getting photo of dome only. What bothers me is that security personnel make their own rules about movement of people. There is no harm to permit visitors closer to the gates of Rashtrapati Bhawan which is well guarded.

While returning, I had pleasant meeting with a group of Delhi police chaps. I asked them if fountains had water. They confirmed and readily agreed to my request to go there. I got some very good photos which made my visit a memorable one.

I am narrating this experience to show difficulties an ordinary citizen has to go through even to enjoy sight of beautifully illuminated National buildings.

About The Author
Ramesh Lalwani, 
a regular visitor of is already known to our readers through his Photographs on Captured Moments and Travelogues. He is a telecommunication professional in his sixties residing in New Delhi. He was working with the Government and had several opportunities to work in various parts of India and has travelled overseas. Ramesh is fond of taking the photographs wherever he goes. He is glad to share his travelogues with the readers of

Author: Ramesh Lalwani- New Delhi

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