LUCKNOW wore a festive appearance on Independence Day when hundreds of men, women and children participated in numerous items of entertainment and gaiety programmes at various places under the auspices of educational institutions and cultural, social and religious organizations. The day dawned with the melodious notes of songs and the National Anthem filling the air. "Prabhat pheris" were organized by the mandal Congress committees
in different localities. As the morning processionists heralded the day, streams of children clad in their best came out from their homes on their way to their respective schools.
The National Flag was hoisted on the lawns of Raj Bhawan, Government buildings and offices, schools, colleges, business houses, and the homes of the citizens. The roads and lanes and buildings in Aminabad and Hazratganj were decked with festoons and buntings. A large number of shops and business houses were tastefully illuminated with fluorescent lights. The day's programmes were rounded off with songs, bhajans, kirtans, and dramatic performances at various places. Sports and games were held in schools and colleges. The children at several places were treated to sweetmeats. They were also given ballons, toys and playthings.
One of the highlights of the day was the inauguration of a memorial at Kaiserbagh to Begum Hazrat Mahal, who fought bravely against the British during the 1857 War of Independence. The memorial is in the shape of a marble pillar inlaid with the copper plaques inscribed with the coat of arms of the royal house.
Mr. Banarsi Das, Minister for Information, UP, who inaugurated the memorial, paid a glorious tribute to the queen of Avadh, for her valiant fight against the British till the last day of her life. He said that the Begum, who exalted the royal house she belonged to by her noble bearing and dignity and sacrifice, was an undying resplendent lustre of the flame of the fight for freedom. That lustre worked as a beacon light to the fighters of freedom in later years, especially in the fight sponsored by the Indian National Congress under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.
The minister inaugurated the memorial by cutting a ribbon that wound the passage to the memorial. The memorial and the dome above were colourfully illuminated at night.
An exhibition depicting the different phases of the first Indian struggle for freedom and its chief architects was inaugurated here at the Pradarshani Bhawan by Mr. A. A. Rizvi, Secretary, UP advisory board for the history of Indian Freedom Movement. The various documents, paintings, photographs, models and books displayed in the exhibition presented vividly the story of the 1857 freedom struggle.