LUCKNOW, August 15 : - A colourful ceremony was witnessed this evening by thousands of Independence day revelers at the old Victoria Park which has been renamed Hazrat Mahal Park and the Regal Plaque of Oudh's last ruler, King Birjis Kadr, instituted in place of the statue of Queen Victoria. Sri Banarsi Das, Minister of information (U.P.) while inaugurating the Memorial and addressing the vast multitude of people observed that Begum Hazrat Mahal was an outstanding lady and had distinguished herself her dynasty and her country by exhibiting exemplary courage in the 1857 Freedom Struggle. With him sitting on the dais were Prince Anjum and Prince Nayyer great grandsons of the Begum. They were garlanded after the inauguration and felicitated by thousands of admirers who seemed keenly interested in knowing their version of the role played by the Begum.
For those who listened to the AIR news that evening it may be just one of the several such functions that were held in this connection. But for those who witnessed the picturesque ceremony it was on occasion of great rejoicing and has been rightly documented by the ministry's Film Division. The function was held at 6 in the evening and with the sun casting its last glow on the memorial which now enshrines the memory of an inspiring soul one could heartily congratulate the government for organizing the function in a splendid fashion. The whole massive marble structure was covered from canopy to the last step with flower nets and thousands of multicoloured bulbs. Closing its three sides the northern side was turned into a rostrum for the distinguished guests. A red carpet leading from the decorated gate to the rostrum was laid. Thousands of chairs were arranged on each side and in the vast gathering could be seen eminent citizens Assembly and Council members and others. Maulana Syed Kalbe Hussain, Maulana Sayeedul Millat and other religious heads also graced the occasion. The function began with recitation of passionate poems and ended with military band playing the tune.
Earlier in the day an exhibition of 1857 relics was inaugurated at Banarsi Bagh. Dr. Athar Abbas Rizvi, Director of Freedom Movement Researches, presided and Nayyer addressed the gathering.
The illumination and the exhibition will continue for this whole week.