‘Freedom is all about moving and expressing freely’

August 15th, 2008 - 5:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Aug 15 (IANS) The 62nd Independence Day celebrations Friday augured well for Bangaloreans to exorcise the dreadful memories of the serial blasts that rocked India’s IT hub three weeks ago on the same day. “Bangaloreans’ love and enjoy freedom. Nothing can stop them from exercising their rights,” city-based rights activist Armaan Ali told IANS, waving the tri-colour.

The city expressed its “sense of freedom” to celebrate the I-Day with gusto.

Undeterred by wet spells, gridlocked traffic and tight security, denizens of the garden city came out in droves to make best of the extended weekend holiday.

“We’re a free nation and have as much right to enjoy our freedom. Anti-national forces cannot dampen the spirit of a young country like India,” said Ester Sahu (29), a call centre employee who came to see the floral paradise on display at the fourth national flower show at the Lalbagh botanical garden here.

Echoing Sahu, Pradeep M, a college student, sipping coffee at a restaurant on M.G. Road, said: “Bangalore has always been an oasis of peace and its 6.5-million citizens love to wear freedom up their sleeves. Freedom to go anywhere and take up any job has helped the city grow by leaps in recent times.”

Be it Lalbagh or Manekshaw Parade ground on Cubbon Road in downtown, where the I-Day was celebrated officially, crowds swamped the thoroughfares across the city, using all types of vehicles, carrying flags or balloons and sporting caps in fancy dress.

“Till noon, we have seen about 15,000 people flocking to Lalbagh for the flower show. Being I-Day with a weekend around, we expect double the crowd to enjoy their extended holiday with a visual treat of the unique flower collection,” said Shankar, manager of Mysore Horticultural Society, which is organising the nine-day annual event.

The bi-annual flower exposition is organised twice a year during Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations. Its popularity has been growing over the years, thanks to the patronage of tourists and people from other parts of the state.

Incidentally, the organisers are selling entry tickets online for the first time.

“We expect about one million visitors to the flower show this time. The e-ticketing has evoked an overwhelming response and reduced the congestion at the gate counters,” horticulture department director M. Ramakrishnappa said.

Internet World Wide is the technology partner facilitating the online Lalbagh flower show ticket booking.

Display of over 200,000 roses and other flowers, about 400 species of cacti, bonsai plants and vegetable carving created a riot of colours in the garden.

Several tourist spots and historical places, including Tipu’s Fort in the old city, Nehru planetarium and Iskon temple drew steady stream of people throughout the day.

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