India-China ‘biggest gathering’ for ‘civic engagement’ on Independence Day: A report
The first two days of the Independence Day celebration in India are expected to be filled with patriotic displays, with a grand parade to mark the occasion expected to attract as many as 500,000 people, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
The parade, which is expected to start around 5 p.m. local time (2 p.d.
GMT), will feature a procession of cars carrying a variety of flags.
India is one of the most populous countries in the world, with nearly 10 billion people, making it the biggest in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Indian government has ordered a large number of police and paramilitary personnel to guard the parade.
The report said the parade is also expected to feature a large rally, which will take place in front of the Indian Parliament, which was scheduled to be closed.
A police spokesman said that the parade could take place from 7 p.p.m., but it could be extended, but the decision would be made on a case-by-case basis.
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected at the parade, with the prime minister visiting the city and visiting the Parliament.
The annual Independence Day celebrations in India have become a major source of pride for the nation, as well as a source of tension with China, which views it as a threat to its sovereignty.
China’s foreign ministry has condemned the parade as “unjustified” and said it was “a dangerous provocation.”
The parade is not sanctioned by the government, and any provocation to India would be a violation of international law,” the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
The government in India, which has been trying to boost ties with Beijing as a means of countering China’s rising influence in the region, has taken a hard line with Beijing on the parade in recent months.
In December, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for a peaceful protest to be held on Independence day, as the day has become the annual focus of anti-China protests in the Indian capital.