As part of the Independence Day celebrations a week-long festival ‘Bharat Parv’, aimed to generate patriotic fervour, began at the Rajpath here on Friday.
Static bands of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force performed at the opening ceremony.
The artistes of the North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC) put on cultural performances while the dignitaries present on the occasion released Tricolour balloons.
"The Ministry of Tourism has done a commendable job by organising such a unique programme showcasing the ‘Unity in Diversity’ theme," said Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar.
The cultural performances planned to be held include choreographed folk/tribal dances and music arranged through the NZCC and performances by cultural troupes from different states.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Daman, Diu and Dadra-Nagar Haveli, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh are the participating states and union territories.
Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said: "We have to preserve our rich cultural heritage because Indian culture is one of the oldest in the world."
"Having age-old traditions, we have a lot of tourism potential in our country. We have to recall the great memories of all our freedom fighters. Our message is ‘India is one nation’," he added.
The festival will continue till August 18 with the prime objective of fostering a patriotic mood, promoting the rich cultural diversity of the country and ensuring wider participation of the general public.
The public entry to the event is free. However, one needs to carry identity proof.