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Nearly 78,000 people simultaneously waved the national flag at a ceremony attended by Interior Minister Amit Shah here on Sunday, aiming to break a previous world record set in Pakistan 18 years ago.

The occasion was the 164th anniversary of the death of Veer Kunwar Singh, then ruler of Jagdishpur, one of the heroes of the 1857 revolt against the British.

The event was organized by the Bihar BJP as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.

Shah denounced “historians” for their “injustice” towards Veer Kunwar Singh and his valiant fight, at a mature age, against the British imperialists.

He also alleged that the 1857 revolt had been “played down as a failure” until RSS ideologue VD Savarkar wrote his seminal work “India’s First War of Independence”.

Shah was joined by top Bihar BJP leaders including Union Ministers RK Singh and Nityanand Rai, Deputy Chief Ministers Tarkishor Prasad and Renu Devi, and their predecessor Sushil Kumar Modi in waving the tricolor during five full minutes, to an instrumental rendition of the national song ‘Vande Mataram’.

Participants were required to wear bands for physical identification and a camera trap was set up, with the Guinness Book of World Records for supervision. The crowd cheered as the gigantic screen set up at the venue brought the number of flag bearers to 77,700.

The previous world record was around 56,000 when Pakistani flags were waved at a reception in Lahore in 2004.

Considered the party’s best strategist, Shah also recalled the role played by the BJP, alongside Chief Minister Nitish Kumar by whom he was received at Patna airport, in ridding Bihar of the “jungle raj”.

In a veiled search of RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, Shah remarked that “just walking around without the photos of Lalu Prasad on posters cannot erase the memories of the jungle raj”.

RJD National Vice President Shivanand Tiwary said in a statement that the union’s home minister’s allusion to Prasad “although laughable, was an acknowledgment of the formidable presence in the state of the RJD that was became the largest party in the 2020 elections in Bihar.”

Tiwary also noted that it was “smart” of Shah not to mention Tejashwi by name “who is now an acknowledged leader in his own right”.

Shah then left for Jamuar in nearby Rohtas district where he attended the first convocation ceremony of a private university named after and established by BJP leader Gopal Narayan Singh.

Addressing the students, he said: “Many people regret that we did not realize our true potential in the years after independence. But I am not pessimistic. Our ancestors laid a solid foundation and under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we will reach new heights.

Shah also urged students to “use your respective mother tongues in your personal life, even if you cannot do so in your professional life”, although he refrained from making a strong plea for Hindi. , which had recently drawn murmurs of displeasure from some. parts of the country.

The home minister, who has set foot on Bihar soil after more than two years, concluded his tour with a visit to the holy city of Gaya where he offered prayers at the famous Vishnupad temple.

Shah had last visited the state in January 2020 when he addressed a rally in Vaishali district, aimed at dispelling apprehensions over the CAA-NPR-NRC controversy.

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