Lokmat’s initiative puts Indian Guinness Book

30 Jan,2012

By A Correspondent


In a rousing display of patriotism and unity, the voices of thousands of Aurangabadkars singing Jana Gana Mana created history. With a tally of 15,243 people singing the national anthem, they landed India into the Guinness Book of World Records for ‘the most people singing a national anthem simultaneously’, erasing the previous record held by Pakistan with 5,800 individuals.


Andrea Banfi, Head of Adjudicators, Guinness World Records Limited, who had flown in from London, handed over the certificate to Rajya Sabha MP and Chairman of Lokmat Media Limited, Vijay Babu Darda, who accepted it on behalf of each and every Aurangabadkar who created the world record for India.


Other Guinness World Records Limited officials present on the occasion were Lucia Sinigagliesi, Adjudications Manager, and Nikhil Shukla, Adjudicator - India.


Commenting on the achievement, Rishi Darda, Editorial Director – Lokmat Media Ltd, said: “This is our gift, as a responsible media house, not just to Aurangabadkars, but to every Indian. We are delighted that Aurangabadkars responded so splendidly to our initiative for the world record attempt to commemorate the completion of 100 years of Jana Gana Mana, since it was first sung.”


It will be recalled that Jana Gana Mana was first sung at the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress on December 27, 1911. It was declared the Indian National Anthem by the Constituent Assembly on January 24, 1950.


Lokmat Media had pulled out all stops to inform every Aurangabadkar of the world record attempt. While Radio Mirchi was the radio partner, MCN Hathway, IBN7, IBN Lokmat and CNN-IBN were the TV partners, and Abhishek Advertisers was the outdoor media partner. The sponsors were WS Developers, while the Phadnis Group was the co-sponsor. “I would like to thank our sponsors and media partners who ably supported us in the initiative,” said Mr Darda.


As early as 7 am, all roads leading to the District Sports Complex in Garkheda witnessed traffic jams, with students, working people, housewives and families making their way purposefully to take part in the historic world record attempt. The entire stadium, with an official capacity of 45,000 was jam-packed, with no standing room, and the gates had to be shut on thousands of eager locals waiting to get in and be part of the world record attempt. The final tally of 15,243 people came as a surprise to everyone.


GWR head adjudicator Andrea Banfi said: “We were not able to include all the people present at the stadium in the count, as it was physically impossible since they were so closely packed. And after the first singing, many people left. But, for us to do a proper count as per the stringent GWR standards, we had to request Lokmat Media to ask the people to assemble once again, in a particular, countable order, and to sing the national anthem again. The figure of 15,243 is what we arrived at after the second singing.”


Leading the swelling crowd in the chorus on stage were Shankar Mahadevan, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Tushar Gandhi, Prashant Damle, Roopkumar and Sonali Rathod, Vaishali Samant, Swapnil Bandodkar, Pramod Sarkate, Mrs Salaskar (widow of 26/11 martyr Vijay Salaskar) and others, who sang with Aurangabadkars to create the world record.


“Our National Anthem is a wonderfully inspiring composition, and is a part of everyone’s psyche. I am truly excited to have been a small part of this gigantic experience,” said Shankar Mahadevan.


Tushar Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, said: “I am very happy to be among the enthusiastic people of Aurangabad, who have given such a wonderful response to this initiative by the Lokmat group. It reinforces the magic of those 55 words written a hundred years ago by Rabindranath Tagore.”


Prashant Damle, actor and singer said: “It is moving to see the surge of patriotic sentiment at the grassroots, as I have witnessed here in Aurangabad.” Singer Vaishali Samant said: “It has been a great experience to mingle with thousands of Aurangabadkars on this momentous occasion. I am happy to have paid my tribute to the Nation by singing with one and all.”


The Fictitious Group, winners of talent reality show India’s Got Talent mesmerised one and all with their power-packed acrobatic dance routines.Vernonfrom Fictitious said: “It’s exciting to dance in the service of our Nation! We salute those who laid down their lives for the country.”


Smita Salaskar, widow of Vijay Salaskar, who laid down his life defending his countrymen on November 26 2008, said: “I am overwhelmed by the patriotism of the people inAurangabad.” She urged the young students to study hard and serve with the defence forces, which need good officers.


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One response to “Lokmat’s initiative puts Indian Guinness Book”

  1. Ashokparakh22@gmail.com says:

    we want guinness world records Nikhil Shukla, India adjudicator”s phone no. and address