Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday termed the Gorakhpur hospital tragedy as "irreversible" and said the lives lost can never be got back, in his address at the Independence Day function here on Tuesday.
Vijayan took the salute at an impressive parade in the Central Stadium and highlighted on various aspects - from nationalism, the Gorakhpur hospital deaths, safety of women, gender rights and also read out a pledge that highlights the urgent need for managing waste and keeping surroundings clean.
"The Gorakhpur incident is one which is irreversible, and we can never get back what has been lost," said Vijayan, referring to the deaths of over 60 children over five days in a hospital in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, last week that has shocked the nation.
He said there was need for maintaining the highest spirit of nationalism, and that any effort to dilute it in any form will have to be prevented at any cost.
Vijayan later read out a pledge which emphasises on the need for managing waste in the most scientific manner and sought the support of the people to join hands with the state government to tackle the issue.
He also distributed police medals on the occasion.
Similar parades were held in all the 13 other district headquarters, where cabinet colleagues of Vijayan took the salute.
At the Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala, near Kannur, the parade was reviewed by Vice Admiral S.V. Bhokare, Commandant, INA.
Likewise parades were held at all the defence establishments in the state.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat unfurled the Indian tricolour at a government-aided school here despite being told by authorities that political personalities are not allowed to do so.
This sparked criticism from the CPI-M and the Congress.
The District Collector and police had told the Karnakeyamen School management near here that since the school was state-supported, only people's representatives or the head of the institution could unfurl the flag.
The school reportedly belongs to RSS supporters and they had invited Bhagwat to be the chief guest on Independence Day.
The State Education department has initiated steps against the violation and a notice will be served to the school authorities on Wednesday.
At the Congress party headquarters, state party president M.M. Hassan launched a 24-hour fast to protest the attacks against Dalits and minority communities and also against the "fascist tendencies" of the BJP/RSS and other Hindutva forces which he said "has caused lot of discomfort" in the country.
The fast ends at 11 a.m. on Wednesday