There were colourful parades around India as the country celebrated its 68th Independence Day. India gained independence from British rule in 1947.

india independence day 2014
Girls show off their bangles in the colours of the national flag during Independence Day celebrations in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh(Reuters)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, delivering his first Independence Day speech, adressed the countryfrom the ramparts of the 17th-century Red Fort in old Delhi, continuing a tradition begun by independent India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

However, Modi broke with one tradition: he did not speak from behind a bullet-proof screen, the first prime minister to do so in almost 30 years.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers a speech at the Red Fort in New Delhi to mark the country's 68th Independence Day
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers a speech at the Red Fort in New Delhi to mark the country's 68th Independence Day(Reuters)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspects a guard of honour upon his arrival at the historic Red Fort during Independence Day celebrations in Delhi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspects a guard of honour upon his arrival at the historic Red Fort during Independence Day celebrations in Delhi(Reuters)
Children hold a 200-metre-long national flag during India's Independence Day celebrations in the southern Indian city of Chennai
Children hold a 200-metre-long national flag during India's Independence Day celebrations in the southern Indian city of Chennai(Reuters)
A Jammu and Kashmir Policeman jumps through a ring of fire during celebrations of India's 68th Independence Day in Srinagar
A Jammu and Kashmir Policeman jumps through a ring of fire during celebrations of India's 68th Independence Day in Srinagar(Reuters)
Artists perform during Independence Day festivities in the recently formed Telangana state
Artists perform during Independence Day festivities in the recently formed Telangana state(AFP)
An Indian artist dressed as Hanuman the monkey god performs at Golkonda Fort in Hyderabad
An Indian artist dressed as Hanuman the monkey god performs at Golkonda Fort in Hyderabad(AFP)
Boys dance during a ceremony to celebrate India's 68th Independence Day in Amritsar
Boys dance during a ceremony to celebrate India's 68th Independence Day in Amritsar(AFP)
Kashmiri policemen perform a motorbike stunt during India's Independence Day celebrations in Srinagar
Kashmiri policemen perform a motorbike stunt during India's Independence Day celebrations in Srinagar(Reuters)
A Kashmiri policeman rides through a wall of fluorescent tubes during India's Independence Day celebrations in Srinagar
A Kashmiri policeman rides through a wall of fluorescent tubes during India's Independence Day celebrations in Srinagar(Reuters)
College students with painted faces pose for a picture in the southern Indian city of Chennai
College students with painted faces pose for a picture in the southern Indian city of Chennai(AFP)
An Indian Border Security Force soldier and a young woman at the Indian-Pakistan Wagah border post
An Indian Border Security Force soldier and a young woman at the Indian-Pakistan Wagah border post(AFP)
A fan appears to become part of the Indian flag as a policeman prepares to take part in a full dress rehearsal for Independence Day celebrations in Kolkata
A fan appears to become part of the Indian flag as a policeman prepares to take part in a full dress rehearsal for Independence Day celebrations in Kolkata(Reuters)
An Indian Army soldier leaps through a ring of fire on his motorcycle during Independence Day celebrations in the southern Indian city of Bangalore
An Indian Army soldier leaps through a ring of fire on his motorcycle during Independence Day celebrations in the southern Indian city of Bangalore(Reuters)
A member of the National Cadet Corps waves with her hand decorated with henna in Chandigarh
A member of the National Cadet Corps waves with her hand decorated with henna in Chandigarh(Reuters)