The country celebrates its 68th Republic Day; the day Parade ceremony commenced at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate. Prime Minister Narendra Modi lead the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath.
An eternal flame burns at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to commemorate the indomitable courage of Indian Armed Forces personnel who made the supreme sacrifice in the country’s service.
The PM and President’s cavalcades then moved down Rajpath, where after the unfurling of the National Flag, the national anthem was played with a 21 gun salute. Then, the parade began and President Pranab Mukherjee rose to take the salute.
For the first time, a contingent of UAE soldiers marched in the parade. The 149-member Presidential Guard, which was led by a UAE band consisting of 35 musicians, presented a ceremonial salute to President Mukherjee. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and a son of the UAE’s founding president, is the chief guest at the Republic Day parade this year.
In another first, a contingent of the National Security Guard (NSG), popularly known as the Black Cat Commandos, also participated in the parade.
The parade was commanded by Lt General Manoj Mukund Naravane, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area.
The army showcased its Tank T-90 and Infantry Combat Vehicle and Bramhos Missile, one of its treasured armour, its Weapon Locating Radar Swathi, Transportable Satellite Terminal and Akash Weapon System.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) tableau rolled down the Rajpath with the theme “Air Dominance Through Network Centric Operations”. The tableau displayed the scaled down models of Su-30 MKI, Mirage-2000, AWACS, UAV, Apache and Communication Satellite.
The Indian Navy’s “Professional Force-Anchoring Stability, Security and National Prosperity” tableau showcased the lethal marine commandos proceeding for action, the indigenously built Kolkata Class Destroyer and the Kalvari Class next generation attack submarines. It also displayed a model of the P-8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
Tableaux from 17 states and Union Territories, six Central Ministries and Departments presented the varied historical, art and cultural heritage of the country.
The heroic motor bike stunts of ‘Dare Devils’- the motorcycle display team of Corps of Military Police – was a hit with the parade viewers.