New Delhi (NVI): India celebrated its 72nd Republic Day today with a mellowed down yet vibrant display of its military and cultural might in the annual parade at Rajpath in New Delhi today.
Rafale fighter jet, which was inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) last year, featured in the Republic Day parade and culminated the fly past by carrying out the ‘Vertical Charlie’ formation.
Only 25,000 people were allowed to attend the ceremony at Rajpath as opposed to over one lakh spectators who usually attended the event every year. Even the parade was shorter this year and instead of marching up to the Red Fort, ended at the national stadium.
The event commenced with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate for the wreath-laying ceremony. President Ram Nath Kovind, the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces officially began the parade with the flag hoisting ceremony.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat, Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Indian Air Force Chief (IAF) Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria were also present.
Total 32 tableaus – 17 from states and union territories, six from the Defence ministry, and nine from other Union ministries and paramilitary forces – depicting the nation’s rich cultural heritage, economic progress and defence prowess marched down the Rajpath.
Notably, for the first time, the 122-member proud contingent of the Bangladesh Armed Forces comprising of soldiers of the Bangladesh Army, sailors of the Bangladesh Navy and Air Warriors of the Bangladesh Air Force led the contingent march on the Rajpath.
The Bangladesh contingent carried the legacy of legendary Muktijoddhas of Bangladesh, who fought against oppression and mass atrocities and liberated Bangladesh in 1971.
Furthermore, this is the first time after the abrogation of 370 and bifurcation of erstwhile state into into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh – a tableau from Ladakh was displayed at the parade.
The parade was commanded by Parade Commander, Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, Ati Vishisth Seva medal, General Officer Commanding Delhi Area. Major General Alok Kacker, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area was the Parade Second-in-Command.
One of the major attractions at this year’s Republic Day parade was the flypast by Rafale fighter jets. Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets, T-90 tanks, the Samvijay electronic warfare system also enthralled the audience.
Every year, January 26 is celebrated as Republic Day in India. The date marks the day the Constitution of India came into effect, in 1950. People all over the country celebrate this day.