The nation is celebrating 71st Republic Day today. The main function was organized at Rajpath in the National Capital.
President Ram Nath Kovind unfurled the tricolour and took the salute of the parade. President of Brazil Jair Messias Bolsonaro was the Chief Guest at the Parade this year.
The Republic Day ceremony commenced with Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying homage to martyrs at the National War Memorial instead of Amar Jawan Jyoti. The National Flag was unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute.
The parade started from Vijay Chowk and proceeded towards the Red Fort grounds. It was commanded by Parade Commander, Lieutenant General Asit Mistry, General Officer Commanding, Headquarters Delhi Area.
The winners of the highest gallantry awards followed him. They include the winners of the Param Vir Chakra and the Ashok Chakra. Our correspondent gives us the details:
The country’s military might, cultural diversity, social and economic progress was on display at the Republic Day Parade at Rajpath. For the first time, a contingent of women bikers of CRPF performed daredevil stunts.
The contingent was led by Inspector Seema Nag who was seen saluting while standing atop a moving motorcycle. Sixteen States and Union Territories and six Central Ministries participated in the Parade.
Jammu and Kashmir participated in the parade for the first time as a Union Territory. Start up India, Jal Jeevan Mission and financial inclusion were some of the themes of the tableaux of Ministries and Departments.
The Tableau of Gujarat was on the theme Rani ki Vav – Jal Mandir which is a unique piece of ancient Indian architectural style, construction work and craftsmanship.
Punjab’s Tableau was dedicated to the ideology based on the human principles preached by Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the theme was 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Odisha showcased the famous Rukuna Rath Yatra of Lord Lingaraja, worshiped as both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.
Meghalaya’s Tableau depicted the Double Decker Living Root Bridge which is a main tourist attraction of the state. Bamboo and cane craft of Assam and Bhortal Nritya was in full display in Assam’s tableau.
Chattisgarh ‘s tableau displayed the artistic beauty of the state whereas Jammu and Kashmir’s highlighted the Union Territories’s Back to Village programme which was launched last year with the aim to empower villages and Panchayats.
Telangana’s tableau brought to life its floral festival called Bathukamma and Tamil Nadu showcased folk dances of the state and Iyyanar statue, the guardian deity of villages.
The Naval Tableau titled ‘Indian Navy – Silent, Strong, and Swift showcased the might and firepower of Navy. The Air Force tableau displayed models of the Rafale aircraft, Tejas aircraft, Light Combat Helicopter, Akash Missiles System and Astra Missiles.
The major attraction was fly-past by the newly inducted Chinook and Apache helicopters along with Sukhoi and advanced light helicopters. Anti-satellite weapon – Mission Shakti, Army’s battle tank Bhishma were also showcased during the 90-minute long parade.
Sixteen marching contingents from the Armed Forces, Para-Military Forces, Delhi police and NCC along with 13 Military bands were also the centre of attraction. Forty-Nine children who have been awarded Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puruskar this year also participated.
Over 600 school children took part in the parade and showcased cultural programmes, Yoga and folk dances from various states. The ceremony culminated with the national anthem and the release of colourful balloons. With Dipendra Kumar, Suparna Saikia, AIR News Delhi.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Union Ministers including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Prakash Javadekar, BJP President J P Nadda, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani were among those present on the occasion.
(With inputs from PTI)