The Republic Day celebrations in India have been so much more than just commemorating the implementation of our constitution and our arrival as a democratic sovereign republic. The elaborate, vibrant festivities down Rajpath are a glimpse of our military power, culture, diversity and a salutation to our people.
Dr Rajendra Prasad, The First President of India presided over the Republic Day celebrations in 1950.
1953 saw the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh karyakartas marching down Rajpath on the Republic day. It is almost hilarious how the Congress party leaders don’t hesitate to brand them as terrorists nowadays.
Prominent monarchs and nation heads from across the world have traditionally been invited for the occasion. Here is a picture of Queen Elizabeth attending the 1961 event.
Kiran Bedi, India’s First female IPS officer lead the police contingent in 1973. A proud moment for Indian Women.
Tourists from all over the world throng Delhi for witnessing the R-Day parade. One of the main attractions is the 61 Cavalry regiment of the Indian Army. It is the world’s only active cavalry regiment.
Another principal attraction of the parade is the march of BSF’s camel regiment. The stunning sight of elegantly dressed camels mounted by BSF’s proud officials in big moustaches and turban is a favourite among the people.
In the 2016 R-Day celebrations, Indian Army’s dog squad made a spectacular march down Rajpath. The beautiful dogs are well trained for bomb disposal and counter-insurgency operations. The stunning visuals became popular worldwide soon.
In 2016, for the first time in the history of the R-Day parade, a contingent of the French Military marched. The then French President Mr Francois Hollande was the Chief Guest.
The next year, 2017 also saw a contingent from UAE taking part in the parade. The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed was the chief guest for the celebrations.
This year, saw a Tableaux depicting the coronation of the legendary Hindu Kind Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and an unprecedented 10 ASEAN heads as the Chief Guests.
One article can’t capture the glorious history of Republic Day celebrations in our country. They have been and continue to be a proud representation of our heritage and emerging prominence as a global power.