The 26th of January, 2019, will mark India’s 70th Republic Day celebrations. The momentous occasion will be one of many firsts as well.
One of the most prominent ones would be the fact that for the first time in history, the ‘Shankhnaad‘ will be played instead of the British martial tune that has been the traditions until now. The first original tune of Independent India is based on Indian Classical music and is a combination of three Ragas–Raag Bilaskhani Todi, Raag Bhairavi and Raag Kirvani.
The tune is the composition of Dr Tanuja Nafade and is based on a poem by Brig. Vivek Sohal. Apart from the Shankhnaad, four veterans from the Indian National Army, aged over 90, will participate in the Parade for the first time.
The Parade will also witness the capabilities of our country’s ‘Nari Shakti’. “This Republic Day parade will also be an amazing display of ‘Nari Shakti’ (women power), as many contingents will be led by women, besides an all-women contingent of the Assam Rifles,” Maj Gen Rajpal Punia, Chief of Staff, HQ Delhi Area stated. He added that the parade will witness the largest participation by women thus far.
Artillery gun system M777 American Ultra Light Howitzers which was recently acquired from the USA and K9 Vajra, a self-propelled artillery gun will feature in the Parade as new additions as well.
58 tribal guests from various parts of the country have been invited to perform at the celebrations this year. School children will also perform at the event. President Ram Nath Kovind will make his second Republic Day address this year. As the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, he will take the salute during the parade.
The CISF’s Tableaux will feature Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s Samadhi. A number of other Tableaux will revolve around the life and work of Gandhi as well. Punjab’s Tableaux will be themed on the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919. Some of them will integrate folk dances. The IAF Tableaux will be themed on ‘Indian Air Force: Safeguarding Indian Skies’.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be the Chief Guest at the event. He will be accompanied by First Lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe, and a high-level delegation including nine ministers, senior officials, and a 50-member business contingent.