As the nation celebrates its 70th Republic Day on Saturday, India witnessed yet another majestic parade on the historic Raj Path while cherishing the idea of India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti followed by the unfurling of the flag by President Ram Nath Kovind. President Kovind was accompanied by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was invited to be the Chief Guest at the event.
The overall theme for the Republic Day celebrations this year is the 150th birth anniversary of MK Gandhi and most of the tableaux were themed on the remembrance of the freedom fighter.
The Republic Day celebrations started with an emotional note as the President of India awarded Ashoka Chakra to Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani of Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry, who was martyred during an operation against six terrorists in Hirapur villager, near Kashmir’s Batagund, on November 25. The family of the braveheart received the Ashok Chakra from President Ram Nath Kovind in a touching moment.
The bestowal of gallantry awards was followed by India showcasing its technological and military might with the display of T-90 Bhishma tanks, Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP-2, surface mine clearing systems, M-777 Howitzers, troop level radars, Akash missiles.
The Republic Day marching parade began with soldiers of Madras Regiment accompanied by a flypast by Advanced Light Helicopters comprising of HAL Rudra and HAL Dhruv.
The most historic moment of the Republic Day occurred when an all-women marching contingent of Assam Rifles took part for the first time led by Major Khusboo Kanwar.
In yet another proud moment, Indian Army Service Corps was led by lady officer Lt. Bhavna Kasturi while Lt. Ambika Sudhakaran lead marching contingent of Indian Navy during the Republic Day parade at Raj Path.
Tableaux of different states were on display at Rajpath. A total of 22 tableaux of states and central government departments with Mahatma Gandhi as the central theme were part of this year’s parade.
INA veterans too took part in the Republic Day parade for the first time.
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The Republic Day-2019 celebrations concluded with a spectacular flypast by the Indian Air Force. The flypast commenced with the ‘Rudra’ formation comprising three ALH Mk IV WSI helicopters in ‘Vic’ formation, followed by the ‘Hercules’ formation comprising three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft in ‘Vic’ formation. Behind the ‘Hercules’ formation is the ‘Netra’ the “Eye in the Sky”.
The ceremony culminated with the national anthem and release of balloons. Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the end greeted the crowd present at Republic Day parade in Delhi.