India Celebrates 73rd Republic Day With Many Firsts At Grand Parade At Rajpath

Republic Day 2022 | Pyramid formation by 33 BSF women officers striking an amazing balance

New Delhi: India on Wednesday celebrated its 73rd Republic day with the grand parade in the heart of the Capital at the newly redeveloped Rajpath, showcasing the country’s military might, cultural diversity and pageantry.

The theme of this year’s Republic Day parade was India@75 as it is observing its 75th anniversary of independence “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” across the length and breadth of the country.

The parade began at 10.30 a.m., half-an-hour later than the usual scheduled time and the salute was taken by the President Ram Nath Kovind who is the supreme commander of armed forces. A little while ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid a wreath at the nearby National War Memorial.

Elaborate security arrangements and strict Covid protocol was implemented as the guest list was pruned drastically with only 5,000 people being allowed to attend the celebrations. There was no foreign dignitary for the second successive year. The customary At Home reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the evening was also cancelled in view of the Covid situation. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu could not attend the celebrations as he recently tested positive for Covid.

Minutes before the parade began at the Rajpath, the President awarded Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peacetime gallantry award, posthumously to Assistant Sub Inspector of Jammu and Kashmir police Babu Ram who made the supreme sacrifice while fighting terrorists in Kashmir valley. His wife and son received the award.

For the first time evolution of Indian Army uniforms and rifles over the decades was displayed by three Army contingents. Marching contingents of the three wings of armed forces as well as Delhi Police, Central Armed Police Forces, NCC and NSS evoked applause from the viewers who also appreciated the weapons display of Akash missile, tanks and other modern armoury.

Tableux from states brought alive the country’s cultural diversity with a wide array of themes, ranging from Kashi Vishwanath Temple corridor, to the freedom struggle, water conservation and biodiversity. For the first time, Civil Aviation Ministry’s tableau displayed the expansion of the sector which has made available affordable flights to the common people. The Central Public Works Development (CPWD) tableau paid tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary.

A group of about 480 dancers, chosen through a nationwide dance competition hosted by the Defence and Cultural ministries, put up a rich display of cultural pageantry, evoking applause and cheer from the viewers.

Breathtaking display of skills was rolled out at Rajpath with motorbike riders, including all women teams, from the Central Paramilitary forces as audience clapped and cheered in appreciation.

The cynosure of all eyes was the grand flypast which began with four Mi-17 choppers and ended with 17 Jaguar fighter aircraft flying in the ‘Amrit’ formation to commemorate 75 years of Independence, making the figure of 75 in the sky. For the first time 75 aircraft, including the latest multi-role Rafael fighter jets, took part in the flypast this time. A breathtaking view from inside the aircraft was also provided for the first time this time on television screens as embedded cameras with some of the pilots were used for the purpose.

Prime Minister Modi, in his characteristic style, walked on the Rajpath, greeting people and waving at them for quite some distance. All this while, he was surrounded by the security personnel of the Special Protection Group (SPG) who kept a strict vigil on the movement till he boarded the vehicle.

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