R Day: India showcases unity in diversity, military might

India’s military might, cultural diversity, social and economic progress were on display at the 72nd   Republic Day celebrations at the iconic Rajpath. Thirty-two tableaux, 17 from States including  West Bengal and Union Territories, nine from various Ministries or Departments and Paramilitary Forces and six from the Ministry of Defence were rolled down the Rajpath. Among these was Bengal’s tableau on Sabuj Saathi program, Buddhists cultural heritage from Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, Vision For Carbon neutral Ladakh, Gujarat’s famed Sun Temple, Tea-tribes of Assam,  Chhattisgarh’s Folk Music, Coir of Kerala, Digital Bharat, Four Labour Codes, Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, New India: ‘Vocal for Local’, CRPF and BRO. School children performed Bajasal Dance of Odisha, Tamil Nadu Folk Dance, and theme dances on Hum Fit Toh India Fit and Aatmanirbhar Bharat.NCC cadres marched to the Kadam Kadam Barahey Ja…the inspiring song of the INA led by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and a special tableau on the unforgettable freedom fighter during the 11th World War. Rafale multi roller 5 G fighter Jets recently inducted Indian Air Force featured in the Republic Day parade and culminated the flypast by carrying out the ‘Vertical Charlie’ formation. A Rafale jet with two Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft and two MiG-29 Air Superiority Fighters conducted the “Eklavya” formation at a height of 300 m and a speed of 780 km/h. The parade culminated with a single Rafale aircraft flying at a speed of 900km/hr carrying out a ‘Vertical Charlie’. A total of 38 Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft participated in the flypast this year.

The ‘Trinetra’ formation comprising three Su-30MKIs – the three aircraft split outwards and upwards, forming a ‘Trishul in the Sky’ enthralled the audience. The function, indigenously-developed Main Battle Tank of the Indian Army, T-90 Bhishma, Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP II, Brahmos Weapon System, Pinaka Bridge Laying tanks T-72, Samvijay Electronic Warfare System were the main attraction in the mechanized columns. Naval Tableau titled Swarnim Vijay Varsh showcased the Indian Navy’s attack on Karachi harbour in 1971. The Republic Day Parade celebrations commenced with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the National War Memorial where he led the nation in paying solemn tributes to the fallen heroes by laying a wreath. The National Flag was unfurled followed by the National  Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute. The parade commenced with President Ram Nath Kovind taking the salute. This time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parade route has been shortened. The parade started from Vijay Chowk as in the previous years but culminated at the National Stadium instead of ending at the Red Fort. Only around 25 thousand spectators were allowed to witness the parade compared to 1.15 lakh people every year. Republic Day is the celebration of spirit of India, its rich and vibrant culture and military prowess. Let’s feel joy and pride in being Indians,  Prime Minister Modi said. He wore a special ‘Paghdi’ from Jamnagar. The first such ‘Paghdi’ was gifted to the PM by the royal family of Jamnagar in Gujarat. Uttar Pradesh’s  tableau  was designed projecting ‘Ayodhya as Cultural Heritage of India. It displays Ram Mandir. The forepart of the middle tableau shows Deepotsava of Ayodhya, in which millions of earthen lamps are lit.

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