India celebrates 67th Republic Day with majestic parade

New Delhi (PTI): India’s military prowess and multi-hued images of the country’s rich cultural diversity and achievements in various fields were on display at the majestic Rajpath today during 67th Republic Day parade which was graced by French President Francois Hollande as the chief guest.

Thousands of people on both sides of the imposing Rajpath, India’s ceremonial boulevard facing the seat of power Raisina Hills, braved the winter chill and cheered loudly as the marching contingents and tableux went past them.

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The national capital, particularly the Central and New Delhi areas, were brought under unprecedented security blanket as thousands of personnel kept a hawk-eye vigil to thwart any untoward incident. There were intelligence inputs that terror groups may target some important installations in the city.

Hollande was seated between President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi who wore a marigold coloured ‘safa'(turban). Modi was seen explaining things to Hollande on several occasions during the one-and-a-half-hour-long event. This year the duration of the parade has been curtailed from more than two hours to 90 minutes.

A French military contingent also marched down the Rajpath, a first by any foreign armed force. In 2009, an Indian contingent had also participated in France’s annual Bastille Day parade.

Apart from India’s missile firing capability T-90 ‘Bhishma’ tank, Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP II (Sarath), Mobile Autonomous Launcher of the BrahMos Missile System, Akash Weapon System, Smerch Launcher Vehicles, the highlights of the parade also included a canine squad.

The synchronised military and police contingents led by General Officer Commanding (Delhi), Lt General Rajan Ravindran marched proudly to the lilting tunes of the bands through Rajpath where Mukherjee, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, took the salute from a specially erected dais.

Earlier, Hollande, who is on a three-day state visit, arrived with Mukherjee and was received by Modi who introduced him to the three services chief — Army, Air Force and Navy.

Alongside Hollande, the fifth French President to attend the celebrations, the parade was watched by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, BJP president Amit Shah and the country’s top political and military brass, besides the diplomatic community.

Minutes before the parade began, Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and the three service chiefs laid wreaths at ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’, the war memorial at the India Gate where an eternal flame burns in memory of those who laid down their lives defending the frontiers of the nation.

Before the start of the ceremonial parade, Mukherjee presented the Ashok Chakra (Posthumous), highest peacetime gallentry award, to Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami of 9 Para (Special Force) for his bravery in fighting with terrorists on the intervening night of September 2/3 last year in Haphruda forest at Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir. The award was received by his wife Bhavna Goswami.

7 Comments

  1. Dear readers,

    On January 26, 1950, the Constitution of India, drafted by Dr BR Ambedkar, came into force and replaced the Government of India Act, 1935, as the governing document of the country, completing the transition towards becoming a sovereign democratic republic. The constitution was passed on November 26, 1949. However, because the Indian National Congress had passed a resolution in 1930, fixing January 26 as the independence day, the assembly, after passing the constitution, decided to wait till January 26, 1950, to bring it (the constitution) into force.

    On this Republic Day,PM Modi’s India will see a lot of changes in the parade with several new elements added to the programme. This day which marks the sovereignty of the country is the day when the Constitution of India was adopted in 1950.

    For the first time in the history of 67 years of Republic of India,35th Infantry Regiment of France did not “serve in Algiers in 1830”, it invaded Algiers in 1830 – a colonial invasion that faced a popular resistance! And it participated in the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan too. What a shame that today, India invites that regiment to march to mark India’s Republic Day. Instead of anti-colonial and anti-racist solidarity, we have Islamophobic “unity” with a colonial-imperialist legacy.

    Republic Day should be a day to reflect on the meaning of the republic and the Constitution for our marginalised and oppressed “publics” – the women, the Dalits, the adivasis, the minorities, the disabled, the queer, the dissenting voices…This would be truly meaningful – in contrast to triumphalist displays of military hardware.

    Would India invite, say, a British regiment that had served in 1857 or Jallianwala Bagh in India, to march on Republic Day? Is Modi’s business India allowed the new era of colonisation?

    Jai Hind

  2. Without some superlatives, one never sees something done by the globetrotter.

    The first, biggest, longest, and the like.

    One of the much flaunted ‘first’ is the attendance of about 45 French soldiers in India’s Republic day celebration. And possibly another dozen support staff. About 60 all up.

    We are not even counting the entourage of the French President Francois Hollande himself.

    The contingent of 60 had to fly in (of course), stay at 5-star hotels, and be provided top-notch, local transport, z-plus equivalent security.

    Compare this to the Indian soldiers participating in the event: none of the perks. Many of them probably took public transport.

    The French 60-person team who provided a superlative to the press releases of the globetrotter, would have cost plenty.

    Surely the French government would not have spent a cent.

    Then who spent all that money?

    Just to get another “first” to our super-achiever?

    What is sad to note is that all this extravaganza is for some domestic consumption. I don’t think any of the international press covered any of it.

  3. Why does the Republic Day parade matter so much when the Indian constitution has been grossly abused too many times – from declaring emergency to the number of constitutional amendments made? It is as though anything and everything that Modi government does is wrong – if so, where were these people who complain about the Republic Day Parade when Emergency was declared in India just to save the ruling party? If one really believes in ‘democracy’ then one should know that there are times when the people elect a government that one may not like – people have spoken and if they don’t like what Modi did, he will also be removed from office by the electorate. BTW – I am neither a Modi supporter nor a Congress supporter – the fact of the matter in India is ‘corruption’ rules and it does not matter who gets elected!

  4. “Surely the French government would not have spent a cent” a pure speculation by Manga based on his bias and hatred towards Modiji and possibly Bharatha!!!

    For me, the most irritating thing was the same old dancing and singing!! Can’t we put up a great military parade and focus less on all those dance and songs? Very depressing!!

    • Can’t we put up a great military parade and focus less on all those dance and songs? Very depressing!! – Patriot Rampa (But oh, he is a citizen of Yumreeka).

      Hey Murudeshwara Rampai,

      Here is some news for you.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3419140/The-50-violent-cities-world-revealed-21-Brazil.html

      15. St Louis, Missouri, U.S. – 59.23 (homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2015)

      19. Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. – 54.98

      28. Detroit, Michigan, U.S. – 43.89

      32. New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S. – 41.44
      ——————————————————————————————-

      1. Caracas, Venezuela – 119.87 (THE most dangerous city in the world).
      ——————————————————————————————-
      How can this happen ya Rampa? Is this HOW people live in the Land of the Free? You guys haven’t gotten over the ‘Wild West’ hangover, eh? Or, is this how people show others that they are the ones who have a ‘Beeeeggggg Stickkkaaa” out there?

  5. “You guys haven’t gotten over the ‘Wild West’ hangover….” writes US-rejected, Saudi-returned Joker Praveena Pinto.

    As I have repeatedly requested, you need to move on in life. You can’t hold past negative experiences (rejected visa) against any country!! Also, what’s the point in bringing up unrelated topic when we are talking about Republic day parade? Did you even try to read/learn about Petro-Dollar, fractional reserve banking, federal reserve, NATO etc? Remember, it will explain how ‘big stick’ is all that matters in this world. No worries – you can take next 10 years to digest this!! smiles….

    • Also, what’s the point in bringing up unrelated topic when we are talking about Republic day parade? Murudeshwara RampaNNA

      Hello Joker’ji,

      At the drop of a hat – i.e.:

      1. EVEN when discussing the El Nino phenomenon

      2. Influx of refugees in Europe

      3. Johnny Depp’s mustache and eccentricities

      4. Justin Bieber’s abs

      5. Kim Kardashian’s curves & her blessed hubby’s amazing lack of talent

      6. Bill Maher’s dope peddling habits which saw him through College

      7. Our beloved ಪ್ರಧಾನ ಸೇವಕ’s ‘MACK’ in India slogan (Ahem!… cough.. cough.. sneeze!….. ಸರ್ದಾರ್ ಪಟೇಲ್’s ಮೂರ್ತಿ to be made/cast and polished in ಚೀನಾ, ಮೆಟ್ರೋ designed, built and commissioned ಇನ್ ಜಪಾನ್, ಫೈಟರ್ (ಶೆಟ್ಟಿ) ಜೆಟ್ಸ್ from ಫ್ರ್ಯಾನ್ಸ್ …… and the list is endless)

      8. Your NEW home in ಶಕ್ತಿನಗರ

      DON’T you bring in your blessed Murudeshwara?
      DON’T you bring in some 7th Century old book?
      Hahahahahahaha Rampa! 🙂
      —————————————————————————-
      Did you even try to read/learn about Petro-Dollar, fractional reserve banking, federal reserve, NATO etc? – Maha Joker Rampuji

      Lol! What do your silly petro$ and NATO have to do with the ಮ್ಯಾನ್ ವಿತ್ ತೆ ಬೀಈಈಈಗ್ಗ್ stickkkaaaa (which incidentally got literally bushwhacked by some tribal’s from ವಿಎಟ್ನಾಮ, ಅಫ್ಘಾನಿಸ್ತಾನ, ಇರಾಕ್ etc) have to do with printing greenbacks with inadequate/zilch collateral?

      Why on earth are you doing ಥಯ್ಯಾ ತಕ್ಕಾ ಓ ನನ್ನ ಒಲವಿನ ರಾಂಪ? 🙂

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