India's indigenous military prowess, cultural diversity & Nari Shakti paints the Kartavya Path, formerly Raj Path, on the 74th Republic Day
On Thursday, January 26, 2023, India celebrated its 74th Republic Day from Kartavya Path in New Delhi led by President Droupadi Murmu. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. Building on the 75th year of Independence celebrated as 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav', the Republic Day parade was held for the first time on the revamped Rajpath, inaugurated as Kartavya Path by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year. Various leaders from across the globe congratulated India on this occasion.
President Droupadi Murmu received President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt at Rashtrapati Bhavan and hosted a banquet in his honour. The President said that India appreciates Egypt's leading role in promoting peace, prosperity and stability in the West Asia region. pic.twitter.com/V4fC05U6RO— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) January 25, 2023
"Our founding document is inspired by the humanistic philosophy of the oldest living civilisation in the world as well as new ideas that emerged in more recent history. The nation will always remain grateful to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, who headed the Drafting Committee of the Constitution, and thus had a critical part in giving it the final shape. On this day, we should also remember the role of jurist B.N. Rau, who had prepared the initial draft, and other experts and officers who helped in making of the constitution. We are proud of the fact that the members of that assembly represented all regions and communities of India and that they included 15 women too. Their vision, as enshrined in the Constitution, has been continuously guiding our Republic," said the President while addressing the nation on the eve of her first Republic Day as the country's leading lady.
The Republic Day parade, a mix of the country's military prowess & cultural diversity, depicted India's growing indigenous capabilities, Nari Shakti and emergence of a 'New India'. The parade ceremony commenced with Prime Minister Modi visiting the National War Memorial and paying tributes to the fallen heroes. The National Flag was unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a 21-gun salute. Amongst the many firsts, the 21-gun salute this time was given with 105-mm Indian Field Guns, replacing the vintage 25 pounder gun, reflecting upon the growing 'Atmanirbharta' in defence. The parade commenced with the President taking the salute and was followed by the winners of the highest gallantry awards, including the winners of Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra.
Pictures from the Republic Day celebrations at Kartavya Path in New Delhi. pic.twitter.com/p9pXdYMwU3— PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 26, 2023
For the first time, the combined Band & Marching contingent of the Egyptian Armed Forces marched down the Kartavya Path, consisting of 144 soldiers, representing the main branches of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
Indian Army Contingents
The first contingent in the uniform was the 61 Cavalry, the only serving active Horse Cavalry Regiment in the world, with the amalgamation of all the 'State Horse Units'.
The Republic Day parade, a mix of the country's military prowess & cultural diversity, depicted India's growing indigenous capabilities, Nari Shakti and emergence of a 'New India'
The Indian Army was represented by a Mounted Column of 61 Cavalry, nine Mechanised Columns, six marching contingents and a fly past by Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) of Army Aviation Corps. To further boost the "Atmanirbhar Bharat" initiative, the Indian Army reportedly showcased only Made-in-India weapon systems at the Republic Day parade. These included the the K-9 Vajra howitzers, MBT Arjun, Nag anti-tank guided missiles, BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, Akash air defence missiles and the Quick Reaction Fighting Vehicles were some of the other main attractions in the mechanised columns.
A total of six marching contingents of the Army, including The Mechanised Infantry Regiment, The Punjab Regiment, The Maratha Light Infantry Regiment, The Dogra Regiment, The Bihar Regiment and The Gorkha Brigade marched past the saluting dais.
The Veterans' Tableau, with the theme 'Towards India's Amrit Kaal with Resolve – A Veterans' Commitment' was another new highlight that provided a glimpse of veterans' contributions in the last 75 years and their initiatives in shaping India's future during 'Amrit Kaal'.
Indian Navy Contingent
The Indian Navy contingent comprised 144 young sailors. For the first time, the marching contingent consisted of three women and six Agniveers. It was followed by the Naval Tableau, designed on the theme 'Indian Navy – Combat Ready, Credible, Cohesive and Future Proof', showcasing the multi-dimensional capabilities of the Indian Navy, Nari Shakti and some of the key indigenously designed and built assets under 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' including a model of the new indigenous Nilgiri class ship with a Dhruv helicopter deploying marine commandos, models of autonomous unmanned systems. The tableau also featured the women aircrew of Dornier aircraft, highlighting all-women crew surveillance sortie undertaken last year.
The Veterans' Tableau, with the theme "Towards India's Amrit Kaal with Resolve – A Veterans' Commitment" was another new highlight that provided a glimpse of veterans' contributions in the last 75 years and their initiatives in shaping India's future during 'Amrit Kaal'.
Indian Air Force Contingent
The Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent had 144 air warriors and four officers. The Air Force tableau, designed on the theme 'Indian Air Force Power Beyond Boundaries', displayed a rotating globe highlighting IAF's expanded reach through providing humanitarian assistance across borders and exercise with friendly countries. It showcased Light Combat Aircraft Tejas MK-II, Light Combat Helicopter 'Prachand', Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft NETRA and C-295 Transport aircraft. The tableau also displayed a team of GARUDs in combat gear with laser designation equipment and specialist weapons.
DRDO Tableau & Equipment
Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) showcased one tableau and equipment. The theme of the tableau was 'Securing Nation with Effective Surveillance, Communication and Neutralising Threats'. It displayed Underwater Surveillance Platforms, which include sonars like Ushus-2 for submarines, Humsa series of sonars for ships and Low Frequency Dunking Sonar for helicopter launch surveillance. Land Surveillance, Communication and Neutralising platforms showcasing D4 counter drone systems, which can perform real time search, detection, tracking and neutralise targets were also on display along with two units of Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile Weapon System, Battery Multifunction Radar and Missile Launcher Vehicle. There was also the Aerial Surveillance and Communication platforms Airborne Early Warning and Control System and TAPAS BH Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAV as well as the indigenously-developed Wheeled Armoured Platform (WhAP), a modular 8X8 wheeled combat platform carried on a 70-ton Trailer.
Indian Coast Guard Contingent
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) marching contingent also marked its presence. The continuous vigil of the ICG has enabled seizure of contraband worth over 14,546 crore since its inception, including 2,620 crore in 2022 alone. Its reach and capability was demonstrated during the flag hoisting on 100 inhabited & un-inhabited far-flung islands as part of 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav'.
The most-awaited grand-finale through the Fly Past consisted of an air show by 45 aircraft of the Indian Air Force, one from the Indian Navy and four helicopters of the Indian Army.
Contingents of CAPF & Delhi Police
The contingents of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Railway Protection Force, Delhi Police, the Camel Contingent of Border Security Force (BSF) also marched. For the first time, female camel riders also participated in the parade, showcasing women empowerment in various fields.
NCC & NSS Contingents
The National Cadet Corps (NCC) Boys Marching contingent, comprising 148 Senior Division cadets and the NCC Girls Marching contingent, consisting of 148 Senior Division Cadets drawn from all 17 Directorates were also a part. The marching contingent of the National Service Scheme (NSS), comprising 148 volunteers, also marked.
Tableaux of States/UTs & Ministries/Departments
Twenty-three tableaux – 17 from States/Union Territories and six from various ministries/departments, depicting the nation's cultural heritage, economic progress and strong internal and external security rolled down the Kartavya Path.
|1||Andhra Pradesh||Prabhala Theertham – A festival of Peasantry during Makara Sankranthi|
|2||Assam||Land of Heroes and Spiritualism|
|3||Ladakh||Tourism & Composite Culture of Ladakh|
|5||Tripura||Sustainable Livelihood through Tourism & Organic Farming in Tripura with active participation of women|
|6||Gujarat||Clean Green Energy Efficient Gujarat|
|7||Jharkhand||Baba Baidyanath Dham|
|8||Arunachal Pradesh||Prospects of Tourism in Arunachal Pradesh|
|9||Jammu & Kashmir||Naya Jammu & Kashmir|
|11||West Bengal||Durga Puja in Kolkata: Inscribing Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO|
|12||Maharashtra||Sade Tin Shaktipithe & Nari Shakti|
|13||Tamil Nadu||Women Empowerment & Culture of Tamil Nadu|
|14||Karnataka||Celebrating Power of Nari|
|15||Haryana||International Gita Mahotsav|
|16||Dadar Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu||Conservation of Tribal Culture & Heritage|
|17||Uttar Pradesh||Ayodhya Deepotsav|
Details of six tableaux of Ministries/Departments are as follows:
|1||Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (Indian Council Agriculture Research)||International Year of Millets: 2023 – India's Initiative|
|2||Ministry of Tribal Affairs||Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs)|
|3||Ministry of Home Affairs (Narcotics Control Bureau)||Narcotics Control Bureau: Resolve @ 75 – Drug Free India|
|4||Ministry of Home Affairs (Central Armed Police Forces)||Nari Shakti in CAPF|
|5||Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (Central Public Works Department)||Biodiversity Conservation|
|6||Ministry of Culture||Shakti RupenaSamsthita|
Cultural performances by 479 artists chosen through the nation-wide Vande Bharatam dance competition showcased a cultural extravaganza on the theme of 'Nari Shakti'. They presented classical, folk and contemporary fusion dances, depicting the 'Power of Women' through five elements: Earth, Water, Air, Space and Fire.
Another highlight of the show, like always, was the motorcycle display by the Corps of Signals' DareDevils team who enthralled the audience with an array of formations including a Yoga display on the motorcycle. The most-awaited grand-finale through the Fly Past was however hindered by the foggy weather. The Fly Past consisted of an air show by 45 aircraft of the Indian Air Force, one from the Indian Navy and four helicopters of the Indian Army. Vintage as well as current modern aircraft/helicopters like Rafale, MiG-29, Su-30, Su-30 MkI Jaguar, C-130, C-17, Dornier, Dakota, LCH Prachand, Apache, Sarang & AEW&C were to display different formations, including Baaz, Prachand, Tiranga, Tangail, Vajrang, Garud, Bheem, Amrit and Trishul along with a vertical charlie maneuver by Rafale fighter aircraft.
This Republic Day is also being marked with 'Bharat Parv', being celebrated for a week near the Red Fort. The week-long celebrations commenced on January 23, the birth anniversary of great freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. To mark the occasion, a one-of-a-kind Military Tattoo and Tribal Dance Festival 'Aadi Shaurya - Parv Parakram ka' was organised in New Delhi on January 23 & 24. The events will culminate on January 30, which is observed as Martyrs' Day. The celebrations were also marked by performances from Vande Bharatam group of dancers from across the country, tales of bravery by Veer Gatha 2.0 participants, melodious performances by school bands at the National War Memorial, first-ever e-invitations, largest-ever drone show and 3-D anamorphic projection.
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