India celebrated its 72nd Republic Day on Tuesday across the country, albeit in a muted manner due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, farmers protesting the newly-passed agricultural laws gathered in Delhi to participate in the tractor rally, which later turned violent.
Delhi Police advised people to watch the live telecast of Republic Day parade at home due to COVID-19 protocols. Invitees attending parade at Rajpath had to comply with the COVID-19 advisory that included temperature check, use of sanitiser, mask and social distancing.
This time, there would not be a chief guest at the Republic Day parade. Additionally, the route of the marching contingent would end at the India Gate C-Hexagon instead of Red Fort.
Here are the updates:
The Presidential Bodyguards arrive marking the end to the parade.
The national anthem plays followed by tricolour balloons filling up the sky.
The President alights from the dias. He is followed by his wife Savita Kovind and Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Modi.
The Presidential Body Guard escorts the President back to Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Now comes the grand finale of the parade — the flypast.
First is the ‘Rudra’ formation comprising a Dakota aircraft flanked by 2 Mi-17 IV helicopters. Dakotas were instrumental in airlifting troops into Kashmir Valley to repel invaders from across border in 1947. They played a significant role in Tangail airdrop leading to Bangladesh’s liberation.
Next is the ‘Eklavya’ formation led by Gp Capt Rohit Kataria, Flight Commander of 17 Squadron. One Rafale with two Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft and two MiG-29 Air Superiority Fighters zoom at the speed of 780 Km/h at a height of 300m.
The ‘Trinetra’ formation comprising of three Su-30MKIs – the three aircraft split outwards and upwards, forms a ‘Trishul in the Sky’.
The Republic Day parade culminates with a single Rafale aircraft flying at a speed of 900km/hr carrying out a ‘Vertical Charlie’. The aircraft is piloted by Gp Capt Harkirat Singh, Shaurya Chakra, Commanding Officer of 17 Squadron with Sqn Ldr Kislaykant.
The participation of children are barred due to pandemic but there are some cutural events lined up this year too.
Senior students of Delhi Tamil Association Schools present the folk dances of Tamil Nadu including Karagam, Kavadi, Mayilattam and Kolattam.
Delhi’s Government Girls Senior Secondary School students perform “Hum Hai Fit” dance.
Eastern Zone of Cultural Centre, Kolkata, perform Bajasal, a folk dance of Odisha which is usually perfomed during weddings.
The students of Mount Abu Public School and Vidya Bharti School, Delhi perform a number to highlight government’s Atma Nirbhar BHarat initiative.
Made in India COVID vaccines find place in Republic Day parade. This is the theme of Department of BIotechnolgy’s tableau.
Deputy Commandant Alok Upadhyay leads the tableau of Indian Coast Guard.
While the CRPF tableau remembers the sacrifice of soldiers with its Amar Jawan Jyoti tableau, the Ministry of Culture remembers Netaji’s Azad Hind Fauj.
Next set of tableaus are from various union ministries. Digital India is the theme of Telecom Ministry’s tableau. It’s flagship BHIM is also on display.
The Labour Ministry showcases the labour reforms, Direct Benefit transfer and the gig economy.
One Nation, One Language — the sign language is the theme of department of Divyangjan. Immune India is the theme of Ministry of Aayush.
The CRPF tableau pays tribute to India’s Iron Man Sardar Vallabhai Patel.
Ecology to heritage
Tripura showcases its eco-friendly self sustainability, while West Bengal highlights the “green friend” the bicycle, in a bid to encourage more children to go to school.
Sikkim showcases its Pang Labhsol festival, a three-day festival to offer respects to Mount Kanchenjunga. Mount Kanchenjunga is the highest mountain peak in India, and the Sikkimese consider it as God.
Delhi’s tableau showcases the reconstruction of Shajahanabad. The Karnataka tableau highlights the glory of Vijayanagaram. Kerala’s tableau showcases the State’s relationship with coir.
The rich heritage of Lepakshi, also part of Vijayanagaram dynasty is showcased in Andhra Pradesh’s tableau.
Spirituality at the fore
The Uttar Pradesh’s tableau showcase legend of Ram and Ayodhya. The proposed Ram Temple, deepotsav at Ayodhya and a giant statue of Sage Valmiki are the highlights of this tableau.
Maharashtra’s tableau depicts the Bhakti movement in the State. “The Saints of Maharashtra” pays tribute to Vithal worshippers, meeting of Sant Thukaram and Chatapati Maharaj.
Uttarakhand’s theme is Kedarkhand. The government is undertaking a massive recontruction project in Kedarnath, which bore the brunt of 2014 Himalayan floods.
The tableau of of Punjab is based on the the theme ‘400th Birth Anniversary of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur’.
Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur is the ninth Sikh Guru. The tableau showcases Gurdwara Sri Rakab Ganj Sahib, the site of cremation of Guru Tegh Bahadur.
The next tableau is from Tamil Nadu showcasing the UNESCO heritage site – Mamallapuram’s Shore Temple. It was the site of the informal talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping.
Now starts the display of tableaus from States. Leading the rally is the newest Union Territory Ladakh.
The tableau displays Ladakh’s Buddhist heritage, its architecture and attaire.
Gujarat’s tableau showcases Modhera’s Sun Temple. The tableau depicts the Sabhamandap, part of the Sun Temple. It’s 52 pillars denote 52 weeks of a Solar year.
The Indian Navy’s tableau showcases the 1971 war, INS Vikrant conducting flying operations with Sea Hawk and Alize aircrafts.
It is followed by the Camel contingent of the Border Security Force. Deputy Commandant Ghanshyam Singh is leading the contingent.
A contingent of the National Security Guard march down Rajpath. The elite counter-terrorism commandos were raised in 1984 after the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
This year, the DRDO has two tableaus — Light Combat Aircraft and INS Vikramaditya.
Tableaus, the highlight of Republic Day parade, now marches towards the saluting dias.
The Air Force tableau is the first one to come. Flight Lieutenant Bhawna Kanth, one of the first three female fighter pilots of the country, is part of the Indian Air Force tableau at the Republic Day parade.
The Air Force tableau is based on the theme Touch the sky with glory.
As the parade marches down Rajpath, a parallel parade is being taken out by farmers protesting against the new farm laws.
The hundreds of farmers on tractors who have removed the barriers at Singhu border and are currently on the road towards Delhi.
Captain Preeti Choudhary of 140 Air Defence Regiment (Self Propelled) leads upgraded Schilka Weapon system. She is the only woman contingent commander from Army at the parade.
Schilka is a self-propelled Soviet-origin system dating back to the 1970s. The upgraded version is refurbished by Bharat Electronics Ltd.
The Schilka Upgrade, according to BEL, is an all-weather, day/night, tracked system. Its four automatic 23mm-calibre guns provide low-level air defence.
Marching contingents now march past the saluting base.
Garhwal Rifles is the first one to march. It is being led by Captain Rajpoot Saurabh Singh of 17th Battalion.
It is followed by Indian Navy’s Naval Brass Band. Led by Sumesh Rajan, Master Chief Petty Officer (Musician), the band is playing ‘Jai Bharti’.
Indian Army’s arms and ammunition are on display.
Captain Karanveer Singh Bhangu leads the 54 Armoured Regiment atop T- 90 Bhishma. The made in India tank is produced at Engine Factory Avadi.
Captain Quamrul Zaman is leading the Brahmos Missile and its Mobile Autonomous Launcher. The surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile BrahMos is developed as part of India-Russia joint venture. The Brahmos are deployed along the Line of Actual Control in strategic locations such as Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.
Capt Vibhor Gulati leads 841 Rocket Regiment’s Pinaka Multi Launcher Rocket System. 214 mm Pinaka MBRL is one of the most advanced rocket systems in world. A fully automated system, it can deliver firepower within a short span of time over large area, according to ANI.
Bangladesh contingent takes part in R-Day parade
This year, a 122-member marching contingent and band of Bangladesh Army is participating in India’s Republic Day parade. It is being led by Lt Col Abu Mohammed Shahnoor Shawan.
This coincides with the 50th anniversary celebrations of the 1971 liberation war of Bangladesh.
The only other time a foreign contingent took part in India’s Republic Day parade was in 2018, when the French Army marched at the Rajpath.
President Ram Nath Kovind hoists the national flag as the national anthem is being played.
The Ceremonial Battery of 223 Field Regiment presents 21 Gun Salute.
Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, leads this year’s parade, as the Parade Commander.
The first contingent to march will be the winners of Param Vir Chakra and the Ashok Chakra. These are millitary awards awarded for valour during war and peacetime respectively.
Changes in R-Day parade due to the pandemic
- All participants and performers will wear masks during parade
- Only 25,000 spectators are allowed, including 4,000 general public
- No shoulder-to-shoulder march with a distance of 1.5m between two persons
- The parade will only march 3.5 km, earlier the distance was 8.5 km
- The number of tableaus has been increased to 32. But will not be placed at Red Fort for public display
- The size of every contingent has been cut short to 96 members instead of 144
- Mask, temperature check, sanitiser and medical teams at each enclosure
- Children below 15 years and elderly with co-morbidities will not be allowed
- The newly inducted Rafale fighter aircraft will feature
- Week-long ‘Bharat Parv’ event will not be celebrated
- Only 4,000 seats for the Beating Retreat ceremony compared with 25,000 earlier
- No standing spectators will be allowed
Source: Delhi Police
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived at the Rajpath after paying tributes at Amar Jawan Jyoti of India Gate.
This year, owing to the pandemic there will be no chief guest to view the parade.
Kejriwal greets people
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal greeted people on the 72nd Republic Day on Tuesday, saluting the “commitment and struggles of farmers, corona warriors and soldiers of the country”.
In a video message, Kejriwal said that glimpses of the great Republic of India and the strength of its unity was witnessed on various occasions in the last one year.
“We saw doctors and nurses serving people putting their own lives at risk, we saw sanitation workers maintaining cleanliness, brave soldiers safeguarding the country and we saw the commitment and struggle of our annadatas serving the people of this great Republic amid the biggest pandemic in the history of human race.” He said entire India salutes these “true servers” of the country, staying firm in the difficult times.
“With new hopes and aspirations, congratulations to you all on the 72nd anniversary of the largest Republic of the world,” said the chief minister.
TN Governor unfurls tricolour from Marina
The 72nd Republic Day was celebrated in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday with Governor Banwarilal Purohit unfurling the tricolour at the Marina here.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami gave away medals, including for gallantry and communal harmony to various recipients.
Colourful cultural programmes depicting India’s diversity were performed at the event while a few floats were also taken out to mark the day.
PM Modi greets nation on Republic Day
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the nation on Tuesday on the occasion of Republic Day. India is celebrating its 72nd Republic Day, the day its Constitution came into force in 1950.
“Wishing all the people of India a Happy Republic Day. Jai Hind!” Modi tweeted.
U.K. PM Boris Johnson greets India on R-Day, says working together to eliminate COVID
The U.K. and India are working side by side to free humanity from the coronavirus pandemic, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a special reference to the vaccine collaboration in his Republic Day message on Tuesday.
Mr. Johnson was due to be in New Delhi as the chief guest at the annual parade to mark the India’s Republic Day but had to call off the visit to focus on the domestic crisis unleashed by the emergence of a new, deadlier variant of coronavirus in the U.K. at the end of last year.
In his video message to celebrate the birth of an “extraordinary Constitution” that established India “as the biggest sovereign democracy in the world”, the U.K. PM reiterated his plan to visit India in the coming months.
India’s colourful heritage comes alive in Republic day Google doodle
Vibrant colours, art, and architectural, cultural and sartorial heritage of India has been captured in a fascinating doodle by internet search giant Google to mark the 72nd anniversary of the the country’s Republic Day.
The artwork showcases beautiful old buildings in the backdrop in light saffron hue along with people in the front in green shade, with the letters of the company’s name in blue emblazoned in the middle, in a nod to the tricolour.
While letters ‘G’ and ‘O’ stand towards the left of a caparisoned elephant with a mahout, last three letters of ‘Google’, are positioned to its right. The majestic pachyderm itself represents the second ‘O’ in the technology bellwether’s name.