New Delhi, Jan 26 (IBNS) India is celebrating its 63rd Republic Day across the country with the grand parade displaying its military might and rich cultural diversity amid unity in the national capital New Delhi.
Besides the Prime Minister, the President, the Vice President and a host of other Indian ministers, politicians, dignitaries every year there is a visitor from a foreign country.
This year it is the Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra who is the special guest at the parade at Rajpath in New Delhi.
In India, Republic Day commemorates the date (Jan 26, 1950) on which the Constitution of India came into force replacing the Government of India Act 1935 as the governing document of the country.
This year’s parade will highlight the nation’s achievements in various fields, the military prowess, scintillating display of air power as also country’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.
The highlight of this year’s Parade will be the 3,000 kms range Agni-IV missile. The Intermediate Range Surface-to-Surface Ballistic Missile mounted on a road mobile launcher is being paraded by the Defence Research & Development Organisation.
The state-of-the-art missile was successfully flight tested last November. The DRDO has also put on display for the first time the 150 kms range Prahaar tactical battlefield support missile and the Rustom-1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
The weaponry put on display by the Indian Army includes the T-72 tank, Carrier Mortar Tracked, SMERCH Multiple Launch Rocket System, Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket System, Full Width Mine Plough, NBC Water Purification Systems and Jammer Station VHF/UHF.
The Army's Mechanized Columns will conclude with a flypast by the Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv of the Army Aviation Corps.
The Indian Air Force will not make static display of any aircraft but its latest acquisition, the C-130-J Super Hercules tactical aircaft, makes its debut at the Republic Day Parade, with three of the six aircraft acquired from the US participating in the flypast.
The Indian Navy's tableau also glosses over its newly acquired capabilities, instead focusing on its longstanding, reliable capabilities.
"Every dog has its day", so goes the proverbial saying and though the sniffing dogs are omnipresent at the Parade, forming part of the Delhi Police Bomb Disposal Squad and NSG too relying on man's best friend to secure the Rajpath, this year's Parade gives them their due, with the dogs displaying their skills in a lotus formation and a grand salute by the leader sitting on a tableau of the Army's Remount Veterinary Corps (RVC).
The parade ceremony commenced at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid homage to the martyrs by laying wreath. An eternal flame burns at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to commemorate the indomitable courage of our Armed Forces personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the motherland.
The Amar Jawan, the immortal soldier, is symbolised by a reversed rifle topped by a helmet.
As per tradition, after unfurling of the National Flag, the National Anthem is played.
Thereafter President Pratibha Devisingh Patil posthumously confers the Ashok Chakra on Lieutenant Navdeep Singh of the Army Ordnance Corps / 15th Battalion,The Maratha Light Infantry.
The parade will then commence and the President will take the salute.
The parade will be commanded by Lt. General Vijay Kumar Pillai, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area. Major General Rajbir Singh, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area will be the parade Second-in-Command.
Tableaux from 23 states and Central Ministries and Departments will present the varied historical, architectural and cultural heritage of the country.
They will also showcase country’s progress in different fields. Nineteen of the 24 children selected for the National Bravery Award – 2009 will also participate in the parade. Five children have got the award posthumously.
In the children’s pageant section, 1,200 boys and girls drawn from Delhi's two schools, - KendriyaVidyalaya, Sector-2, RK Puram and Government Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Hastsal, Delhi, besides regional cultural zones, - South Zone Cultural Centre, Thajavur, East Zone Cultural Centre, Kolkata and North Central Zone Cultural Centre, Madhya Pradesh will present dances and other programmes.
Janbaz, the motorcycle display by the Border Security Force is a major attraction of the parade. It consists of 154 riders on 30 motorcycles performing Bordermen Salute, Side Riding, Yoga, Janbaz-1, Ladder Double, Harmony, Exercise, Pyramid, Parallel Bar, Guldasta, Karvan and Flag March under the leadership of Inspector Amit Kumar.
They perform breathtaking stunts in a synchronised and synergetic display of mind, body and machine coordination.
The grand finale of the parade is a spectacular flypast by the IAF, with the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft participating in the Parade for the first time.
The flypast will be led by a Vic formation of three Mi-35 helicopters, followed by the three Super Hercules again in a Vic formation. Trailing them will be one IL-78, flanked by two AN-32 and two Dornier, in a Big Boy formation. Next in line will be the fighters, - five Jaguars followed by five MiG-29 will fly in Arrowhead formation.
The breathtaking Trishul formation comprising three Su-30 MKI would fly over the Rajpath and once in front of the saluting dais the Su-30MKI aircraft will split upwards, making a Trishul in the sky. The flypast will conclude with another Sukhoi Su-30 MKI carrying out a Vertical Charlie manoeuvre over the saluting dais.
The ceremony culminates with the National Anthem and release of balloons.