The 70th birthday of the Indian Constitution was celebrated in style with a grand annual parade at Rajpath, Delhi, amidst heavy security cover. The Republic Day ceremonial parade was rolled down at the Rajpath with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in attendance as the chief guest along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, President Ram Nath Kovind and others, reports Indian Express. Here is the story, in visuals.
The event kick started with Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying his tributes to the martyrs by laying a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti. Shortly after, President Ram Nath Kovind unfurled the Indian flag and the national anthem played, along with the boom of a 21-gun salute in the background.
Republic Day 2019’s theme was the 150th birth anniversary of Mohandas Karam Chand ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi along with tableaux of many states which were themed on iconic freedom fighters.
The showstoppers of the parade were the four Indian National Army (INA) veterans, aged over 90. Among the many firsts for a Republic Day was ‘Nari Shakti’ (women power), which was also on full display on the ceremonial boulevard of Rajpath.
At the ceremony, India showcased its military strength along with its rich cultural heritage and tradition. The military was on display along with the artillery gun system M777 American Ultra Light Howitzers, which were recently acquired from the US.
An iconic show of India’s cultural diversity was put forward in front of the chief guest with the tableaux of Sikkim, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, West Bengal, Tripura, Goa, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Uttarakhand being displayed on the occasion.
The President's Bodyguard (PBG), an elite household cavalry regiment of the Indian Army, is the oldest surviving mounted unit with a 245-year legacy and was seen escorting the first citizen of India for the parade.
The event marked its end with the flypast beginning with the ‘Rudra formation’ comprising three ALH Mk IV WSI helicopters and featuring Sukhois and MiG fighter jets. It also formed a ‘vic’ formation of An-32 aircraft.
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