DAINIK NATION BUREAU
On the occasion of 68th Republic day, the Nation’s military prowess and achievements in different fields, state-of- the-art defence platforms, its diverse cultural and social traditions, and the government’s emphasis on self-reliance and indigenisation were showcased before the public at Rajpath on Thursday. This year’s Chief Guest in the parade was Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces.
The highlights of this year’s Parade were, a 149-member UAE Presidential Guard, the Air Force, the Navy and Army contingent led by a UAE band consisting of 35 musicians marching on Rajpath and presenting a ceremonial salute to the President of India. The UAE military contingent was led by Lt Col Abood Musabeh Abood Musabeh Alghfeli.
For the first time a contingent of the National Security Guard (NSG) popularly known as the Black Cat Commandoes participated in march-past the Rajpath. The parade also saw the fly-past of three LCA Tejas Aircraft flying at a height of 300 m from ground in ‘Vic’ formation and the Airborne Early Warning & Control System (AEW&C) developed by DRDO.
Sticking to the 67 years tradition of the Republic Day Celebration, the colourful BSF Camel Regiment led by Deputy Commandant Kuldeep Seervi .
The Indian Army’s missile firing capability, T-90 ‘Bhishma’ tank, Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP-2K, Mobile Autonomous Launcher of the BrahMos Missile System, Weapon Locating Raddar ‘Swathi’, Akash Weapon System, CBRN Recconnnaisance Vehicle and Dhanush Gun System will be the main draw in the mechanised columns.
An Indian Air Force Tableau rolled down the Rajpath with the theme “Air Dominance Through Network Centric Operations”. The Tableau displayed the scaled down models of Su-30 MKI, Mirage-2000, AWACS, UAV, Apache and Communication Sattelite.
This year the Indian Navy’s Tableau theme was ‘Indian Navy – Professional Force-Anchoring Stability, Security and National Prosperity’. The tableau showcased the lethal Marine Commandoes proceeding for action, the indigenously built Kolkata Class Destroyer and the Kalvari Class next generation attack submarines. The tableaux also displays a model of the P-8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
The parade ceremony commenced at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate where the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation by paying homage to the martyrs . 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 standing on its barrel and crested by a soldier’s helmet.
As per tradition, after unfurling the National Flag, the national anthem played amid the sound of 21 gun salute.The parade was commanded by Lt. General Manoj Mukund Naravane, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area. Major General Rajesh Sahai, Chief of Staff, Headquarter Delhi Area will be the parade Second-in-Command.
Param Vir Chakra winners Subedar Major & Honorary Captain Bana Singh (Retd), Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers and Naib/Subedar Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles and Ashok Chakra winners Major General Cyrus A Pithawalla (Retd), Lt Col Jas Ram Singh (Retd), Hukum Singh and Shri Govind Singh of district Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh and Bhure Lal of district Guna also from Madhya Pradesh followed the Deputy Parade Commander on Jeeps.