New Delhi : A grand ‘flypast’ of 75 aircraft to celebrate the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ was the main attraction during the parade held here on Wednesday on the country’s 73rd Republic Day. The country’s military might and vibrant cultural heritage were on display at the Rajpath during the parade.
However, due to the global pandemic of COVID-19, the Republic Day celebrations this year were not organized on the same scale as it used to be in normal times. The Indian Army displayed major weapons and equipment at the Republic Day Parade like Centurion Tank, PT-76 Tank, 75/24 Pack Howitzer and OT-62 Topaz Armored Vehicle, which helped defeat Pakistan in the 1971 Indo-Pak War. played a major role.
India celebrated the Golden Victory Year in 2021 to celebrate the victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war. Bangladesh was created after this war.The troops displayed one PT-76 tank, one Centurion tank, two MBT Arjun Mk-I tanks, one OT-62 Topaz armour, one BMP-I infantry vehicle and two BMP-II infantry vehicles. At the beginning of the ceremony, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to the martyrs of the country at the National War Memorial. The names of all Indian martyrs of all wars including the year 1971 and the wars before and after are inscribed on the National War Memorial.
Prime Minister Modi, who arrived at the National War Memorial along with Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, was received by the chiefs of the three services (Army, Air Force and Navy). After laying wreath at the memorial, the Prime Minister also wrote his message on the digital visitor’s book there.During this, the Prime Minister was wearing a cap of Uttarakhand, on which Brahma Kamal was inscribed. Brahma Kamal is the state flower of Uttarakhand. During this, he was also wearing a gamchha of Manipur.Official sources said that whenever the Prime Minister visits Kedarnath Dham, he uses Brahma Kamal for worship.
This year there was no chief guest in the parade. However, Swachhagraha, frontline workers, auto rickshaw drivers, construction workers and workers preparing the grand tableau attended the parade as special guests.The parade started this year at 10.30 am. It was started half an hour late than parades held in other years, to ensure better visibility.
President Ram Nath Kovind took the salute of the parade held at Rajpath. The parade was commanded by Parade Commander Lt Gen Vijay Kumar Mishra and Major General Alok Kakar was the second-in-command of the parade. After the unfurling of the national flag at the Rajpath, the national anthem was played with a 21-gun salute. As per tradition, the 21-gun salute was given by the ‘ceremonial battery’ of the 871 Field Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Jitendra Singh Mehta.
The cavalry contingent of 61 ‘Cavalry Regiment’ of the Indian Army was the first marching contingent of the Republic Day Parade. This team was led by Major Mrityunjay Singh Chauhan. It is currently the only cavalry unit operating in the world. The 61 ‘Cavalry Regiment’ was formed in 1953 by merging the horse units of all the states. In the parade, the National Cadet Corps started the program ‘Shat Shat Shat Naman to Martyrs’. During this, the bravery of the unsung heroes of the freedom struggle were displayed through paintings on 10 huge ‘scroll’ canvases on the Rajpath. Each scroll is 75 meters in length and 15 feet in height. It was prepared during the ‘Kala Kumbh’ jointly organized by the Ministries of Defense and Culture. These were created by more than 600 artists from across the country in two phases in Chandigarh and Bhubaneswar. Through these, the valor of the unsung heroes of the freedom struggle has been depicted. These scrolls display the rich cultural heritage of indigenous and contemporary visual arts.
After the contingents of security forces, India’s cultural diversity from the freedom struggle to biodiversity was depicted through tableaux from different states.Various ministries and government departments also took out tableaux and highlighted important initiatives like Jal Jeevan Mission. Tributes were paid to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary through the tableau of Central Public Works Development.
A tableau depicting the Lok Adalat was taken out for the first time in the Republic Day parade. The theme of the tableau was “Ek fist sky: Lok Adalat” by the National Legal Services Authority. The theme of ‘Justice for all’ is shown in the front part of the tableau. Also displayed was the hand posture, which is a sign of fearlessness, guarantee and protection.The tableau of Punjab depicted the martyrs and the freedom struggle, while the tableau of the Department of Posts showcased the strong reach and modern look of India Post. It also featured post offices run by women only to showcase the steps taken towards gender equality.