1. India celebrates 66th Republic Day; Barack Obama witnesses military might

India celebrates 66th Republic Day; Barack Obama witnesses military might

India showcases before chief guest US President Barack Obama and the world its military might with a splendid display of land and naval weaponry, fighter and reconnaissance aircraft.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: January 26, 2015 2:38 PM
Republic Day, Barack Obama, Narendra Modi, Pranab Mukherjee

US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they arrive to attend the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. (Reuters)

India today celebrates its 66th Republic Day and showcased before the chief guest US President Barack Obama and the world its military might and cultural diversity with a splendid display of land and naval weaponry, fighter and reconnaissance aircraft.

Obama was the first ever US President to attend the parade as Chief Guest on the second day of his three-day visit, as light rains and overcast skies failed to dampen the enthusiasm of thousands of spectators who gathered along the Rajpath to watch the pomp-filled spectacle.

Dressed in a dark suit, Obama was seated next to Modi, donning a multicoloured ‘bandhej safa'(Rajasthani turban), as the two leaders chatted and soaked up the splendour that unfolded on the rain-soaked parade route. Obama was also seen holding his umbrella for a while.

A smiling US President was seen nodding in appreciation on several occasions and gave a thumbs up to the BSF daredevils–famed for their formation of a human pyramid on moving bikes–during their display of daring motorcycle stunts that was a showstopper.

Smartly attired all-female units from the Army, Navy and Air Force marched for the first time in this year’s parade, as the country’s military hardware with carnival-style floats featuring achievements in diverse fields as well as tribal dancers and traditional music rolled past in a show of ‘unity in diversity’.

Republic Day, Barack Obama, Narendra Modi, Pranab Mukherjee

US President Barack Obama waves to the crowd flanked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and first lady Michelle Obama at the end of the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. (AP)

In a departure from tradition for the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade, Obama arrived in his own highly-secured bomb-proof vehicle, ‘The Beast,’ at Rajpath. The crowd erupted in cheers as the Obamas emerged from the limousine.

Obama and Michelle sat in a special glass enclosure along with President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President M Hamid Ansari and his wife, and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar among other dignitaries. Michelle also smiled broadly at dance performance by young children.

A highlight of this year’s parade was the display for the first time of the recently acquired long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine P-8I aircraft and the long-range advanced MiG-29K fighter plane.

Obama and Michelle sat in a special glass enclosure along with President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President M Hamid Ansari and his wife, and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar among other dignitaries. Michelle also smiled broadly at dance performance by young children.

A highlight of this year’s parade was the display for the first time of the recently acquired long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine P-8I aircraft and the long-range advanced MiG-29K fighter plane.

The amount of time – around two hours – spent by Obama on an outdoor viewing platform was unusual given the US Secret Service security concerns.

A massive ground-to-air security apparatus was put in place in the national capital turning the city into virtually an impregnable fortress. Snipers of National Security Guard were deployed at all high-rises along the parade route.

The arrangements were made to ensure an incident-free Republic Day celebrations and foolproof security to the American President, who arrived here yesterday.

Live: Watch Republic Day parade

Prime Minister Modi’s “Make in India” campaign to boost the country’s manufacturing industry and create much-needed jobs was featured in one of the tableaus.

The dignitaries watched in awe as a spectacular fly-past by the Indian Air Force that left a smoke-trail of the orange, white and green national flag signalled an end to the parade.

Republic Day Parade highlights:

Republic Day, Republic Day parade

The all-women marching contingent during the Republic Day parade. (Courtesy: DD)

* The fly past during the Republic Day parade

* Take a look at the VIP box:

* ‘Make in India’: The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion’s tableau depicts a mechanised lion…

* The new state of Telengana puts up its first Tableau!!

*

*  The first marching contingent lead by Captain Divya A marching past * The T-90s rumble past during the Republic Day parade

* The Republic Day parade is commanded by Lt General SubrotoMitra, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area. * President Pranab Mukherjee presents Ashok Chakra posthumously to two Jawans

* The national anthem played

* President unfurls the Indian national flag * President Pranab Mukherjee arrives at Rajpath; greeted by the Prine Minister. * PM Narendra Modi welcomes chief guest Barack Obama and his wife

* US President Barack Obama and Frist Lady Michelle Obama, travelling by the ‘Beast’, arrives at Rajpath * PM arrives at saluting base on Rajpath, in colourful safa, amidst applause from crowds * PM Narendra Modi at Amar Jawan Jyoti:

Also read: US President Obama arrives in ‘The Beast’ for Republic Day parade

Republic Day, Barack Obama, Narendra Modi, Pranab Mukherjee

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the pouring rain as he arrives to attend the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. (Reuters)

Unprecedented security cover in Capital for Republic Day

The national capital was today wrapped in unprecedented security blanket for the 66th Republic Day celebrations which was graced by US President Barack Obama as the Chief Guest.

A seven-layer security ring has been thrown around the VVIP enclosure on Rajpath from where Obama, President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of other dignitaries witnessed the grand parade.

Central Delhi has turned into a virtual fortress with nearly 40,000 personnel drawn from Delhi Police and paramilitary forces guarding every nook and corner of the area.

More than 15,000 CCTV cameras installed have been relaying every movement live to a central control room where the footage has been monitored by a joint team of Delhi Police, US Secret Services and sleuths of central security agencies.

The three-km stretch of Rajpath has over 160 CCTV cameras – with one camera installed at every 18 metres.

  1. S
    Spyeyes
    Oct 30, 2015 at 4:31 pm
    India can do anything as the kind of security system they developed for Mr Obama was amazing, Mr Modi is now here to take care of India in Right Direction...
    Reply
  2. T
    t p
    Jan 27, 2015 at 9:24 am
    Long live our independence & the Champions like Honourable PM Mr. Modi. Our salutes to all our military & para-military Forces. *** Jai Hind ***
    Reply

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