The stage is all set for the grand celebration of the nation’s 74th Republic Day to be held on Thursday. The celebrations will be led by President Droupadi Murmu from Kartavya Path in the national capital. The chief guest for the R-Day parade is Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. “The celebrations this year shall witness zeal, enthusiasm, patriotic fervour and ‘Jan Bhagidari’, as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” the Defence Ministry said in an official press release.
The R-Day celebrations started from January 23 which marked the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. To mark the occasion, a Military Tattoo and Tribal Dance Festival ‘Aadi Shaurya – Parv Parakram Ka’ was organised in Delhi on 23rd and 24th January. The events will culminate on January 30, which is observed as Martyrs’ Day.
The celebrations will witness performances from Vande Bharatam group of dancers from across India, tales of bravery by Veer Gatha 2.0 participants, music performances by School Bands at the National War Memorial, a drone show and 3D anamorphic projection, among other things.
Emergence of ‘New India’
“The Republic Day parade will be a unique mix of the country’s military prowess and cultural diversity, depicting the country’s growing indigenous capabilities, Nari Shakti and emergence of a ‘New India’,” the Ministry stated. The parade will begin at around 10.30 am with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the National War Memorial.
Following which, the National Flag will be unfurled with a 21-gun salute. In a first, the 21-gun salute this year will be given with 105-mm Indian Field Guns, replacing the vintage 25 pounder gun. “This reflects upon the growing ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence,” the Ministry further stated. Four Mi-17 1V/V5 helicopters of 105 Helicopter Unit will shower flower petals on the audience present at Kartavya Path.
Egyptian contingent at R-Day Parade
Marching down the Kartavya Path for the first time will be the combined Band and Marching contingent of the Egyptian Armed Forces, led by Colonel Mahmoud Mohamed Abdel Fattah El Kharasawy. The contingent will consist of 144 soldiers, representing the main branches of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
World’s only serving active Horse Cavalry Regiment
The first Indian Army contingent at the parade will be 61 Cavalry, led by Captain Raizada Shaurya Bali. The 61 Cavalry is the only serving active Horse Cavalry Regiment in the world. A total of six marching contingents of the Army namely, The Mechanised Infantry Regiment, The Punjab Regiment, The Maratha Light Infantry Regiment, The Dogra Regiment, The Bihar Regiment and The Gorkha Brigade will march past the saluting dais.
On the other hand, the Indian Navy contingent will comprise 144 young sailors, led by Lieutenant Commander Disha Amrith. “For the first time ever, the marching contingent consists of three women and six Agniveers,” the Defence Ministry said. The Indian Air Force contingent will comprise 144 air warriors and four officers, led by Squadron Leader Sindhu Reddy. The Air Force tableau will showcase Light Combat Aircraft Tejas MK-II, Light Combat Helicopter ‘Prachand’, Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft NETRA and C-295 Transport aircraft.
The Fly Past
The grand finale of the parade, the Fly Past, will witness a breath-taking air show by 45 aircraft of the Indian Air Force, one from the Indian Navy and four helicopters of the Indian Army, the Ministry said in the release. “Vintage as well as current modern aircraft/helicopters like Rafale, MiG-29, Su-30, Su-30 MkI Jaguar, C-130, C-17, Dornier, Dakota, LCH Prachand, Apache, Sarang and AEW&C will roar in the skies above Kartavya Path, displaying different formations, including Baaz, Prachand, Tiranga, Tangail, Vajrang, Garud, Bheem, Amrit and Trishul. The concluding Vertical Charlie manoeuvre will be performed by Rafale fighter aircraft,” the official release further stated.