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Flypast by 75 aircraft and helicopters was highlight of R-Day’s parade.

January 26, 2022
Tableaux, from as many as 12 states and Union Territories, highlighted dances, spirit of sportsmanship, biodiversity, the freedom struggle, religious destinations and development.
Tableaux, from as many as 12 states and Union Territories, highlighted dances, spirit of sportsmanship, biodiversity, the freedom struggle, religious destinations and development.

NEW DELHI — India celebrated its 73rd Republic Day Wednesday with the iconic parade at Delhi's Rajpath showcasing its military prowess and cultural pageantry. A flypast by 75 aircraft and helicopters was the highlight of this year's parade.

This year's celebrations are significant — it's the 75th anniversary of India's Independence, being observed as 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' across the country.

Strict COVID protocol was in place as only 5,000 people attended the celebrations. Only fully vaccinated adults and children above 15 who had received the first shot were allowed.

The parade started at 10:30 a.m., half-an-hour later than usual for better visibility. Ahead of the event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to India's fallen soldiers at the National War Memorial.

The parade, led by Lt. Gen. Vijay Kumar Mishra, started after the tricolour was unfurled with a 21-gun salute. The winners of the country's highest gallantry awards, Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra, led the contingents in saluting the president, the Supreme Commander of armed forces.

How Indian Army uniforms and rifles evolved over the decades since independence was on display at the parade. Three contingents of the Army wore uniforms and carried rifles from previous decades, and one wore the new combat uniform and carried the latest Tavor rifles.

President Kovind posthumously awarded Ashok Chakra, the country's highest peacetime gallantry award, to Assistant Sub Inspector Babu Ram, who was killed fighting terrorists in Kashmir. The officer's wife received the award on his behalf.

The contingents of security forces were followed by tableux from states that showcased India's cultural diversity, with themes ranging from the freedom struggle to biodiversity.

Tableaux, from as many as 12 states and Union Territories, highlighted dances, spirit of sportsmanship, biodiversity, the freedom struggle, religious destinations and development.

About 480 dancers from diverse genres, who were selected through a nationwide dance competition, performed in the parade.

The grand flypast began with the 'Dhwaj' formation with four Mi-17 aircraft and concluded with 17 Jaguar fighter aircraft flying in the 'Amrit' formation to commemorate 75 years of Independence.

The country’s first woman Rafale fighter jet pilot Shivangi Singh was part of the Indian Air Force tableau at the Republic Day parade on Wednesday. She is only the second woman fighter jet pilot to be part of the IAF tableau.

Sending his best wishes to India on the occasion of Republic Day, UK PM Boris Johnson on Wednesday tweeted, “The UK and India are tied by bonds that span over decades, through generations and across some of the greatest challenges we have faced.”

On the occasion of Republic Day, BSF personnel exchange sweets with Pakistan Rangers at the international border in Sri Ganganagar and Jaisalmer districts of Rajasthan. — Agencies


January 26, 2022
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