India’s Republic Day: Military and diversity on display

Indian soldiers march during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, January 26, 2023. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi –

NEW DELHI – India showcased its military and its cultural diversity in a colourful parade on Thursday at the revamped colonial avenue in New Delhi to mark Republic Day, the anniversary of the day the country’s secular Constitution came into effect in 1950.

Participants perform during India’s Republic Day celebrations in Srinagar January 26, 2022. REUTERS/Danish Ismail

Several thousand people watched the parade from seats around Kartavya Path – or path of duty – braving the cold on a foggy morning in New Delhi, while millions more watched on television. Known as Rajpath since independence, and as King’s Way during British colonial rule, the ceremonial central boulevard was renamed in September last year.

Dancers perform during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, January 26, 2023. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi –

Accompanied by marching bands, troops from the country’s military, border and police forces paced in perfect synchronization towards the dais where President Droupadi Murmu took the salute.

India’s leaders watch Republic Day Parade Jan. 26, 2023. From left, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Egyptian President Abdel Fatteh El Sisi who was the chief guest, and India’s President Droupadi Murmu. Photo Twitter @PMO India

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was the chief guest for the event and 144 soldiers from the Arab nation’s armed forces also participated.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chief of defense staff and the three service chiefs were also present at the parade, which featured more women in the military contingents.

The country’s rich and diverse heritage was showcased in vibrant tableaux from different states and ministries, highlighting the central theme of ‘nari shakti’ or women power.

The army’s tableaux comprised only locally-made weapons, reflecting India’s drive to become more self-reliant in the defense sector.

The event climaxed with a flypast by 45 aircraft of the Indian Air Force, with French-made Rafales, Russian-made Su-30s and the Indian-made Tejas fighter jets putting on an impressive aeronautical display.

But foggy weather spoiled the spectacle, as spectators struggled to catch a glimpse of the aircraft as they roared overhead.

PM paying homage to the martyrs at the National War Memorial, on the occasion of 74th Republic Day 2023, in New Delhi on January 26, 2023. Photo:


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