New Delhi, January 26, 2024 – India celebrated its 75th Republic Day today with a spectacular display of military prowess and cultural richness at the Kartavya Path in the heart of the national capital. The grand event, themed around women’s power and democratic values, was graced by French President Emmanuel Macron as the chief guest.
President Droupadi Murmu led the nation in a 90-minute parade on the ceremonial boulevard, featuring an array of home-grown weaponry and military equipment, including missiles, drone jammers, surveillance systems, vehicle-mounted mortars, and BMP-II infantry combat vehicles.
A historic moment unfolded as, for the first time, an all-women tri-services contingent participated in the parade. Over 100 women artists replaced the traditional military bands, playing Indian musical instruments such as Sankh, Naadswaram, and Nagada.
The Indian Air Force’s fly-past showcased around 15 women pilots representing ‘Nari Shakti,’ and the contingents of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) consisted solely of women personnel.
The Republic Day parade, commencing at 10:30 am and lasting for around 90 minutes, began with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the National War Memorial. There, he paid solemn tributes to the fallen heroes by laying a wreath.
President Murmu and French President Macron arrived in the ‘traditional buggy,’ marking its return after a 40-year gap. The national flag was unfurled, followed by the national anthem with a 21-gun salute using indigenous 105-mm Indian Field Guns.
A captivating moment occurred as four Mi-17 IV helicopters showered flower petals on the audience at Kartavya Path. This was followed by ‘Aavaahan,’ a band performance featuring over 100 women artists playing various percussion instruments.
President Murmu took the salute as the parade commenced, commanded by Lieutenant General Bhavnish Kumar, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area. A combined band and marching contingent of the French Armed Forces also participated, showcasing the strong ties between the two nations.
A total of 16 tableaux from states and Union territories, along with nine from central ministries and departments, rolled down the Kartavya Path during the parade. The participating states and Union territories included Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Ladakh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana. -SLG