India celebrates its 71st Republic Day today with grand celebrations in the national capital and all across the nation. The main Republic Day celebration is held in the national capital, New Delhi, at the Rajpath before the President of India.
The Republic Day is celebrated to honour the historic date when the country completed its transition towards becoming an independent republic after its constitution came into effect.
The Republic Day parade ceremony started with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the National War Memorial, and where he payed tributes to soldiers who died fighting for the country; this is the first time the PM will pay tribute at the war memorial instead of Amar Jawan Jyoti.
Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro, as the chief guest at the 71st Republic Day celebrations, watched the colourful parade at the majestic Rajpath along with President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of other leaders.
This is the third time that a Brazilian President was the chief guest at the Republic Day. The last time a Brazilian President was the chief guest was in 2004 when Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attended the parade.
Here are the Highlights of Republic Day 2020 celebrations:
#RepublicDay | Indian Navy showcases its assets, namely Boeing P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft, the Kolkata Class Destroyer and the Kalvari Class submarine. (ANI)#RepublicDayParade#RepublicDayIndia#RepublicDay2020- NDTV (@ndtv) January 26, 2020
More on https://t.co/Fbzw6mR9Q5 and NDTV 24X7 pic.twitter.com/489bn4voq0
- Anti-satellite weapon Shakthi, Army's battle tank Bhishma, infantry combat vehicles and newly inducted Chinook and Apache helicopters of the Indian Air Force will be part of the grand military parade.
- Major General Alok Kacker, Chief of Staff of Delhi Area, will be the second-in-command.
- The first contingent in the uniform of the erstwhile Gwalior Lancers will be 61 Cavalry. The 61 Cavalry is the only active serving horse cavalry regiment in the world. It was raised on August 1, 1953 with the amalgamation of six state forces' cavalry units.
- The Indian Army will be represented by a mounted column of 61 Cavalry, eight mechanised columns, six marching contingents and fly-past by Rudra and Dhruv Advanced Light helicopters of the army aviation wing.
- Indigenously-developed Main Battle Tank of the Indian Army, T-90 Bhishma tank, infantry combat vehicle Ballway Machine Pikate, K-9 Vajra and Dhanush guns, transportable satellite terminal and Akash weapon system will be the main attraction in the mechanised columns.
- The other marching contingents of the Army will include the Parachute regiment, the Grenadiers regiment, the Sikh Light Infantry regiment, the Kumaon regiment and the Corps of Signals.
- The Naval contingent will comprise of 144 young sailors led by Lieutenant Jitin Malkat. It will be followed by the Naval Tableau titled "Indian Navy - Silent, Strong, and Swift".
- The Air Force contingent, comprising of 144 air warriors, will be led by Flight Lt Shrikant Sharma. The Air Force tableau showcases scaled down models of the Rafale aircraft, the Tejas aircraft, the Light Combat helicopter, the Akash missiles system and the Astra missiles.
- One of the main highlights will be the marching contingent of DRDO that will showcase Anti-Satellite Weapons (ASAT) - Mission Shakti, India's first Anti-Satellite mission, was a major breakthrough in demonstrating the nation's capability to bring down hostile satellites.
- For the first time, a contingent of women bikers of CRPF will perform daredevil stunts. The contingent will be led by Inspector Seema Nag who will be seen saluting while standing atop a moving motorcycle.
- The grand finale and the most keenly awaited segment of the parade, the Fly Past will comprise of the "Trishul" formation by three advanced light helicopters.
- It is for the first time that a "tri-service formation" is taking part in the Republic Day Parade. It will be followed by the "Vic" formation of Chinook helicopters, used for airlifting diverse loads to remote locations.
- Apache helicopters, Dornier aircraft, C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, an Airborne Early Warning and Control System aircraft and the "Globe" formation comprising three C-17 Globemasters are also expected to enthral the people.
- Five Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft and five MiG-29 upgrade air superiority fighters in "Arrowhead" formation will also display their aerial manoeuvre.
- The parade will culminate with a fleet of Sukhoi-30 MKI jets splitting the sky with a breathtaking "Vertical Charlie" aerobatic manoeuvre.
- The grand finale, and possibly one of the most keenly awaited segments of the parade, the "Trishul" fly-past will be carried out by three Advanced Light Helicopters and will be the first time a "tri-service formation" will take part in a Republic Day parade.
- This will be followed by a "Vic" formation of Chinook helicopters.
- Another highlight will be the marching contingent of the DRDO, which will showcase the anti-satellite weapon Mission Shakti. A breakthrough weapon, Shakti is proof of the country's capacity in bringing down hostile satellites.
- The Naval continent will comprise 144 young sailors led by Lieutenant Jitin Malkat and will be followed by a naval tableau titled "Indian Navy - Silent, Strong and Swift".
- A contingent of CRPF women bikers will make history by performing daredevil stunts. The contingent will be led by Inspector Seema Nag, who will be seen saluting while standing atop a moving motorcycle.
- The Air Force contingent, comprising 144 air warriors, will be led by Flight Lieutenant Shrikant Sharma. The tableau will showcase scaled-down models of the newly-acquired French-made Rafale fighter jet, the indigenous Tejas aircraft and the Light Combat Helicopter, as well as the Akash and Astra missile systems.
- Five Jaguar deep-penetration strike aircraft and five upgraded MiG-29 air superiority fighters will display their prowess in the ''Arrowhead'' formation.
- 22 tableaus - 16 from states and union territories and the rest from various ministries and departments - will take part in the Republic Day parade.
- The nation's armed forces, so often the highlight of the parade, will once again take centre-stage, with the Army's battle tank Bhishma, Infantry Combat Vehicle Ballway Machine Pikate and the Air Force's brand new Rafale fighter jet and Chinook and Apache helicopters likely to be the stars of the show.
- The Indian Army will be represented by 61 Cavalry in the uniform of the erstwhile Gwalior Lancers; raised in 1953, the 61 Cavalry is the only active horse cavalry regiment in the world.
- The Army will also be represented by six marching columns (including those of the the Kumaon Regiment and the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment), eight mechanised columns and a fly-past by the Rudra and Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters.