India’s military prowess and cultural diversity were on show as the country celebrated its 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday.
Every year, the Republic Day celebrations begin on January 24. However, this year, they began on January 23 to mark the 125th birth anniversary of freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose.
The parade in Delhi, which started at 10.30 am, featured 21 tableaux, a 75-aircraft flypast by the Indian Air Force and cultural performances by over 480 dancers from across the country.
Given the rising cases of coronavirus, the Delhi Police have issued a set of guidelines for the citizens willing to attend the programme, The Indian Express reported. Only fully vaccinated audience members were allowed at the event. Children aged 15 and below were not given entry.
Of the total 21 tableaux showcased at the parade, 12 belonged to the states and nine to ministries or government departments, according to The Indian Express.
Floats on women empowerment, freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose, guiding principles of Lok Adalats, among others were featured during the parade. Several states also displayed their heritage and demographic through their tableaux.
Last week, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu had written to the prime minister after their state tableaux were rejected by the Centre.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin had said that he was “deeply disappointed” after the Ministry of Defence rejected the state’s Republic Day tableau proposal. He added that the state had chosen the theme “Tamil Nadu in the Freedom Struggle” in line with the Centre’s call.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that she was “shocked and hurt” by the Centre’s decision to reject the tableau proposed by the state government for the Republic Day parade.
She said she was “baffled” that Union government rejected the tableau without giving any reasons or justifications.
Women members of the Border Security Force showcased their acrobatic skills, while dancers performed the “Vande Bharatam Nritya”.
The Indian Air Force conducted a flypast over Rajpath.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to the martrys at the National War Memorial.
On Friday, the ceremonial flame at war memorial Amar Jawan Jyoti was extinguished for the first time since 1972. The flame was was merged with the torch at the National War Memorial, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019. The new memorial is situated less than a kilometre away on the same stretch as the Amar Jawan Jyoti at Delhi’s India Gate.
Several Opposition leaders and citizens had criticised the Centre’s decision to extinguish the flame.
Also, several states and security personnel celebrated the Republic Day by organising parades and showcasing floats.