The 70th Republic Day parade on Saturday showcased India’s cultural diversity as well as military might. Several women also took the forefront. The Assam Rifles scripted history with an all-women contingent marching down Rajpath in New Delhi. In other firsts, a woman officer led the Army Services Corps in the parade and the Daredevils Motorcycle Team included a woman officer.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was the chief guest for the event this year. Fifty-eight tribal guests from various parts of the country, 22 tableaux of states and central government departments, and performance by school children marked the 90-minute parade.
Security was stepped up across New Delhi ahead of the celebrations. At least 25,000 police personnel were deployed across the national Capital.
2.02 pm: The local administration in Kashmir suspends mobile internet services as a precautionary security measure, PTI reports. Regular mobile phone services have not been restricted.
2 pm: Journalists in Jammu and Kashmir call for a protest after several of their colleagues were barred from entering the state’s Republic Day event, Kashmir News Observer reports.
11.53 am: Visuals of Republic Day celebrations from a madrassa in Lucknow.
11.37 am: President Ram Nath Kovind and chief guest South African President Cyril Ramaphosa leave Rajpath as the parade ends.
11.27 am: The final act of the parade begins with a flypast by the Indian Air Force.
11.19 am: Army personnel perform daredevil stunts on motorcycles at the Rajpath.
11.18 am: Visuals of the Gorkha regiment marching down the Rajpath earlier in the day.
11.09 am: Twenty-six children awarded the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puruskar, 2019.
11.07 am: The ministries of power, drinking water and sanitation, Indian Railways and agriculture also showcase their tableaus.
11.05 am: Uttar Pradesh showcases the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, while West Bengal’s tableau highlights two key aspects in Gandhi’s life – his stay in Kolkata during India’s Independence and his association with Rabindranath Tagore.
11.03 am: Uttarakhand’s tableau depicts the Anashakti Ashram, while Delhi showcases Gandhi’s association with the national Capital.
11.02 am: Karnataka showcases Gandhi at the Belagavi Congress session in December 1924.
11.01 am: Jammu and Kashmir’s theme is ‘Ray of Hope - Our Composite Culture’.
11 am: Gujarat’s tableau depicts Gandhi’s Dandi March.
10.55 am: Tamil Nadu showcases the transformation of Gandhi’s dress code in 1921 after he saw poor people clan scantily.
10.52 am: The Jallianwala Bagh massacre is the theme of Punjab’s tableau.
10.51 am: Arunachal Pradesh’s tableau depicts peace within through tableau of a clean Monpa village and its peaceful, cultural life, according to PIB.
10.50 am: Indian soldiers exchange sweets with Pakistan at Attari-Wagah border on Saturday.
10.44 am: Assam’s tableau depicts Gandhi’s movements in the state and his dream of rebuilding the rural economy by encouraging the growth of cottage industry.
Tripura’s tableau showcases its diverse social and ethnic culture based on the Gandhian principles, while Goa showcases Unity in Diversity.
10.43 am: Sikkim’s tableau portrays the state’s adoption of organic farming and cleanliness. The tableau of Maharashtra portrays Quit India Movement, while that of Andaman & Nicobar shows the influence of Gandhi among the inmates of the Cellular Jail in Andaman.
10.41 am: Twenty-two tableaux, comprising of 16 from different states and Union Territories and six ministries, departments and other institutions will display the life, times and ideals of Mahatma Gandhi as 2019 is the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
10.39 am: Camel-mounted band of the Border Security Force marches down Rajpath.
10.32 am: An all-women contingent of the Assam Rifles marches down Rajpath.
10.30 am: Several contingent of the military, navy and air force march. The Defence Research and Development Organisation displays its Medium range Surface to Air Missile and its Arjun Armoured Recovery and Repair Vehicle.
10.25 am: Lt Bhavna Kasturi becomes first woman officer to lead the Army Services Corps in the parade.
10.15 am: India displays its military might at the parade. The main battle tank of the Indian Army, T-90 Bhishma, Infantry Combat Vehicle Ballway Machine Pikate, Surface mine clearing system, transportable satellite terminal and the Akash weapon system featured.
10.08 am: The parade is commanded by Lieutenant General Asit Mistry, General Officer Commanding, Headquarters Delhi Area. Major General Rajpal Punia, Chief of Staff, Headquarters Delhi Area is the parade Second-in-Command. The winners of the Param Vir Chakra and the Ashoka Chakra follow soon after.
10.05 am: Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani, who joined the Indian Army in 2004 after giving up militancy, is posthumously awarded the Ashoka Chakra, the highest peacetime military award in India. Wani died during an operation at Batagund village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian in November. His wife and mother collected the award on Saturday.
10.02 am: President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and chief guest South African President Cyril Ramaphosa arrive at the Rajpath.
10 am: Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has tweeted a photo of his art at the Puri beach in Odisha.
9.59 am: The Indo-Tibetan Border Police tweets a video of personnel hoisting the flag despite heavy snow.
9.42 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chiefs of the armed forces pay tribute at the Amar Jawan Jyoti.
9.41 am: Several leaders across the country unfurl the national flag and wish people on the 70th Republic Day.
9.28 am: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath unfurls national flag in Lucknow, ANI reports.
9.15 am: Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari unfurl tricolours at their residences in Delhi, ANI reports.
9.14 am: Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel participates in Raipur Republic Day.
9.13 am: The Centre conferred Army chief General Bipin Rawat and 18 other senior military officials with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, the highest military medal awarded in recognition of peace-time services not relating to gallantry, Hindustan Times reports.
9.10 am: SWAT women commandos, mobile hit teams, snipers are part of the intensified security programme for Republic Day.
9 am: States across the country celebrate Republic Day.
8.30 am: Crowds begin to gather at Rajpath in New Delhi for the 70th Republic Day celebrations. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is the chief guest. It was earlier reported that the President of the United States Donald Trump had turned down India’s invitation citing a ‘crowded calendar’.
8.20 am: This year’s parade will see women taking the forefront. This year will be the first time that a woman officer will lead the Army Services Corps in the parade. The Daredevils Motorcycle Team will include a woman officer in their team. Scripting history, 2019 will also be the first time a woman contingent of Assam Rifles will take part in the parade.
Four veterans of the Indian National Army will also take part.
Fifty-eight tribal guests from various parts of the country, 22 tableaux of states and central government departments, and performance by school children will mark the 90-minute parade of this year’s Republic Day. Four helicopters would precede the parade commander. The lead helicopter will carry the national flag and the other three choppers would carry services flags, while the echelon aircraft would shower flower petals.
As 2019 coincides with Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th anniversary, the tableaux from different states and Union Territories this year will pay a tribute to him.
8.10 am: Today’s Google Doodle marks the Republic Day.
“Celebrations take place all across the subcontinent, with the epicenter in the capital city of Delhi, where a parade runs along Rajpath near the President’s Palace,” Google said in its blog. “Today’s guest artist, Reshidev RK, recreated the colorful celebrations and depicted the famous parade floats that decorate the city, each representing a different component of India’s history: environment, architecture, textiles, wildlife, monuments, and farming.”
8 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu wish the nation on the occasion of the 70th Republic Day.
7.45 am: The Centre also announced the recipients of the Padma Vibhushan, the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Shri on Friday. Here is a full list of the recipients.
7.40 am: The Centre on Friday conferred former President Pranab Mukherjee the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award. Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh and singer and musician Bhupen Hazarika have also been awarded posthumously.
7.30 am: Earlier on Friday, the President awarded medals to 855 police and paramilitary personnel, including 149 gallantry awards ahead of Republic Day, PTI reported. A Ministry of Home Affairs statement said a total of 146 Police Medal for Gallantry, 74 President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service and 632 Police Medal for Meritorious Service, and three President’s Police Medal for Gallantry.
7.20 am: In his address on the eve of the Republic Day, President Ram Nath Kovind urged citizens to preform the “sacred act” of voting to elect the 17th Lok Sabha and actively participate in the democracy. “For the success of our democracy, voting becomes a virtuous duty,” he said while requesting citizens to “follow this duty”. Kovind said the upcoming elections were important because those born during the 21st century will cast their vote for the first time and “contribute to the formation of the new Lok Sabha”.
7.10 am: The Delhi Traffic Police have issued an advisory to commuters. The parade will start from Vijay Chowk and pass through Rajpath, Tilak Marg, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Netaji Subhash Marg and proceed for the Red Fort.
7 am: At least 25,000 security personnel have been posted across New Delhi ahead of Republic Day celebrations. Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma said CCTV cameras and face-recognition cameras are among the elaborate arrangements made ahead of the event, according to PTI.