Did you spot the elephant at the Republic Day parade?

You're right, there wasn't one. Until 2014, elephants featured in the parade on New Delhi's Rajpath, mostly carrying children receiving bravery awards. The ppractice was discontinued after the Environment and Forest minsitry declared a heritage status for the animals.

This video from the Republic Day parade in 1956 gives you a glimpse of elephants in full regalia.

Elephants are also on view in the video below, from the 1965 parade. But the bigger elephant in it is the lumbering commentary from the Western perspective, which is highly patronising, to say the least.

"This is the day of the year when the great nation forgets its troubles and thinks only of independence, but in many ways, especially in the bearing of the army, India looks back with satisfaction on its association with Britain", the narrator of this Republic Day parade video from 1965 tells us.

And then there's this curious statement: "Apparently the menace of China has made India realise that to be uncommitted is no guarantee of peace."

Also, says the narrator, it's fitting that agriculture is represented in the parade, because "millions live in poverty". Quite.