Colourful images of India’s cultural heritage, manoeuvres by fighter aircraft, military prowess and march past by armed forces were on majestic display at Rajpath on Sunday as the nation celebrated its 65th Republic Day amid tight security.
Marching down from the seat of power at Raisina Hills to Red Fort, the parade showcased India’s ‘unity in diversity’ and defence capability
Here are the highlights of the Republic Day parade at Rajpath:
11.40 am: The crowd at the Rajpath rises up and proudly sings the National Anthem as the nation marks 65th Republic Day.
11.30 am: The Republic Day parade ends with the spectacular flypast by the Indian Air Force, that showcases various flight formations. The airshow by IAF impresses the crowd. A flypast by the Advanced Light Helicopter ‘Dhruv’ of the Army Aviation Corps draws loud cheers from the spectators.
10.52 am: A tableau of Arunachal Pradesh shows the Aji Lhamu dance – one of the most prominent folk dances of the state – at the Republic Day parade. The dance is for warding off the evil spirits.
The Jammu and Kashmir tableau displays the multi-cultural landscape and conflux of nomadic communities. The Assam tableau highlighted contribution of Bhupen Hazarika, the ‘Golden Voice of Assam’ while the tableau from Tamil Nadu celebrated Pongal, the harvest festival.
The tableau from Maharashtra was a life-size boat celebrating ‘Narali Poornima’, the coconut festival of the Koli (fisherman) community.
10.50 am: The first tableau to roll down is from Uttar Pradesh titled ‘Subah-e-Banaras’ depicting the splendour of sunrise in Banaras, its ghats and the banks of Ganga at the Republic Day parade.
10.40 am: A tableau on unmanned systems by DRDO along with the Astra and Helina Missiles on the display at the Republic Day parade. It also displays mini UAV-NETRA, tracked surveillance vehicle Muntra S and unmanned aerial vehicle-’Nishant’.
10.30 am: India’s Brass Brand of Border Security Force marches at Republic Day parade.
PHOTOS: Republic Day rehearsals in full swing
10.25 am: Army showcases its light combat aircraft Tejas.
The weaponry put on display by the Indian Army included T-90 tank ‘Bheeshma’, multi-launcher rocket system Smerch, Brahmos weapon system and transportable satellite terminals.
10.10 am: Republic Day parade begins, President Pranab Mukherjee takes salute at Rajpath.
10.00 am: AP inspector Prasad Babu conferred Ashok Chakra.
9.50 am: President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and guest of Republic Day Japanese PM Shinzo Abe arrive at Rajpath escorted by bodyguards.
9.40 am: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pays tribute to the martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti.
The country was wrapped in a multi-layered security cover on the eve of the Republic Day with thousands of security force personnel keeping a hawk-eye vigil to ward off any terror strike during celebrations of the national event on Sunday.
Around 25,000 police personnel, including from paramilitary forces and elite National Security Guards (NSG), have been deployed across the national capital.
Elaborate air defence measures, including deployment of anti-aircraft guns, have also been put in place to secure the air space.
In a first, national broadcaster Doordarshan was telecast the live proceedings of Republic Day celebrations from Rajpath here tomorrow in High Definition, which is superior quality transmission.
Also for the first time, the hearing impaired people were able to follow the entire live coverage with the help of sign language commentary on three channels DD News, DD Bharati and DD Urdu.