A slice of India’s culture on Rajpath

India’s military prowess and diverse cultural heritage were on display at the 67th Republic Day parade at the Rajpath on Tuesday. For the first time, a contingent from the French 35th Infantry Regiment was given the honour of leading the marching contingents. The celebrations began with Prime Minister Narendra Modi driving to the Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial at India Gate and laying a wreath in honour of the countless Indian soldiers who have died in battles since World War I.

 

 

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Vice-President Hamid Ansari, the three service chiefs, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Cabinet Ministers, a host of dignitaries and a group of women achievers seated in a special enclosure were on hand to witness the hour-and-half long parade.

As it happened:

11:43 am: Beating the Retreat ceremony, which officially marks the end of the Republic Day celebrations, will be held on January 29. All the troops that participated in the parade will bid farewell to the President before returning to their bases.

11:36 am: 5 Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft in ‘Arrowhead’ formation fly past at 300 m & 780 km/h.

11:31 am: The ‘Globe’ formation at Republic Day Parade, comprising one C-17 Globemaster flanked by two Su-30s.

11:25 am: The Indian Army’s motorcycle stunt team – the Daredevils – does a fine balancing act!

11:19 am: ‘Songi Mukhota’ dance of Maharashtra. It is an integral part at the time of Chaitra Purnima.

11:13 am: Colourful dance performance by schoolchildren. Rajpath sees ‘Dharti Dhora Ree’ — a folk Dance of Rajasthan depicting the uniqueness and spirit of bravery.

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11:11 am: The tableau of Ministry of Communication and IT showcases the achievements of Digital India.

11:09 am: The tableau of ECI shows the inclusive and participation for a stronger democracy.

11:07 am: The tableau of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is based on the theme of ‘Swachh Bharat’.

11:05 am: The Assam tableau showcases its famous folk dance “Bihu”.

11:01 am: The Uttar Pradesh tableau showcases the Zardozi handicraft which reached its zenith under the Mughal empire. ‘Zardozi’ is a Persian word and means ‘sewing with gold’.

10:59 am: Tamil Nadu tableau depicts the Todas of the Nilgiris.

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10:57 am: Tableau of Karnataka is on Kodagu — The Coffee Land of Karnataka.

10:54 am: West Bengal’s Tableau is on Bauls — the wandering minstrels’ community — of Bengal.

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10:51 am: Chandigarh tableau depicting on top the Open Hand Monument designed by Le Corbusier.

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10:50 am: Rajasthan’s tableau showcases “” not as a monument, but as a “lively building”.

10:47 am: Sikkim’s tableau depicts celebration of Buddha Jayanti in Sikkim, which is popularly called Saga Dawa.

10:46 am: Gujarat’s tableau depicts some rare and exotic varieties along with Sidi community, settled in the Gir forest.

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10:43 am: Goa leads the tableau procession at the parade.

10:42 am: All women contingent of CRPF taking part in the Republic Day parade.

10:40 am: Railway Protection Force Band consisting of 92 personnel is marching now with the tune ‘Vijay Bharat’.

10:36 am: Deputy Commandant Kuldeep J. Choudhary is leading the BSF’s Camel Contingent.

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10:32 am: Mareech torpedo defence system being showcased at the parade. It is capable of confusing incoming torpedoes. It’s named after the shape-shifting mythological demon Mareecha from the Ramayana.

10:25 am: Garhwal Rifles — one of the most illustrious regiments — marches down Rajpath.

10:23 am: Rajput Regiment has participated in all operations fought by Indian Army since its inception; now at Republic Day Parade.

10:19 am: Akash Weapon System of 27 Air Defence Regiment, led by Major Neha Singh, goes past the saluting base.

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10:18 am: BrahMos WPN system goes past the saluting base.

10:17 am: Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP-II of 20 Mechanised Infantry (Bees Bahadur) parades down Rajpath. Captain B.C. Thimmaiah is the Column Commander.

10:09 am: A 76-member French Army contingent led by a French military band comprising 48 musicians, march at Rajpath and present a ceremonial salute to the President of India. The contingent is the 35th infantry regiment, has been active since 1604.

In 2009, the Maratha Light Infantry marched down Champs Elysee in Paris on Bastille Day in the presence of former Prime Minister Manmohan SIngh and the then French President Nicholas Sarkozy.

10:07 am: A loud cheer as helicopters in V-formation shower flowers over the crowd.

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10:03 am: Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami is being conferred Ashoka Chakra posthumously.

9:57 am: Mr. Modi and Mr. Hollande are escorted to the enclosure.

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9:54 am: Mr. Modi arrives arrives at Rajpath; meets leaders, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

9:42 am: Prior to the commencement of the parade, Mr. Modi leads the nation in paying tributes to martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti. A reversed rifle, standing on its barrel and crested by a soldier’s helmet, symbolises the #AmarJawan

9:40 am: French President Francois Hollande receives Guard of Honour at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

9:18 am:

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The President’s Bodyguard regiment readies itself at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. It’s the senior-most regiment in the Indian Army.

9:02 am: From the selection of personnel to financial cost involved in running the R-Day parade, here’s all you need to about the annual event.

8:33 am: A multi-layer security blanket has been thrown around the national capital on Republic Day eve with anti-aircraft guns and LMGs positioned at vantage points in view of intelligence inputs that terror groups may target some important installations in the city.

8:02 am: Celebrations to begin at 9:25 a.m.

7:44 am: Visitors are queueing up to proceed towards Republic Day Parade venue at Raisina Road.

7:31 am: Dr. Rajendra Prasad, who took oath as the first President of Independent India drove to the Irwin Stadium where he unfurled the National Flag in 1950. The day came to be celebrated as Republic Day every year. Photo: Punjab Photo Service

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6:51 am: For the first time in the history of the Republic Day celebrations, the iconic Border Security Force (BSF) camel contingent will not be ambling down the Rajpath.

6:45 am: Heavy crowd at Patel Chowk Metro station, the closest to the parade venue where exit is allowed.

6:30 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi extends his greetings:

5:30 am: For the first time in the history of the Republic Day celebrations, the iconic Border Security Force (BSF) camel contingent will not be ambling down the Rajpath in Delhi on January 26.

5:20 am: For Dhabalu Sisa and his wife Samari, a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi inviting them to Delhi for the parade changed everything and they have not stopped beaming since then.

5:10 am: To mark the special occasion, Google has come out with a special R-Day doodle.

5:00 am: French soldiers will be joining Indian soldiers for the very first time for the Republic Day celebrations. This would be the first since independence when foreign troops will march down the Rajpath for Republic Day parade.

4:45 am: Aiming to make the most out of the Republic Day, e-retailers in India have jumped onto the bandwagon, each offering a big bang sale with some even promising discounts of up to 80-90 per cent.

4.30 am: Security was beefed up along Rajpath where the famed R-Day parade will take place in a few hours.

New Delhi: 25/01/2016: Security personnels keeping a tight vigil at Rajpath on the eve of Republic Day Celebration, in New Delhi on Monday . Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

New Delhi: 25/01/2016: Security personnels keeping a tight vigil at Rajpath on the eve of Republic Day Celebration, in New Delhi on Monday . Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

4:15 am: The 66th Republic Day saw many firsts. US President Barack Obama presided over the grand parade, making it the first time a US President being the Chief Guest for the parade.

4:00 am: From the archives: On January 26, the Indian state will display its might in the presence of the President of the United States, Barack Obama.Yet, to look at the ceremonial tableaux on display during the annual ritual that is performed in the heart of Delhi and assess how far we have come together as a democratic Republic would be partially incorrect and perhaps, even delusional. The depth and spread of democracy in the last 65 years is a better measure of the performance of the state.

 

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