Just like every year, India showcased its military might and cultural diversity on Republic Day. This year’s celebrations, however, saw a number of firsts, including, among others, an added day of celebrating Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary.
With a drone show, an extended flypast and elaborate coverage, here’s a look at what’s different this year:
🔴 The Republic Day Parade kicked off a little later at 10.30 am, to ensure better visibility as Delhi is engulfed with fog on wintry mornings.
🔴 The number of tableaux have been reduced this year. A total of 12 states and nine ministries or government departments were showcased in the parade, due to limited space and time, according to Nampibou Marinmai, PRO (Defence).
🔴 The parade will feature the largest flypast of 75 aircraft from the three services, marking the 75th year of India’s independence. Public broadcaster DD has tied up with the Indian Air Force (IAF) to provide a live feed from cameras giving the pilot’s view and cockpit’s view for the first time ever.
🔴 The dancers performing in the cultural programmes in the parade were selected through a nation-wide competition, which began at the district level with over 3,800 participants, from which the final 480 dancers were selected to perform under the Vande Bharatam competition organised by the ministries of defence and culture.
🔴 For the first time, a unique drone and laser show will take place at the annual Beating Retreat ceremony on January 29. The government has also dropped the ‘Abide with Me’ — usually played at the end of the ceremony — this year.
🔴 The route of the marching contingent would end at the National Stadium instead of the Red Fort.
🔴 Children below the age of 15 were not allowed to attend the parade, owing to thepandemic. Only fully vaccinated individuals have been allowed entry.
🔴 In another initiative, as the Prime Minister laid the wreath at the National War Memorial in the morning, cadets from the National Cadet Corps provided a “plaque of gratitude” to the next of kin of around 5000 soldiers who have made the supreme sacrifice for the nation, and have their names mentioned on the National War Memorial.
🔴 Like last year, there was no foreign dignitary as chief guest at the Republic Day Parade. No foreign contingent participated in view of the pandemic.
🔴 The Rajpath also featured ten scrolls each of 75 metres prepared during the ‘Kala Kumbh’ event, showcasing stories of unsung heroes of the freedom movement through the country’s rich traditional art forms, and installation of 10 large LED screens for a better viewing experience of spectators.
🔴 This year, the celebrations for Republic Day commenced on January 23, marking Bose’s 125th birth anniversary this year. Prime Ministerhonoured the winners of the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Apda Prabandhan Puruskar, which was instituted in 2018, for contribution to the fields of disaster risk management.