New Delhi: The 74th Republic Day parade in Delhi will roll down Kartavya Path, the revamped ceremonial boulevard from the British period once known as the Rajpath, for the first time today. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is the Chief Guest this year.
Here’s your some point cheatsheet on Republic Day celebrations
- In a first, a combined band and marching contingent of the Egyptian Armed Forces will take part in the parade. The contingent will have 144 soldiers, representing the main branches of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
- Greeting people on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it is special this time as it is being celebrated during the “Amrit Mahotsav” of the country’s independence. “I wish that we move forward unitedly to fulfill the dreams of the country’s great freedom fighters. Happy Republic Day to all fellow Indians!”
- There will be tableaux from 17 states and Union Territories, and six from various ministries and departments depicting the emergence of a “New India” through growing indigenous capabilities, cultural heritage, economic and social progress and women power.
- Cultural performances will be presented by 479 artistes chosen through the nationwide “Vande Bharatam” dance competition. This is the second time that the dancers have been selected through a nationwide competition.
- The perennial draw of motorcycle display by the Corps of Signals’ Dare Devils team will be a part of the show. Eleven children who received the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar for outstanding achievement in the fields of bravery, art and culture, sports, innovation and social service will also be part of the parade.
- The grand finale will be the eagerly-awaited flypast, where aircraft from three forces will participate. The country’s new Rafale fighter aircraft will perform the concluding Vertical Charlie manoeuvre. Though Rafale had been part of the parade in the last two years, this is the first time a quarter of the fleet – nine aircraft – will participate in the flypast.
- This year, invites have been sent to people involved in the construction of the Central Vista, Kartavya Path, New Parliament Building, milk, vegetable vendors and street vendors, who will be given a prominent spot in the galleries.
- The Republic Day celebrations, which started with the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on January 23, will end with the traditional “Beating the Retreat” ceremony on January 29. The country’s biggest drone show, comprising 3,500 indigenous drones, will light up the sky over the Raisina hills during the performance.