Digital Desk, New Delhi. President Ram Nath Kovind will lead the country on Wednesday (January 26) to celebrate India’s 73rd Republic Day. This year’s celebrations are special, as this Republic Day comes in the 75th year of Independence, which is being celebrated across the country as the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence.
To mark the occasion, the Defense Ministry has devised a series of new programs during the main parade at Rajpath on Wednesday and the Beating the Retreat ceremony at Vijay Chowk on January 29. It has been decided that the Republic Day celebrations will now be for one week from January 23 to 30 every year.
The celebrations will begin on January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and end on January 30, which is observed as Martyrs’ Day to mark the anniversary of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948. The Republic Day celebrations will begin with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the National War Memorial, where he will lead the nation in paying floral tributes to the martyrs.
After this, the Prime Minister and other dignitaries will go to the salute stage at Rajpath to watch the parade. As per tradition, the national anthem will be followed by the unfurling of the national flag and a 21-gun salute. The parade will begin with President Kovind taking the salute. It will be commanded by a second generation Army officer Lt Gen Vijay Kumar Mishra.
Delhi Region Chief of Staff Major General Alok Kakar will be the parade second-in-command. Glorious winners of the highest gallantry awards will be awarded the Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra thereafter. Param Vir Chakra winner Subedar Major (Honorary Captain, 18 Grenadiers) Yogendra Singh Yadav and Subedar (Honorary Lieutenant, 13 JAK Rifles) Sanjay Kumar and Ashok Chakra winner Col D. Sriram Kumar will follow the Deputy Parade Commander on jeeps. Param Vir Chakra is awarded for the most conspicuous act of bravery and self-sacrifice in the face of the enemy. Ashoka Chakra is given for gallantry and self-sacrifice.
Indian Army Corps
The first contingent will be 61 Cavalry in the uniform of the then Gwalior Lancers, which will be led by Major Mrityunjay Singh Chauhan. The 61st Cavalry is the only active serving Horse Cavalry regiment in the world. It was established on August 1, 1953 with the amalgamation of cavalry units of the six state forces. The Indian Army will be represented by 61 cavalry mounted columns, 14 mechanized columns, six marching detachments and Army Aviation’s Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH).
One Tank PT-76 and Centurion (On Tank Transporter) and two MBT Arjun Mk-I, one APC Topas and BMP-1 (On Tank Transporter) and two BMP-2, one 75/24 Toad Gun (on vehicle) and two Dhanush Gun System, one PMS Bridge and two Sarvatra Bridge systems, one HT-16 (On Vehicle) and two Tarang Shakti Electronic Warfare Systems, one Tiger Cat missile and two Akash missile systems will be the main attractions in the mechanized column.
A total of six marching contingents of the Army, including the Rajput Regiment, Assam Regiment, Jammu and Kashmir Light Regiment, Sikh Light Regiment, Army Ordnance Corps and Parachute Regiment, will be there. Madras Regimental Centre, Kumaon Regimental Centre, Maratha Light Regimental Centre, Jammu and Kashmir Light Regimental Centre, Army Medical Corps Center and School, 14 Gorkha Training Centre, Army Supply Corps Center and College, Bihar Regimental Center and a combined band of Army Ordnance Corps The center will also march in front of the salute stage.
Uniforms and weapons of soldiers will be shown to show development
The theme of the marching squads will be a display of the evolution of the uniform and weapons of the Indian Army over the last 75 years. The contingent of the Rajput Regiment will be wearing the uniform of the 1947 Indian Army, with 303 rifles. The Assam Regiment will wear the 1962 uniform carrying 303 rifles. The Jammu and Kashmir Light Regiment will be in the uniform worn during 1971 and will carry a 7.62 mm self-loading rifle.
The contingent of the Sikh Light Regiment and Army Ordnance Corps will currently be in uniform with 5.56 mm INSAS rifles. The contingent of the Parachute Regiment will wear the new combat uniform of the Indian Army, which was unveiled on January 15 and will carry 5.56 mm INSAS rifles.
Indian Navy Team
The Naval contingent will consist of 96 young sailors and four officers led by Lieutenant Commander Aanchal Sharma as contingent commanders. This will be followed by a naval tableau which has been designed to showcase the multi-faceted capabilities of the Indian Navy and highlight the key motivations under self-reliant India. The tableau of the ongoing Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav will also be shown specially.
Indian Air Force Corps
The IAF contingent consists of 96 airmen and four officers and will be led by Squadron Leader Prashant Swaminathan. The title of the Air Force tableau is Indian Air Force, Change for the Future. Scaled down models of MiG-21, Zeenat, Light Combat Helicopter and Rafale aircraft along with Ashlesha Radar are also on display in the tableau. The floats are titled Indigenously Developed Sensors, Weapons for Submarines of the Indian Navy and Electronic Warfare System and Air Independent Propulsion System for LCA Tejas.
Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) will display two tableaux showcasing the progress in defense technology of the country. This will be followed by tableaux from 12 states and union territories and nine ministries and departments, which have been prepared on various themes under the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. The tableau will be followed by cultural dance performances by 480 dancers selected through Vande Bharatam, an all India dance competition. This is the first time that the dance groups performing during the parade have been selected on the basis of an all India level competition. This will be followed by a motorcycle display by Seema Bhavani Motorcycle Team of BSF and Himveer of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
grand fly past
The grand finale and the most eagerly awaited segment of the parade, the flypast, will showcase, for the first time, a wide variety of formations aboard 75 aircraft/helicopters of the Indian Air Force. Old as well as current modern aircraft/helicopters like Rafale, Sukhoi, Jaguar, Mi-17, Sarang, Apache and Dakota will display various structures including Rahat, Meghna, Eklavya, Trishul, Tiranga, Vijay and Amrit. The function will end with the national anthem and tricolor ballooning. For the first time, the Indian Air Force has coordinated with Doordarshan to show the cockpit video during the flypast.
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