January 26 marks India’s adoption of its Constitution in 1950, which officially made it a democratic republic. The nation celebrates the historic day as Republic Day every year.
This year, the 74th Republic Day celebration at Kartavya Path will showcase the true form of the country as ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.
The parade will showcase the might of the Indian Army through indigenously developed weaponry. The 21 gun salute during the parade, which is usually carried by 25-pounder guns, will be replaced by 105 mm Indian field guns, thereby boosting the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Among other indigenous equipment, the parade will display the K9 Vajra, a self-propelled howitzer, the BrahMos missile system automatic launcher, Nag Missile System, and a Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd-manufactured Light Combat Helicopter ‘Prachand’ that will also be part of the Indian Air Force flypast.
The parade will comprise the horse-mounted columns of 61 Cavalry, nine mechanised columns, six marching contingents and the IAF flypast. There will also be 16 marching contingents from the Armed Forces, Central Armed Police Forces, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps, National Service Scheme, and Pipes and Drums Bands.
This year, three Param Vir Chakra and three Ashok Chakra awardees will also take part in the parade. Among other unique aspects, the parade will host the largest drone show in India, which will depict national figures and events along with India’s progress in start-ups and technology. A 3-D anamorphic projection and 23 Tableaux will showcase India’s rich heritage, and progress in socio-economic and national security sectors.
The Republic Day parade will show female empowerment through events consisting of a team of ‘Daredevils’ motorcycle riders from the Corps of Signals, which will be co-led by a female officer. Adding to this, for the first time, 12 female riders will be part of the Border Security Force Camel Contingent marching in the parade, wearing uniquely designed ceremonial uniforms representing the crafts of India.
According to a senior IAF officer, the Indian Navy’s Ilyushin IL-38 aircraft, which will be a part of the aerial show, will also be showcased for the first and maybe the last time. The aerial show will consist of nine Rafale planes along with the IL-38, and will display formations such as ‘Bheem’ and ‘Vajrang’.
For the first time, the chief guest for the celebration will be Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. An Egyptian Army military contingent will also march in the parade, which is expected to elevate the ties between both the nations.
The ceremony will not only mark the vibrant and diverse culture and history of the nation, but is also of strategic value, showing the nation and the world our indigenous strength, technological prowess, ‘Nari Shakti’, and how India has journeyed a long way to become an independent and self-reliant nation.