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73rd R-Day: Rajpath parade to showcase India’s military might, cultural diversity

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date
73rd R-Day: Rajpath parade to showcase India’s military might, cultural diversity

New Delhi: On the occasion of 73rd Republic Day, Rajpath parade will showcase India`s military might and cultural diversity and many unique initiatives have been included to mark the celebration of the 75th year of Independence as part of `Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav`.

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“Several firsts planned during the main parade include the launch of `Shaheedon Ko Shat Shat Naman` programme by National Cadet Corps, a grand flypast by 75 aircraft/helicopters of the Indian Air Force, cultural performances by 480 dancers, display of ten scrolls each of 75 metres prepared during the `Kala Kumbh` event,” said the Defence Ministry in an official statement.

According to the Ministry, a drone show by 1,000 indigenously developed drones has also been planned for the `Beating the Retreat` ceremony, along with projection mapping. As per tradition, the National Flag will be unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute.

The parade will commence with President Ram Nath Kovind taking the salute. The parade will be commanded by Parade Commander, Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, Ati Vishisth Seva Medal, a second-generation Army officer. Major General Alok Kacker, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area will be the Parade Second-in-Command.

A total of six marching contingents of the Indian Army will be present in the parade including the Rajput Regiment, the Assam Regiment, the Jammu & Kashmir Light Regiment, the Sikh Light Regiment, the Army Ordnance Corps and the Parachute Regiment.

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The combined Band of the Madras Regimental Centre, the Kumoun Regimental Centre, Maratha Light Regimental Centre, Jammu & Kashmir Light Regimental Centre, Army Medical Corps Centre and School, 14 Gorkha Training Centre, Army Supply Corps Centre and College, Bihar Regimental Centre and Army Ordnance Corps Centre will also march past the saluting dais.

“The Indian Army will be represented by a Mounted Column of 61 Cavalry, 14 Mechanised Columns, six marching contingents and a flypast by Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) of Army Aviation. One Tank PT-76 and Centurion (On Tank Transporters) and two MBT Arjun MK-I, one APC TOPAS and BMP-I (On Tank Transporter) and Two BMP-II, one 75/24 Towed Gun (On Vehicle) and two Dhanush Gun System, one PMS Bridge and Two Sarvatra Bridge System, one HT-16 (On Vehicle) and two Tarang Shakti Electronic Warfare System, one Tiger Cat Missile & two Akash Missile System will be the main attraction in the mechanised columns,” the statement further said.

The theme of the marching contingents of the Indian Army is the evolution of the uniform and personnel weapons of the Indian Army over the last 75 years.

“The contingent of the Rajput Regiment will be wearing the uniform of Indian Army of 1947 and would be carrying .303 Rifle. The Assam Regiment will be in uniform during the period of 1962 and carrying .303 Rifles. The Jammu and Kashmir Light Regiment would be in the uniform worn during 1971 and would carry a 7.62mm self-loading Rifle. The contingent of the Sikh Light Regiment and the Army Ordnance Corps would be in the present-day uniform with 5.56mm INSAS Rifle,” said the Defence Ministry.

“The contingent of the Parachute Regiment would be donning the new Combat Uniform of Indian Army, unveiled on January 15, 2022, and would be carrying 5.56mm x 45mm TAVOR Rifle,” it added.

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Meanwhile, the Naval contingent will comprise of 96 young sailors and four officers led by Lt Cdr Aanchal Sharma as Contingent Commander. It will be followed by the Naval Tableau which is designed with the aim to showcase the multi-dimensional capabilities of the Indian Navy.

The forward part of the tableau depicts the Naval Uprising of 1946, which contributed to India`s struggle for independence. The rear section illustrates the `Make in India` initiatives of the Indian Navy from 1983 to 2021.

The model of New Vikrant with LCA Navy in air flanked by models of indigenously designed and built warships. The frames on the sides of the trailer depict the construction of Indian Naval platforms in India.

The Indian Air Force contingent comprises 96 airmen and four officers and will be led by Squadron Leader Prashant Swamyanathan. The Air Force tableau is titled `Indian Air Force, Transforming for the Future`. The tableau showcases scaled-down models of MiG-21, Gnat, Light Combat Helicopter and Rafale aircraft, as well as the Aslesha radar.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will display two tableaux, signifying the defence technological advancements of the country. The tableaux are titled `Suite of Indigenously Developed Sensors, Weapons and Electronic Warfare Systems for LCA Tejas` and `Air Independent Propulsion System` developed for the submarines of the Indian Navy.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) contingent will be led by Deputy Commandant H T Manjunath. The marching contingents of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), led by Assistant Commandant Ajay Malik, 15 times winner of the best marching contingent, Delhi Police, led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Vivek Bhagat, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) commanded by Assistant Commandant Mohnish Bagree, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) led by Deputy Commandant Nirupesh Kumar and Border Security Force (BSF) Camel Contingent headed by Deputy Commandant Manohar Singh Kheechee will also march past the saluting dais.

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The National Cadet Corps (NCC) Boys Marching contingent, comprising of 100 Senior Division cadets, will be led by Senior Under Officer Rupendra Singh Chauhan of the Punjab Directorate.

Senior Under Officer Pramila of Karnataka Directorate will head the NCC Girls Marching contingent, consisting of 100 Senior Wing Cadets drawn from all 17 Directorates. The marching contingent of the National Service Scheme (NSS), comprising of 100 volunteers, will be headed by Baraiya Siddhi Ramesh from Diu Union Territory, Ahmedabad Directorate.

It will be followed by tableaux of 12 States/Union Territories and nine Ministries/Departments. The theme of tableaux of Arunachal Pradesh is Anglo-Abor (Adi) Wars; Haryana`s is Haryana: No 1 in Sports; Chattisgarh`s is Godhan Nyay Yojana: A new path to prosperity; Goa`s is Symbols of Goan heritage; Gujarat is Tribal Revolutionaries of Gujarat; Jammu and Kashmir`s is Changing face of Jammu and Kashmir, among others.

“The grand finale and the most keenly awaited segment of the parade, the Fly Past, will, for the first time, witness 75 aircraft/helicopters of the Indian Air Force displaying a number of formations, as part of `Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav`,” said the Defence Ministry.

Vintage as well as current modern aircraft/helicopters like Rafale, Sukhoi, Jaguar, Mi-17, Sarang, Apache and Dakota, will display different formations, including Rahat, Meghna, Eklavya, Trishul, Tiranga, Vijay and Amrit. For the first time, IAF has coordinated with Doordarshan to show cockpit videos during the flypast.

The ceremony will culminate with the national anthem and the release of Tri-colour balloons.

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