Disclaimer: This post will not be of interest to the non Indian readers, so you can let this one pass :) :)
Husband: Just after getting up says, its Republic Day, switch on the television, they must be telecasting the Republic Day parade.
Me: What are you saying??? I used to watch the R Day parade when i was a small kid. Grown ups don't watch this stuff, its for kids.
Anyways, I switched on the TV and started watching the parade and realized how stupid and wrong and ridiculously ignorant I am or lets say I was.
I felt proud and happy watching the parade.
It began with the arrival of the Prime minister Manmohan Singh who laid a wreath on the Amar Jawaan Jyoti.
Then was the President's arrival flanked by the President's Bodyguards on the mounts. Did you know that President's Bodyguards are the oldest and most senior regiment of the Indian army. A section of pesident’s army also serves in Siachen.
Those immaculately dressed bodyguards looked like a perfect combination of man and mount. The President was accompanied by Thailand's Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who was the chief guest for this years Republic Day Parade. She is the youngest and first women Prime Minister of Thailand with an extensive experience in the corporate world.
The President then hoisted the Indian tricolor at the rajpath followed by the National Anthem and the awarding of Ashok Chakra to Lieutenant Navdeep Singh, posthumously.
The Parade then was commenced by the flight of 4 M16 helicopters carrying the Indian flag and the 3 service flags of Indian Army, Air Force and Navy.
Then came various Marching Contingents, Music Bands of various forces across India, and the Mechanized Cavalry displaying the Military might of India. The President of India who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, took the salute from the marching contingents.
Did you know????
- 61 Cavalry is the only horse cavalry regiment in the world
- 11 Gorkha Rifles regiment is the only gorkha regiment to be re-raised after independence
- BSF has the only camel mounted music band in the world and also features in the Guinness World Records.
- Delhi police marching contingent's members are all atleast 6 feet tall and they have been participating in the Republic day parade ever since India became a republic
You all should see how these regiments and bands march. Its a sight, the amazing sync and discipline that is showcased.
Also I loved BSF's Camel march regiment. The riders were wearing the traditional peela safa (yellow turban), achkans, a Kalgi ( ornament for the turban) and the camels were also decorate
Also shown were the DRDO equipment columns which consisted of:
- Agni 4 Missile: Range 3000km and ability to be launched from a mobile launcher
- Prahaar missile: A tactical battlefield missile, its navigation system leading to high accuracy
- Rustum 1: An unmanned aerial vehicle
(Read More here)
23 Tableau were shown of various states and ministries. Diversity, creativity and color took center stage. It was a true depiction of complete unity in diversity. Each tableau had a distinctive theme from education to peace to tourism, culture, architecture, dances, traditions, handicrafts, agriculture importance of steel, importance of voting , importance of Information technology.
The best piece of information was from the Tableau of Bihar. A small village Dharhara of Bhagalpur district in Bihar has the tradition of planting 10 fruit bearing trees to celebrate the birth of every girl born. They say that girls and trees are both required and the world can not go on without them. How thoughtful is this? Did you knew about this?
Then came the children chosen for their braveryon decorated jeeps. 24 children have been chosen this year for their brave and heroic acts.
Now was the time for some Cultural / dance performances by 1200 children showcasing the following dances:
- Importance of Education
- Pondicherry’s traditional dance
- Orissa's tribal dance
- Maharashtrian folk dance depicting joy of the fishermen
- Madhya Pradesh's folk dance
Then came the heroic acts of BSF's Motorcycle Riders. They showcased skills like standing on the bike, side riding formation while drinking tea, yoga on a bike, ladder double formaton reading newspaper, Pyramid formation: 8 on a bike, Floral formation with a bumble bee on top, 6 bikes and 40 riders and lastly 9 bikes and 41 riders. It was a sheer spectacle of balance, control, discipline and years of practice.
The flypast was the high note to the conclusion of celebrations.
National anthem was played to conclude the parade and lastly was the symbolic unleashing of our aspirations as the tricolor balloons were released.
I had seen The Republic Day Parade after ages and it was an enriching experience. Never again will I say that its for kids.
Happy Republic Day!!!!!
P.S: Its Okay if you have skipped the long post. I had to document this experience for my sake and hence I have kept it detailed. Thanks for bearing with me :) :)