For the first time, 75 aircraft including Rafael jets took part in the grand fly past.
New Delhi: The 73rd Republic Day was celebrated across India with patriotic fervor. Parades, cultural programs, and other events were organized from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to mark the occasion. This year’s celebrations are significant as it’s the 75th year of India’s Independence, being observed as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ across the country. After 30 years, the national flag was hoisted atop the historic Clock tower in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk.
The iconic parade at Delhi’s Rajpath showcased India’s military prowess and cultural pageantry. A flypast by 75 aircraft and helicopters was the highlight of this year’s parade. Ahead of the parade event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to India’s fallen soldiers at the National War Memorial.
Strict Covid-19 protocol was in place as only 5000 people attended the celebrations. Only fully vaccinated adults and children above 15 who had received the first shot were allowed. The “At Home” function at Rashtrapati Bhavan was canceled.
The parade, led by Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, started after the tri-color was unfurled with a 21-gun salute. The winners of the country’s highest gallantry awards, Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra, led the contingents in saluting the President, the Supreme Commander of armed forces.
Three contingents of the Army wore uniforms and carried rifles from previous decades, and one wore the new combat uniform and carried the latest Tavor rifles. How Indian Army uniforms and rifles evolved over the decades since independence was on display at the parade. The contingents of security forces were followed by tableaux from states that showcased India’s cultural diversity, with themes ranging from the freedom struggle to biodiversity.
Several government ministries and departments also took out tableaux, highlighting flagship initiatives such as Jal Jeevan Mission. The Central Public Works Development tableau paid tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary. About 480 dancers from diverse genres, who were selected through a nationwide dance competition, performed in the parade.
The grand flypast began with the ‘Dhwaj’ formation with four Mi-17 aircraft and concluded with 17 Jaguar fighter aircraft flying in the ‘Amrit’ formation to commemorate 75 years of Independence