India celebrates 66th Republic Day
26 01 2015
In presence of Chief Guest Barack Obama, First lady of US Michelle Obama the meticulous planned Republic Day parade one of India’s prestigious pageant showcasing the multiple culture and discipline army bests actions. Chief Guest Barack Obama signaled thumps-up when he saw the Poster, “WE LOVE OBAMA” at tableau and in crowd thus Thanks giving by people of India showed exemplary love to the leader.
India produced global best exhibition of its military prowess & cultural diversity showcased on Rajpath to mark Republic Day celebrations. However West Bengal was missing from today’s Republic Day parade.
Reports say that the central government rejected Bengal’s tableau theme, ‘Kanyashree’, which is a pet project of chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
The rejection did not go down well with the Trinamool Congress as Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Kanyashree’ program is being projected as a major achievement of the Bengal government.
Trinamool Congress leader Derek O Brien tweeted: ‘Bengal Tableaux for Republic Day depicting path-breaking Kanyashree initiative was not allowed.’
India celebrates its 66th Republic Day today with gaiety and enthusiasm. President Pranab Mukherjee unfurled the national flag at Rajpath in the presence of Chief Guest Barack Obama, First lady of US Michelle Obama, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
After unfurling the tricolour, the National Anthem was played with 21-gun salute. The Republic Day ceremony commenced at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate where Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath. Before commencement of parade President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the highest peacetime gallantry Award Ashok Chakra posthumously to Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh and Major Mukund Varadarajan who laid their life during anti-terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir .The award was received by the wives of the martyrs.Chief Guest of this year’s Republic day function US president Barack Obama arrived at Rajpath along with his wife Michelle Obama.
President Obama was received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi amidst thunderous applause. The inclement weather conditions failed to dampen the spirits of Delhites, who turned out in unprecedented numbers, to be part of the 66th Republic Day celebrations.
Obama is the first US president to be chief guest at the Republic Day and the first US president to visit India twice while in office.
This was followed by the President’s Bodyguards escorting President Pranab Mukherjee’s cavalcade down Raisina Hill marking the beginning of the 66th Republic Day Celebration.
Rajpath reverberated with the tunes of ” swagatam shubha swagatam,” as President’s cavalcade arrived escorted by the President’s Guards.
At sharp 10.10am, the Republic Day parade began from Vijay Chowk marching towards the saluting base on Rajpath, towards India Gate.
The parade was commanded by Lt. General Subroto Mitra, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area while Major General Abhay Krishna, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area was Second-in-Command.
India showed its military might on Rajpath. Surface-to-air missile system, weapon locating radar among DRDO equipment rolled down Rajpath.
The Brigade of the Guards, the Grenadiers, the Jat Regiment, the Sikh Regiment, the Kumaon Regiment, the Jammu & Kashmir Rifles, 14 Gorkha Training Centre and the Territorial Army (Punjab) were the other marching contingents that took part in the Republic Day parade.
The grand finale of the parade was a spectacular flypast by the Indian Air Force.
With women’s Empowerment being the theme of this year’s parade, for the first time all-women’s contingent of the armed forces marched down the Rajpath. The parade displayed indigenously developed medium-range surface-to-air missile ‘Akash’, multi barrel rocket launcher ‘Pinaka’, laser-guided missile capable T-90 Bheeshma tank, infantry combat vehicle BMP-II Sarath and T-72 with Trawl. The indigenously built stealth destroyer INS Kolkata was also displayed which was inducted in the Indian Navy in July last year.
The main attraction of the parade was sparkling show of air power, fascinating tableaux depicting the diverse culture and dance by colorfully dressed school children. 24 children who have been awarded with the National Bravery Award also participated in the parade.
A total of 25 tableaux participated in the parade,with 16 of them belonging to states and the union territories. A giant mechanised lion symbolic of Make in India policy, huge mock-up of Karnataka’s famed wooden toys, scale model of Sardar Patel’s Statue of Unity, bullet train and safety and education of girl child were some of the attractions.
Furthermore Reports of Republic Day celebrations are pouring in from different States and Union Territories across the country. Governors and Chief Ministers unfurled the national flag. The Governors also took salute at the march past by contingents of police and armed forces. Various cultural programmes and tableaux were presented to mark the celebrations.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the main function of Republic Day celebrations was held in the winter capital city of Jammu today. The function was organised at M.A. Stadium where the State Governor N.N.Vohra hoisted the Tricolour. In the Kashmir Valley, the Republic Day was also celebrated amidst unprecedented security arrangements. The function was held at Bakshi stadium, where Kashmir Divisional Commissioner unfurled the national flag. For the first time since 2005, the mobile phone and mobile Internet services were not disrupted in Kashmir Valley as part of the security drill for Republic Day celebrations.
In Leh in Jammu & Kashmir, the Chief Executive Councillor of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh, Mr Rigzin Spalbar hoisted the national flag.
In Assam, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi unfurled the tricolor at Khanapara in Guwahati. Referring to the massacre of 23rd of last month in his speech, the Chief Minister said that violence will not solve any problem. Gogoi said that the government is committed to take strict action against the terrorists. He also appealed all militant groups to shun violence.
In Chhatisgarh, Governor Balramji Das Tandon unfurled the national flag and took the salute at the Republic Day parade held in state capital Raipur. AIR Correspondent has reported that Chief Minister Raman Singh hoisted the tri-colour at Maoist affected Bastar divisional headquarter Jagdalpur.
In Andhra Pradesh, Governor E.S.L Narasimhan paid tributes to Pingali Venkaiah, who had designed the national flag.
There are similar reports of Republic Day celebrations from Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Maharashtra and several other states.
Major Mukund Varadarajan and Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh, the two army personnel who laid down their lives combating militants in Kashmir Valley, were today awarded posthumously the highest peacetime military honour, the Ashok Chakra, by President Pranab Mukherjee.
The awards were received by their wives at the 66th Republic Day celebrations. Both the army men laid down their lives while battling groups of militants in separate operations in Shopian and Kupwara districts of Kashmir.
Major Varadarajan, who was an officer in the Rajput Regiment of the Indian Army, killed three terrorists in an encounter in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir in April last while Naik Neeraj Singh leading a search operation in general area Gurdaji of Kupwara district in August came under heavy fire from terrorists.