Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: As India celebrates 65th Republic Day, the true essence of Indian pride came alive on the 8km stretch from Raisina Hills to Red Fort as the marching contingents presented a brilliant display of the country`s military prowess and a kaleidoscope of cultural richness.
Braving the fog and winter chill, proud spectators cheered as the various contingents marched past.
The impressive highlight of this year`s parade was DRDO`s Tejas, the Indian `Light Combat Aircraft` which is believed to be a game changer for India`s air defence preparedness. Other military weapons flaunted by the DRDO at this year`s parade were ‘Arjun Mk-II’, the mark II version of
Indian Main Battle Tank ; a tableau displaying “Astra” and “Helina” missiles and another tableau exhibiting unmanned systems.
Also on display were transport aircraft C-130J Super Hercules and C-17 Globemaster, the recently inducted gems of Indian military kit.
Indian Army showcased T-90 tank `Bheeshma`, multi-launcher rocket system Smerch, Brahmos weapon system and transportable satellite terminals.
Besides, Indian Air Force`s grand tableau that was based on the theme of transformation of the IAF over the past eighty years, Indian Navy showcased a miniature model of INS Arihant - India`s first indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine.
Having showcased the nation`s military might, the parade shifted to presenting a visual delight of colourful state tableaux, which brought out the grandeur of various cultural colours that make India.
This year, the Republic Day parade witnessed a set of 18 tableaux marching on the Rajpath -13 state tableaux and five of Union Ministries / Departments.
From rain-soaked Meghalaya`s Arecanut to the desert state Rajasthan`s `terah taali` dance form and along `Kawad` art, the state tableaux presented a beautiful view of each state`s cultural speciality.
The chief guest of this year`s parade was witnessed by Japan PM Shinzo Abe, who watched the tableaux along with Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister AK Antony, and top political and military brass.
The day began with the PM Manmohan Singh paying homage to the unknown soldier as he laid a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial with the three service chiefs in attendance.
After the President unfurled the tricolour and a customary 21-gun salute, Sub Inspector K Prasad Babu of Andhra Pradesh`s counter-Maoist force - was awarded Ashok Chakra posthumously for having fought Maoists valiantly near Andhra-Chhattisgarh border.