Kiran Bedi recalls she was ‘shortest’ heading tall men on R-Day parade



New Delhi: Thirty-eight years ago on the same day, country's first woman IPS officer Kiran Bedi created history when she led Delhi Police contingent at the Republic Day parade.

Bedi, the then Assistant Superintendent of Police (Chanakyapuri) at the age of 26, became the first woman to lead a contingent during the prestigious parade in 1975.

"...I led the Delhi Police contingent in 1975. First time a woman led a male parade. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was overjoyed," Bedi wrote on twitter today.

The 64-year-old activist recalled the day and said she was the "shortest" heading tall men behind her in Delhi Police contingent. "And as I saluted PM, Mrs Gandhi stood up cheering! I saw her.

"PM Indira Gandhi was so happy seeing me lead Delhi Police parade in 1975 that she invited me for breakfast following morning," she said.

She said the then Delhi Police chief was not sure that as a woman she could lead. "I had to assert for it. And he was happy that I did," she said.

Recalling the parade, she said they practiced many months prior on Rajpath every morning in the biting cold.

"We marched all 14 Km from Vijay Chowk to Red Fort with sword in hand. Thousands cheered us all through. The most momentous day of my life," Bedi said.

PTI