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On 69th Republic Day, India set new record with over 1.1 million tweets

The country's 69th Republic Day celebrations generated a record number of tweets at over 1.1 million this year.

On 69th Republic Day, India set new record with over 1.1 million tweets

Washington: The country's 69th Republic Day celebrations on Friday generated a record number of tweets at over 1.1 million this year, a Silicon Valley-based social media company said Saturday.

"The celebrations garnered over 1.1 million tweets, setting a new conversation record for #RepublicDay, that trended no 1 worldwide throughout the day, compared to over 900,000 tweets celebrating the occasion in 2017," a spokesperson said in a statement on Twitter.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's greetings to his countrymen in Hindi on the occasion the Republic Day was the most liked one.

This was followed by his tweet in which he welcomed the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders for joining the celebrations as the chief guest.

ASEAN member states include Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei.

"India extends a warm welcome to the @ASEAN leaders who have arrived to take part in the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit (AICS) to celebrate 25 years of India-ASEAN partnership and our #RepublicDay celebrations. It is the honour of 125 crore Indians to host these eminent leaders," Modi had tweeted.

"From political leaders, celebrities, athletes to Indians from all walks of life, celebrations of Republic Day on Twitter sets a new conversation record with #RepublicDay trending no 1 worldwide for the day," the statement said.

Prominent among those were by the Union Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad, US Ambassador to India Ken Juster, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman; Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi's letter to the nation was also among the popular tweets of the day. 

Hundreds of men, women and children donning thick woollens braved the morning winter chill to watch the country's military prowess and diverse cultural heritage on display at the 69th Republic Day parade at Rajpath on Friday.

A blanket of thick fog that engulfed the city in the morning and tight security restrictions didn`t deter the enthusiasts from venturing out to gather at Rajpath, literary meaning King`s Way - a ceremonial boulevard that runs from Rashtrapati Bhavan on Raisina Hill to India Gate. 

The parade, a showcase of an impeccable display of might by the Armed Forces and India`s soft power, this year had many firsts to its credit. 

India, for the first time, after becoming a republic invited 10 guests of honour - heads of state or government from the 10 ASEAN countries.

Sporting a multi-coloured turban with a long free-flowing end, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the 10 ASEAN guests personally, inviting them to the stage where the who`s who of the government, including President Ram Nath Kovind and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, were seated. 

Another first and a thrilling one at that was the sight of women BSF officers riding 350cc Royal Enfield motorcycles, performing acrobatics and daredevil stunts with panache along the Rajpath.

In another first, Rudra armed helicopters were part of the flypast, in addition to the roaring IAF fighter jets.

There were sombre moments as well. Kovind awarded the Ashoka Chakra - India`s highest peace-time gallantry decoration - posthumously to Air Force Commando J.P. Nirala, who lost his life in Jammu and Kashmir fighting a group of terrorists in a north Kashmir village in November last.

Earlier, Modi led the nation in paying homage to the fallen soldier. He laid a wreath at the eternal flame at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to commemorate the courage of India`s Armed Forces personnel, killed in the line of duty.

The Amar Jawan, the immortal soldier, is symbolised by a reversed rifle standing on its barrel and crested by a soldier`s helmet at the war memorial.

A two-minute silence observed at the Amar Jawan Jyoti by Modi, saw a hush descend on the Rajpath before it came abuzz with the footsteps of marching soldiers, whirring sounds of moving vehicles carrying prototypes of defence equipment, and folksongs played on tableaux of various states, and government ministries and departments displaying their achievements.

The daredevil stunts of the women BSF officers, who came riding on 26 350cc Royal Enfield motorcycles, were a real head turner.

A loud cheer went up as the `Seema Bhawani` women`s contingent performed stunts like a `Peacock` shape on one bike, `Fish riding`, `Four Harmony`, `Sapt Rishi`, `Brahma yog Guldasta (lotus formation)`, `Seema Prahari` and `Flag March Pyramid`. It was the first all-women contingent from any force to perform biking stunts.

All heads turned towards the sky during the grand finale - a spectacular flypast by the IAF`s flying machines that performed aerobatic manoeuvers over Rajpath.

After the event concluded, Prime Minister Modi walked down a few metres along Rajpath -- like he had last year -- waving towards the crowd. 

During the parade, Delhi`s main promenade came alive showcasing India`s latest initiatives and achievements along with its rich diverse social and cultural heritage, as the enthusiastic crowd, holding tri-colour balloons, clapped loudly and cheered to mark the day India adopted its Constitution 68 years ago. 

Around the parade venue, the city had literally turned into a fortress with special security teams, anti-aircraft guns and snipers deployed to keep a vigil on the eight-km path from Rajpath to Red Fort.

Hundreds of CCTV cameras and drones kept a close watch on people`s movements along the route. Nearly 60,000 security personnel from the Delhi Police and central security forces were deployed in central Delhi.

(With Agency inputs)