India's Military Might To Be On Display At Republic Day Parade Today

India's Military Might To Be On Display At Republic Day Parade Today

India is celebrating its 71st Republic Day today, on January 26. (File)

New Delhi: Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro will be the Chief Guest today as India celebrates its 71st Republic Day with a 90-minute display of government-sanctioned tableaus focusing on the nation's military might, cultural diversity and socio-economic progress. The Republic Day parade ceremony will start with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the National War Memorial, where he will pay tributes to soldiers who died fighting for the country; this is the first time the PM will pay tribute at the war memorial instead of Amar Jawan Jyoti. The national flag will then be unfurled, followed by the anthem and a 21-gun salute. Elaborate security measures have been put in place for this showpiece event, including a ground-to-air security blanket with thousands of police and paramilitary personnel keeping vigil.

Here are the top 10 points about Republic Day 2020 parade:

  1. 22 tableaus - 16 from states and union territories and the rest from various ministries and departments - will take part in the Republic Day parade. Certain states, such as Bengal and Kerala, will not be represented after their tableau ideas were rejected by the centre.

  2. The nation's armed forces, so often the highlight of the parade, will once again take centre-stage on Sunday, with the Army's battle tank Bhishma, Infantry Combat Vehicle Ballway Machine Pikate and the Air Force's brand new Rafale fighter jet and Chinook and Apache helicopters likely to be the stars of the show.

  3. The Indian Army will be represented by 61 Cavalry in the uniform of the erstwhile Gwalior Lancers; raised in 1953, the 61 Cavalry is the only active horse cavalry regiment in the world. The Army will also be represented by six marching columns (including those of the the Kumaon Regiment and the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment), eight mechanised columns and a fly-past by the Rudra and Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters.

  4. The Air Force contingent, comprising 144 air warriors, will be led by Flight Lieutenant Shrikant Sharma. The tableau will showcase scaled-down models of the newly-acquired French-made Rafale fighter jet, the indigenous Tejas aircraft and the Light Combat Helicopter, as well as the Akash and Astra missile systems.

  5. Five Jaguar deep-penetration strike aircraft and five upgraded MiG-29 air superiority fighters will display their prowess in the ''Arrowhead'' formation.

  6. Another highlight will be the marching contingent of the DRDO, which will showcase the anti-satellite weapon Mission Shakti. A breakthrough weapon, Shakti is proof of the country's capacity in bringing down hostile satellites.

  7. The Naval continent will comprise 144 young sailors led by Lieutenant Jitin Malkat and will be followed by a naval tableau titled "Indian Navy - Silent, Strong and Swift".

  8. A contingent of CRPF women bikers will make history by performing daredevil stunts. The contingent will be led by Inspector Seema Nag, who will be seen saluting while standing atop a moving motorcycle.

  9. The grand finale, and possibly one of the most keenly awaited segments of the parade, the "Trishul" fly-past will be carried out by three Advanced Light Helicopters and will be the first time a "tri-service formation" will take part in a Republic Day parade. This will be followed by a "Vic" formation of Chinook helicopters.

  10. The tableaus on show will also include "Start-Up India" and "Jal Jeevan Mission", as part of the work carried out by various government ministries.