India celebrates 73rd Republic Day, military prowess on display
India celebrated its 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday, January 26. In the traditional annual parade in New Delhi, the country's military prowess and cultural diversity were on full display. President Ram Nath Kovind flagged off the parade at Rajpath, which began at 10:30 am, a delay of half an hour to ensure better visibility as fog remains an issue in the capital city.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the National War Memorial in the morning and paid tribute to India's fallen soldiers. The PM and other officials then proceeded to Rajpath. The parade featured several contingents of the Indian Army and other special forces, a total of 21 tableaux from several Indian states and union territories, as well as cultural performances.
आप सभी को गणतंत्र दिवस की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं। जय हिंद!— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 26, 2022
Wishing you all a happy Republic Day. Jai Hind! #RepublicDay
The Indian Army showcased the progression of its uniform and weapons over the last 25 years. In the Naval contingent, a total of 96 young sailors and four officers participated. Additionally, there were 96 airmen and four officers in the Indian Air Force's contingent. A tableau by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) also represented India's defense achievements.
For the second year in a row, India's Republic Day celebrations have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Only fully vaccinated adults and single-dose vaccinated children aged 15 and above were allowed at the parade. In fact, no foreign leader was present as chief guest. Last year, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson had canceled his visit due to the COVID-19 situation.
India had gained independence from British rule on August 15, 1947. The Constituent Assembly, which had drafted the Constitution of India, held its first session on December 9, 1946. Its last session was conducted on November 26, 1949. On January 26, 1950, the Indian Constitution had come into effect, marking India's transition into a republic.
Meanwhile, the annual Beating Retreat ceremony, which marks the culmination of Republic Day celebrations, will be held at Vijay Chowk in Delhi on January 29. A drone show, featuring 1,000 indigenously manufactured drones, has reportedly been planned for the event.