Rajpath witnesses shining R-Day showtext_fields
New Delhi: India celebrated its 73rd Republic Day today with the iconic parade at Delhi's Rajpath showcasing its military prowess and cultural pageantry. A flypast by 75 aircraft and helicopters was the highlight of this year's parade.
The grand Republic Day parade started at 10:30 am today amid foggy weather. As per tradition, the national flag was unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute, presented by Ceremonial Battery of 871 Field Regiment.
Ahead of the event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to India's fallen soldiers at the National War Memorial.
The parade, led by Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, started after the tricolour was unfurled with a 21-gun salute. The winners of the country's highest gallantry awards, Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra, led the contingents in saluting the President, the Supreme Commander of armed forces.
Several government ministries and departments also took out tableaux, highlighting flagship initiatives such as Jal Jeevan Mission. The Central Public Works Development tableau paid tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary.
The people had started arriving at the Rajpath as early as 5 a.m. in the morning, even as the parade began at 10.30 a.m.
However, this year the rush compared to previous years was less, possibly owing to the fear of the latest Omicron variant of novel coronavirus. Notably, this is the second time India is celebrating Republic Day in a subdued manner.
Strict Covid protocol was in place as only 5,000 people attended the celebrations at Rajpath. Only fully vaccinated adults and children above 15 who had received the first shot were allowed. Due to the pandemic, there was no foreign contingent this year.
The security personnel were even checking the Covid vaccination certificates at the entrance of the Rajpath area.
Amid chilly weather in the morning, the slogans "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" and "Vande Matram" injected the heat of patriotism in the veins of the people.