The Republic Day Parade 2019 is set to come up with several firsts and some unique features that are creating a buzz around the event to be held in New Delhi on Saturday.
The spectacle that will unfold along Rajpath includes a lot of the customary pomp and show. But a special focus on women and some current developments will add to the excitement for the audience at the venue as well as those watching it on television in India and the rest of the world.
Here are 5 important things to look out for in this year’s Republic Day parade –
1. All-Woman Contingent Of Assam Rifles
As many as 146 women soldiers of the Assam Rifles will be marching as part of the Republic Parade 2019. This will be the first time when an all-woman contingent from a central paramilitary force would participate at the event at Rajpath.
The women soldiers aim to win the best marching contingent trophy.
It was decided to open the Assam Rifles for women in 2012. However, it started in 2015 after a lot of research and preparation. The first batch commenced with an oath taken by 127 the Assam Rifles’ first batch of Riflewomen in 2016.
A team of women officers from the India Army would also present bike stunts on Rajpath.
2. INA Members To Join In
For the first time, the 70th Republic Day parade will witness the participation of the veterans of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army (INA).
PM Narendra Modi cleared the proposal of the four members of the INA to travel down Rajpath seated in a jeep during the parade on Tuesday, reported Times Now.
The move is being viewed as the Modi government’s endeavour to give due credit to Subhas Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army. PM Modi has also renamed three islands of the Andaman and Nicobar as a tribute to Subhas Chandra Bose.
The four veterans aged over 95 include Parmanand, Lalit Ram, Hira Singh and Bhagmal who have contributed significantly in the World War II.
3. “Mohan Se Mahatma”
To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the ‘father of the nation’ Mahatma Gandhi, 22 tableaux will descend on Rajpath for the parade.
On this 70th Republic Day, the tableau of Indian Railways will also illustrate an evolutionary journey of Mahatma Gandhi and Indian Railways.
The tableau of the Railways will depict the transformation of Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi to Mahatma Gandhi.
This includes the 1893’s incident where the young Mohan Das was thrown out of a “European only” compartment at Pietermaritzburg railway station in South Africa.
The front portion of tableau will show a steam engine with Gandhi’s bust similar to the one that had been installed in June last year 2018 at the Pietermaritzburg railway station.
The second coach of the middle portion will illustrate Gandhi with his wife, Kasturba Gandhi, meeting people at railway station as he travelled in third class compartment in 1915.
In the rear portion of the tableau, Mahatma Gandhi will be shown collecting donations for the ‘Harijan Fund’ during his train journey in 1945-46.
The side panel will showcase how Indian Railways has spearheaded Mahatma Gandhi’s Swadeshi vision as shown in Indian Railways journey starting from steam engines till Train-18.
Another highlight of the 70th Republic Day parade is Punjab’s tableau based on the theme of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
4. Might Of Indian Armed Forces On Display
In the Republic Day parade 2019, Indian Army will showcase the new artillery guns it has acquired 30 years after the induction of Bofors.
These include the M777 A2 Ultra light howitzers which were inducted into the army in 2018 from United States and the K9 Vajra self-propelled guns, which are the South Korean artillery guns manufactured by L&T under the ‘Make-in- India’ scheme.
Republic Day Parade 2019 will also see the ‘Surface Mine Clearing System’, an army equipment.
Indian Army has also created the ‘Sankhnaad’ martial tune which will be played by three contingents on Saturday, as reported by the Times of India.
Besides this, DRDO will display two projects which are still under trial for the first time. These are the medium range surface to air missile and the Arjun Armoured Recovery and Repair Vehicle.
Indian Air Force‘s An-32 transport aircraft will be seen touching the skies using 10% bio-fuel for the first time.
5. Protecting The Indian Railways
The contingent of Railway Protection Force (RPF), an Armed Force of the Union of India will also participate in the Republic Day Parade 2019, representing about 75,000 men of the force deployed throughout the length and breadth of Indian Railways.
Led by Inspector Mushtaq Ahmed, the RPF band consists of three subordinate officers and 88 other ranks playing the marching tune of “Bharat ke Jawan”.
Prior to this year, the RPF contingent had participated in the Republic Day Parade 2016.
During the last 61 year of its existence, RPF has sacrificed more than 900 men in the service of the Nation, winning a total of 929 prestigious medals.
The Tricolour flew high as the full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade 2019 began from Vijay Chowk and culminated at Red Fort, Delhi, on Wednesday.
(Note – All the photos are courtesy the Twitter handle of PIB.)