Monday, January 25, 2016

Curtain Raiser – Republic Day 2016

The Nation’s military prowess and achievements in different fields, state-of- the-art defence platforms, its diverse cultural and social traditions, and the government’s emphasis on self-reliance and indigenisation will be showcased before the public at the historic Rajpath when the country celebrates its 67th Republic Day tomorrow.

The highlights of this year’s Parade will be, for the first time in the history of Republic Day Parade, a 76-member French Army contingent led by a French military band consisting of 48 musicians marching on Rajpath and presenting a ceremonial salute to the President of India. The French Army contingent is led by Lt Col Paul Bury.

After a gap of 26 years, an Army dog squad drawn from the Remount Veterinary Corps (RVC) will also take part, along with their handlers. This will definitely add a special charm to the occasion.

Sticking to the 66 year tradition of the Republic Day Celebration, the colourful BSF Camel Regiment consisting of 56 camels led by Deputy Commandant Kuldeep J Choudhary will take part. For the first time the parade will also see an Ex-Servicemen Tableau, where Army veterans with their eye-catching float will pass the saluting dais, wherein pioneering role of Ex-Servicemen in nation building will be displayed.

The Indian Army’s missile firing capability T-90 ‘Bhishma’ tank, Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP II (Sarath), Mobile Autonomous Launcher of the BrahMos Missile System, Akash Weapon System, Smerch Launcher Vehicles and Integrated Communication Electronic Warfare System (ICEWS) will be the main draw in the mechanised columns.

An Indian Air Force Tableau will roll down the Rajpath with the theme ‘Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations by IAF: In Service of the Nation and Beyond’. The Tableau showcases the IAF’s role in Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Yemen and Nepal rescue and relief operations, by displaying models of C-17 Globemaster, C-130 Hercules and MI-17V5 aircraft. 

This year the Indian Navy’s Tableau will have the theme ‘Empowering India through Maritime security and Indigenisation.’ The Tableau displays flight deck operations on the new aircraft carrier ‘Vikrant’ under construction at the Kochi Shipyard Ltd and the indigenously constructed submarine ‘Kalvari’ by Mazagaon Dock Ltd, Mumbai, having a ‘Made in India’ tag on them.

The parade ceremony will commence at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate where the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will lead the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath. An eternal flame burns at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to commemorate the indomitable courage of our Armed Forces personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the motherland. The Amar Jawan, the immortal soldier, is symbolised by a reversed rifle standing on its barrel and crested by a soldier’s helmet. 

As per tradition, after unfurling of the National Flag, the National Anthem will be played with a 21 gun salute. The parade will then commence and the President will take the salute. This year’s Chief Guest in the parade will be His Excellency Mr. Francois Hollande, the President of the Republic of France. The parade will be commanded by Lt. General Rajan Ravindran, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area. Major General Rajesh Sahai, Chief of Staff, Headquarters Delhi Area will be the parade Second-in-Command. 

Param Vir Chakra winners Subedar Major & Honorary Captain Bana Singh (Retd), Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers and Naib/Subedar Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles and Ashok Chakra winners Major General Cyrus A Pithawalla (Retd), Subedar Major (Honorary Captain) Sunder Singh (Retd), Major D Sreeram Kumar, Instructor, Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Lieutenant Colonel Jas Ram Singh (Retd), Honorary Naib Subedar Chhering Mutup (Retd), Shri Hukum Singh and Shri Govind Singh both from district of Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh and Shri Bhure Lal of District Guna also from Madhya Pradesh will follow the Deputy Parade Commander on Jeeps. 

            The marching contingents of Army will include horse-mounted columns of the 61st Cavalry, the Parachute Regiment, the Corps of Signals, the Rajput Regiment, the Garhwal Rifles, the Assam Regiment, 11 Gorkha Rifles and Remount Veterinary Corps Dog Squad.

The marching contingent of Navy comprising 144 young sailors will be led by Lieutenant Commander Anil Raina, while the Indian Air Force contingent comprising 144 men will be led by Flt Lt Ashish Mann. The Paramilitary and other auxiliary civil forces will include contingents from the Border Security Force, Assam Rifles, Indian Coast Guard, an all women contingent of Central Reserve Police Force, Railway Protection Force, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme.

Tableaux from 17 States and 06 Central Ministries and Departments will present the varied historical, architectural and cultural heritage of the country. They will also showcase country’s progress in different fields, particularly floats from Goa, Gujarat, Odisha, West Bengal and Assam with their varied themes, which will be of special attraction. Similarly floats of Ministry of Communication and IT based on ‘Digital India’, the Ministry of Panchayat Raj float on ‘Empowered Women and empowered Panchayat Raj and Society’ and float of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation on ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ will showcase the rapid development of some of the flagship programmes of the Government.

Twenty three of the Twenty five children selected for the National Bravery Award–2015 will also participate in the parade. Two children have got the award posthumously. In the children’s pageant section, about 500 boys and girls drawn from five schools in Delhi and a group of school children from South Central Zone Cultural Centre will perform colourful dances on Rajpath. ‘Dare Devils’- the motorcycle display team of Corps of Signals will be a major attraction of the parade. They will perform different stunts like ‘Salute to President’, ‘Signal Rocket’, ‘Signal Fighter’, ‘Abhimanyu’, ‘Shradhanjali’, ‘Commando’, ‘Lotus formation’, and ‘Human Pyramid’, etc. on moving motor cycles. 

The grand finale of the parade will be a spectacular flypast by the IAF. The flypast will commence with the ‘Chakra’ formation, comprising three Mi-35 helicopters in ‘Vic’ formation, followed by the ‘Hercules’ formation comprising three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft in ‘Vic’ formation. Trailing them will be the ‘Globe formation’ comprising one C-17 Globemaster flanked by two Su-30s. Next in line will be the fighters, where five Jaguars will fly in Arrowhead formation, another five MiG-29 Air Superiority Fighters called the ‘Tridents’ will fly in Fulcrum style. Then the breath-taking ‘Trishul’ formation comprising three Su-30 MKI of No. 24 Squadron would fly over the Rajpath, and once in front of the saluting dais, the Su-30 MKI aircraft will split upwards, making a Trishul in the sky. The flypast will conclude with another Su-30 MKI carrying out a ‘Vertical Charlie’ manoeuvre over the saluting dais.

The ceremony will culminate with the National Anthem and release of balloons. 

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