New Delhi, January 26: India gears up for a momentous platinum celebrations of the country's Republic Day on Friday with an enthralling showcase of its military prowess and rich cultural heritage at the majestic 'Kartavya Path' in the national capital. President Droupadi Murmu will lead the country in the grand celebrations in its journey of Amrit Kaal that began post the 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' celebrations to commemorate 75 years of the country's independence.
Viksit Bharat's rich cultural diversity the 'Aatmanirbhar' military prowess and the growing Nari Shakti are the dominating themes of the 90-minute parade that will be graced by French President Emmanuel Macron as Chief Guest. For the first time ever, an all-women Tri-Service contingent marching down the Kartavya Path. Women pilots will also enthral the audience during the Indian Air Force's fly-past, representing Nari Shakti (women power). The contingents of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) will also consist of only women personnel.
Republic Day 2024 Parade:
The parade will be heralded by over 100 women artists playing Indian musical instruments. The parade would commence with the music of Sankh, Naadswaram, Nagada, etc. to be played by these women artists.
The ceremonial event will witness the classic display of the nation's defence forces with an exhilarating display of mighty cavalcades comprising of mechanised columns state of the art equipment, marches of contingents and a display of varied culture and unity in diversity of the nation.
Based on the twin themes of 'Viksit Bharat' and 'Bharat - Loktantra ki Matruka', this year's parade will witness the participation of around 13,000 special Guests - an initiative which will provide an opportunity to people from all walks of life to take part in the celebrations and encourage Jan Bhagidari in this national festival. The Republic Day parade will commence at 10.30 am and run for a duration of approximately 90 minutes.
PM Modi To Kick-Off Republic Day Celebrations Ceremony
The ceremony will start with the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the National War Memorial, where he will lead the nation in paying solemn tributes to the fallen heroes by laying a wreath. Thereafter, Prime Minister and other dignitaries will head to the saluting dais at Kartavya Path to witness the parade. After this President Murmu and her French counterpart Macron will be escorted by the President's Bodyguard, the senior most Regiment of the Indian Army. This Republic Day is special for this elite Regiment which have completed 250 years of service since its raising in 1773.
The two Presidents will arrive in the 'traditional buggy', a practice which is making a comeback after a gap of 40 years, the Defence Ministry said.
The National Flag will be unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute given with indigenous gun system 105-mm Indian Field Guns. Four Mi-17 IV helicopters of 105 Helicopter Unit will shower flower petals on the audience present at Kartavya Path.
This will be followed by 'Aavaahan', a band performance by over 100 women artists playing various types of percussion instruments, symbolising Nari Shakti. The parade will then commence with President Murmu taking the salute. The parade will be commanded by Parade Commander, Lieutenant General Bhavnish Kumar, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area.
Kartavya Path will be witness to a march past by a combined band and marching contingent of the French Armed Forces. A 30-member band contingent will be headed by Captain Khourda, which will be followed by a 90-member marching contingent, led by Captain Noel. One multi-role tanker transport aircraft and two Rafale fighter jets of the French Air and Space Force will fly above the contingents while they march past the saluting dais.
French Contingent, Band To Participate
A 95-member marching contingent and a 33-member band contingent from France will also take part in the parade. Contingents of the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, CAPF, Delhi Police, NCC, and NSS will march on the Kartavya Path. Tableaux of 16 States and nine ministries will also take part.
For the third consecutive year, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Culture will present a cultural extravaganza 'Vande Bharatam' on the theme 'Cultural expression of women power - accomplishment through resolve'. Around 1,500 female dancers will mesmerise the audience with a colourful performance, giving the message of unity in diversity.
The grand performance includes 30 folk dance styles uniquely prevalent in different states, as well as contemporary classical dance and Bollywood styles. The artists include tribal dancers, folk dancers, and classical dancers. The Ministry of Culture will be showcasing 'Anant Sutra - The Endless Thread' textile installation at Kartavya Path during the parade.
Installed behind the spectators seated in the enclosures, the unique installation is a visually-stunning tribute to the saree, India's timeless gift to the world of fashion. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi earlier, Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane said women marching contingents will form the major chunk of the parade, with most of the tableaux of States/Union Territories (UTs) and Central Ministries/Organisations showcasing the country's rich cultural diversity, unity and progress.
He reiterated that the themes have been selected in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's views that 'India is truly a mother of democracy'.
All-Women Tri-Service Contingent To Join Republic Day Parade
The parade will also witness an all-women Tri-Service contingent marching down Kartavya Path for the first time. The CAPF contingents will also consist of women personnel. The Defence Secretary further stated that several beneficiaries of the government schemes and the achievers in the Self-Help groups (SHGs) are being invited to attend the Republic Day celebrations and they will sit opposite to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"PM Street Vendor's, AtmaNirbhar Nidhi, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana--there are around 30 such programmes benefiting various cross-sections of the people. They are the people at the grassroots level who represent India, who not only have benefited from the government but also come on top of it. Those are the people we are calling, giving them the main enclosure opposite to the PM. They will watch the parade by sitting opposite PM," the Defence Secretary said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Major General Sumit Mehta said that in the Republic Day Parade, for the first time, an all-women tri-services contingent will take part, which will include women troops of the Army's military police along with women from the other two services.
Meanwhile, the Special Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, Delhi, Dependra Pathak, informed earlier in the day that the Delhi Police has made all the necessary arrangements for Republic Day event. "The traffic unit, security unit and district unit have been deployed for the security arrangements. Like every other year, Republic Day is being celebrated with joy and fervour this year," the special commissioner said.
"The Delhi police have a focused responsibility on this special day and the police personnel of the Delhi police have made the security arrangements professionally for this year's celebrations as well," he added.As per officials, over 8,000 security personnel have been deployed and security has been increased with the help of technology and human intelligence surveillance in Delhi.