President Patil awards 'Colours' to five armoured corps regiments

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Jhansi, Oct 19 (ANI): For the first time in the history of the Indian Army, 'Colours' were awarded to five-T 90 regiments of 31 Armoured Division at a parade held at Babina in Uttar Pradesh's Jhansi District on Tuesday.

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil,who is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, awarded the colours soon after her arrival here. Before awarding the colours, she inspected a guard of honour and a parade accompanied by Colonel Chetinder Singh and Major General Anil Bhalla.

"It gives me immense pleasure to be with you today at Babina to award the Standards to the Armoured Regiments of the 31 Armoured Division.I congratulate you for the magnificent display of combat power. The high standard of your drill and the impressive turnout is indicative of your high morale and your capability to carry out tasks assigned to you during war or peace," said President Patil.

"The Armed Forces have always assured the citizens of their safety and security against external, as well as internal threats. The history of your Regiments spanning over 26 years is replete with examples of heroism, professionalism and dedication to duty in the highest tradition of the Indian Army," she added ahead of presenting the Standards simultaneously to 83, 12, 13, 15 and 19 armoured regiments.

Further congratulating the five armoured regiments, President Patil said the nation is proud of their sincerity, dedication, selflessness and enthusiasm put on display every time.

"I wish all the Regiments the very best on this momentous day and for times to come. May the 'Standards' continue to inspire each one of you foreover," she added.

Before the presentation of colours,priests belonging to four diferent castes -- Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christianity -- recited special prayers for the flags (nishaan).

The President also conveyed her wishes for the upcoming 'Diwali Festival' and wished that it bring happiness and prosperity to the family of the 'Armoured Regiments'.

The T-90s later presented a mounted parade in honour of President Patil.

For the first time in the history of the Indian Army, 81 tanks participated in the parade. It appeared significant as 204 tanks were on display at the Ranjit Singh parade ground here.

President Patil later released the 'First Day Cover', which marked the occasion.

The efforts put in by all during the preparations for the mega event conducted today displayed a fine example of complete synergy between the army and civil counterparts.

Army Chief General V K Singh, the General Officer Commanding in Chief, Southern Army Command, Lt. General Pradeep Khanna, and other civil and military dignitaries were also present at the function.

A large number of retired army and civil dignitaries also attended the event along with their family members.

The presentation of colours is a martial legacy, centuries old and is reminiscent of the heroic deeds of by-gone battlefields. While the practice of carrying the colour into battle has died, the tradition of receiving, holding and parading it continues.

After the parade was over, the army band played the national anthem to bring to an end to the historic event. By Amit Shankar (ANI)

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