Republic Day 2022: India's military might, rich cultural heritage on display at Rajpath
New Delhi, Jan 26: The majestic Rajpath saw a scintillating display of India's military might and resplendent cultural diversity as the country celebrated its 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday.
A major highlight of the parade is the stunning flypast by 75 aircraft of the Indian Air Force. Vintage as well as current modern aircraft/helicopters like Rafale, Sukhoi, Jaguar, Mi-17, Sarang, Apache and Dakota displayed different formations, including Rahat, Meghna, Eklavya, Trishul, Tiranga, Vijay and Amrit.
Showcased at the Republic Day parade were the Centurion tank, PT-76 tank, 75/24 Pack howitzer and OT-62 TOPAZ armoured personnel carrier that played a major role in defeating Pakistan in the 1971 war. India in 2021 celebrated the Swarnim Vijay Varsh (Golden victory year) to commemorate the country's win over Pakistan in the 1971 war that led to the creation of Bangladesh.
The mechanised columns of the Army showed one PT-76 tank, one Centurion tank, two MBT Arjun MK-I tanks, one OT-62 TOPAZ armoured personnel carrier, one BMP-I infantry fighting vehicle and two BMP-II infantry fighting vehicles. The ceremony began with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial, a monument to the soldiers who have made supreme sacrifice for the country. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the three service chiefs were present at the solemn ceremony.
The ceremony culminated with the national anthem and the release of Tri-colour balloons.
The Republic Day parade (RDP)-2022 is happening in the 75th year of Indian independence, which is being celebrated as 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' across the country.
The national flag was unfurled on 73rd Republic Day at Rajpath followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute on Wednesday. According to the tradition, the 21-gun salute was presented by the ceremonial battery of 871 field regiment.
The ceremonial battery was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Jitender Singh Mehta. President Ram Nath Kovind honoured the proud winners of the highest gallantry, including the winners of Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra. Flower petals were showered by four Mi-17 V5 helicopters flying in the wineglass formation.
Masked, vaccinated, socially distanced - only 5,000 people attend R-Day parade
Crowds at the Republic Day parade on Wednesday were curtailed to just 5,000 people, all double masked, vaccinated and maintaining strict 'do gaz ki doori' in view of the Covid situation. Only double vaccinated adults and children above the age of 15 who have taken at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine were allowed to enter the venue. Children below 15 years were not permitted to attend. There was strict security with personnel maintaining strict vigil. Chairs were placed at a distance to ensure social distancing. Participants also received a white cap with "Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav" printed on it.