President of India, H.E. Mrs. Droupadi Murmu was led the Nation in celebrating the 74th Republic Day from Kartavya Path in New Delhi on January 26, 2023. Egyptian President, H.E. Mr Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was the Chief Guest at the parade. Building on last year’s celebrations, in the 75th year of Independence celebrated as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the celebration witnessed zeal, enthusiasm, patriotic fervour and ‘Jan Bhagidari’, as envisioned by Prime Minister of India, H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi.
The week-long celebrations commenced on 23rd January, the birth anniversary of great freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. To mark the occasion, a one-of-a-kind Military Tattoo and Tribal Dance Festival ‘Aadi Shaurya – Parv Parakram ka’ was organised in New Delhi on 23rd& 24th January. The events was culminated on 30th January, which is observed as Martyrs’ Day.
The celebration was marked by attractive performances from Vande Bharatam group of dancers from across the country, tales of bravery by Veer Gatha 2.0 participants, melodious performances by School Bands at the National War Memorial, first-ever e-invitations, largest-ever drone show and 3-D anamorphic projection.
The Republic Day parade, which was began at around 1030 hrs, was a unique mix of the country’s military prowess & cultural diversity, depicting the country’s growing indigenous capabilities, Nari Shakti and emergence of a ‘New India’.
The parade ceremony was commenced with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited the National War Memorial. He was led the nation in paying solemn tributes to the fallen heroes by laying a wreath. Thereafter, the Prime Minister and other dignitaries was headed to the saluting dais at Kartavya Path to witness the parade.
As per tradition, the National Flag wasl unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute. Amongst the many firsts, the 21-gun salute wasgiven with 105-mm Indian Field Guns. It replaced the vintage 25 pounder gun, reflecting upon the growing ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence. Four Mi-17 1V/V5 helicopters of 105 Helicopter Unit was showerd flower petals on the audience presented at Kartavya Path.
The parade was commence with the President taken the salute. The parade was commanded by Parade Commander, Lieutenant General Dhiraj Seth, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, a second-generation Army officer. Major General Bhavnish Kumar, Chief of Staff, HQ Delhi Area was the Parade Second-in-Command.
The proud winners of the highest gallantry awards wasl followed. They include the winners of Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra. Param Vir Chakra winners Subedar Major (Honorary Captain) Bana Singh, 8 JAK LI (Retd); Subedar Major (Honorary Captain) Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers (Retd) & Subedar (Honorary Lieutenant) Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles and Ashok Chakra winners Major General CA Pithawalla (Retd); Colonel D Sreeram Kumar and Lieutenant Colonel Jas Ram Singh (Retd) was followed the Deputy Parade Commander on Jeeps. The Param Vir Chakra is awarded for the most conspicuous act of bravery and self-sacrifice in the face of the enemy, while the Ashok Chakra is awarded for similar acts of valour and self-sacrifice but, other than, in the face of the enemy.
Marching down the Kartavya Path for the first time was the combined Band & Marching contingent of the Egyptian Armed Forces, led by Colonel Mahmoud Mohamed Abdel Fattah El Kharasawy. The contingent was consist of 144 soldiers, represented the main branches of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
Indian Army Contingents
The first contingent in the uniform of the 61 Cavalry was led by Captain Raizada Shaurya Bali. The 61 Cavalry is the only serving active Horse Cavalry Regiment in the world, with the amalgamation of all the ‘State Horse Units’.
The Indian Army was represented by a Mounted Column of 61 Cavalry, nine Mechanised Columns, six marching contingents and a fly past by Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) of Army Aviation Corps. Main Battle Tank ARJUN, NAG Missile System (NAMIS), Infantry Combat Vehicle of BMP-2 SARATH, Quick Reaction Fighting Vehicle, K-9 Vajra-tracked Self-Propelled Howitzer Gun, BrahMos missile, 10m Short Span Bridge, Mobile Microwave Node & Mobile Network Centre and AKASH (New Generation Equipment) was the main attraction in the mechanised columns.
A total of six marching contingents of the Army, including The Mechanised Infantry Regiment, The Punjab Regiment, The Maratha Light Infantry Regiment, The Dogra Regiment, The Bihar Regiment and The Gorkha Brigade was marching past the saluting dais.
Another highlight of the parade this year was Veterans’ Tableau, with the theme ‘Towards India’s Amrit Kaal with Resolve – A Veterans’ Commitment’. It was provided a glimpse of veterans’ contributions in the last 75 years and their initiatives in shaping India’s future during ‘Amrit Kaal’.
Indian Navy Contingent
The Indian Navy contingent was comprised 144 young sailors, led by Lt Cdr Disha Amrith as Contingent Commander. For the first time ever, the marching contingent consists of three women and six Agniveers. It was followed by the Naval Tableau, designed on the theme ‘Indian Navy – Combat Ready, Credible, Cohesive and Future Proof’. It will showcase the multi-dimensional capabilities of the Indian Navy, Nari Shakti and key indigenously designed and built assets under ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
The forward part of the tableau was illustrated the women aircrew of Dornier aircraft, highlighting all-women crew surveillance sortie undertaken last year. The main section of the tableau was displayed the ‘Make in India’ initiatives of the Navy. There was a model of the new indigenous Nilgiri class ship with a Dhruv helicopter deploying marine commandos. On the sides, models of indigenous Kalvari class submarines was depicted. The rear section of the tableau was displayed models of autonomous unmanned systems being indigenously-developed under iDEX-Sprint Challenge.
Indian Air Force Contingent
The Indian Air Force contingent was comprised 144 air warriors and four officers, led by Sqn Ldr Sindhu Reddy. The Air Force tableau, designed on the theme ‘Indian Air Force Power Beyond Boundaries’, was displayed a rotating globe highlighting IAF’s expanded reach, whereby it has been able to provide humanitarian assistance across borders, as also exercises conducted with friendly countries. It was also showcase Light Combat Aircraft Tejas MK-II, Light Combat Helicopter ‘Prachand’, Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft NETRA and C-295 Transport aircraft. The tableau was also displayed a team of GARUDs in combat gear with laser designation equipment and specialist weapons.
Tableaux of States/UTs & Ministries/Departments
Twenty-three tableaux – 17 from States/Union Territories and six from various Ministries/Departments, depicted the nation’s rich cultural heritage, economic progress and strong internal and external security was also rolled down the Kartavya Path. Details of the 17 tableaux of States/UTs with their themes are as followed:
|1||Andhra Pradesh||Prabhala Theertham – A festival of Peasantry during Makara Sankranthi|
|2||Assam||Land of Heroes and Spiritualism|
|3||Ladakh||Tourism & Composite Culture of Ladakh|
|5||Tripura||Sustainable Livelihood through Tourism & Organic Farming in Tripura with active participation of women|
|6||Gujarat||Clean Green Energy Efficient Gujarat|
|7||Jharkhand||Baba Baidyanath Dham|
|8||Arunachal Pradesh||Prospects of Tourism in Arunachal Pradesh|
|9||Jammu & Kashmir||Naya Jammu & Kashmir|
|11||West Bengal||Durga Puja in Kolkata: Inscribing Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO|
|12||Maharashtra||Sade Tin Shaktipithe & Nari Shakti|
|13||Tamil Nadu||Women Empowerment & Culture of Tamil Nadu|
|14||Karnataka||Celebrating Power of Nari|
|15||Haryana||International Gita Mahotsav|
|16||Dadar Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu||Conservation of Tribal Culture & Heritage|
|17||Uttar Pradesh||Ayodhya Deepotsav|
Details of six tableaux of Ministries/Departments are as followed:
|1||Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (Indian Council Agriculture Research)||International Year of Millets: 2023 – India’s Initiative|
|2||Ministry of Tribal Affairs||Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs)|
|3||Ministry of Home Affairs (Narcotics Control Bureau)||Narcotics Control Bureau: Resolve @ 75 – Drug Free India|
|4||Ministry of Home Affairs (Central Armed Police Forces)||Nari Shakti in CAPF|
|5||Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (Central Public Works Department)||Biodiversity Conservation|
|6||Ministry of Culture||Shakti RupenaSamsthita|
Cultural performances by 479 artists chosen through the nation-wide Vande Bharatam dance competition was addd colour and groove to the Republic Day parade. The theme of the cultural extravaganza was ‘Nari Shakti’ presented by 326 female dancers, ably supported by 153 male dancers, of age group 17-30 years. They presented classical, folk and contemporary fusion dances, depicted the ‘Power of Women’ through five elements Earth, Water, Air, Space and Fire. This was the second time that the dancers of the cultural programme have been selected through a Nation-wide competition.
Another highlight of the show was a thrilling motorcycle display by Corps of Signals’ Dare Devils team. They enthralled the audience with an array of formations, which was also include a Yoga display.
The grand finale and the most eagerly-awaited segment of the parade, the Fly Past, was witnessed a breath-taking air show by 45 aircraft of Indian Air Force, one from the Indian Navy and four helicopters of Indian Army. Vintage as well as current modern aircraft/helicopters like Rafale, MiG-29, Su-30, Su-30 MkI Jaguar, C-130, C-17, Dornier, Dakota, LCH Prachand, Apache, Sarang& AEW&C was roard in the skies above Kartavya Path, displayed different formations, including Baaz, Prachand, Tiranga, Tangail, Vajrang, Garud, Bheem, Amrit and Trishul. The concluded Vertical Charlie maneuver was performed by Rafale fighter aircraft.
Like last year, Doordarshan was broadcastd cockpit videos during the fly past. The ceremony was culminated with the national anthem and the release of Tri-colour balloons.