Honouring the greatness of our nation on Republic Day - 26th January 2014

After a decade(approximately), I watched complete ceremony of Indian Republic Day Parade which happens on Rajpath. Usually it's difficult for me to watch TV for more than an hour, but the awesome coverage by Delhi Doordarshan made me watch the whole parade. It was awesome to see enthusiastic participation by various regiments of Indian Army, Navy and Air Force, along with republic day tableau by various Indian states and cheerful performances by school kids.

This ceremony started at around 9:30 am, when Dr Manmohan Singh came to India Gate with floral wreath for Amar Jawan Jyoti which is a memorial to unknown soldiers. After that a ceremony happens in the memory of soldiers with two minutes silence. Just after that Vice President and President of India joined Mr Prime Minister in main chamber. I liked the gesture when Manmohan singh walked to other members of parliament sitting on other side of the main chamber. He took a different route to greet & congratulate everyone there and then entered into the main chamber. Enthusiasm by Vice President about the ceremony was quite appreciable. The way he met chiefs of Indian armed forces and the way of greeting everyone by saluting. 

The republic Day parade starts from Raisina-Hill near President's House, along the Rajpath around India Gate. On the special occasion of Republic Day, President of India recognize some of the major contributions by soldiers and kids. It's such a proud moment for folks who get recognized on republic day in Capital city of India. At the same time, it's also sad when some of the recognitions are presented to family members of soldiers who have lost their live in some of the critical incidents. It's a reminder of the sacrifice by India citizens who died for the country in the freedom movement and the succeeding wars for the defense of our country.

This whole ceremony makes you feel proud to be part of country, it's armed forces, diversified cultures, geographical variety and harmony. 

Different regiments of the Indian Army in addition to the Navy and Air Force with their bands march past. The President of India who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute from three chiefs. Twelve contingents of various para-military forces of India and other civil forces also take part in this parade. There is also a parade of camel mounted Border Security Force contingent and horse parade. It seems that Security Force contingent is only camel mounted military force in the world. Some of the selected N.C.C. cadets from different parts of the country come for republic day parade. It's amazing to see hundreds of jawans marching in sync on rajpath. Doordarshan captured this parade from top as well and it looks more interesting to see the march past from top. It was very foggy but still the view was quite clear and looked more beautiful. These folks spend a significant time preparing for republic Day Parade. A final trial dress rehearsal happens on 23rd of January, due to which many of the roads in Delhi was closed. If you have missed watching Republic Day Parade, check out the video shared in the bottom of this post.

The parade traditionally ends with motor cycle riding by motocycle units of the Armed Forces and a flypast by the Indian Air Force jets and helicopters carrying the national flag and the flags of the three services. Almost everyone find these two activities most interesting. The mood of parade suddenly changes soldiers show various stunts of Royal Enfields on Rajpath. It seems that army has established some of the records of driving max number of folks on a bike for longer period of time. I don't remember the exact details.

At times, there are some debates regarding the feasibility of the parade and weather it is a wastage of resources and time. However I feel that it's important for people of this country to see the discipline, the confidence & pride that our armed forces display during this event.

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