Display of Tejas, India’s first indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft, was one of the highlight
The 65th Republic Day parade at Rajpath here on Sunday reflected the essence of Indian pride, with defence and paramilitary force personnel marching along their best machinesand cheered on by an exuberant audience.
Ahead of the parade, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A.K. Antony and the chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force laid wreaths at Amar Jawan Jyoti, paying respect to the bravehearts who laid down their lives for the nation.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Dr. Singh and Mr. Antony then welcomed this year’s chief guest, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was accompanied by his wife Akie Abe.
The unfurling of the Tricolour by the President and a rendition of the national anthem, followed by a customary 21-gun salute, marked the beginning of the celebrations. Among the dignitaries who witnessed the parade on Rajpath was Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The celebrations got off on an emotional note, with the father of Ashoka Chakra (posthumous) awardee K. Prasad Babu receiving the medal of honour from the President.
A highlight of this year’s parade was the display of India’s first indigenously-developed Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas. It is a fourth generation, supersonic, multi-role combat aircraft designed and developed by the Defence Research Development Organisation.
Main battle tank Arjun MK-II, the first indigenously designed and developed tank, also referred to as ‘Desert Ferrari’ for its excellent mobility, was also on display.