In a first, women personnel will be part of the Border Security Force (BSF) camel contingent at the Republic Day Parade (RDP) this year. Also, the ceremonial 21-gun salute during the parade will be given using 105 mm Indian Field Guns (IFGs) which will replace the vintage British 25 mm Pounder guns.
“Before the commencement of the parade, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the nation in paying homage to the fallen bravehearts by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial. The parade will start at 1030 hours with national salute. The duration of the parade will be 90 minutes,” said Maj. Gen. Bhavnish Kumar, Chief of Staff, Delhi area, who will also be the Second-in-Command of the parade. Lt. Gen. Dhiraj Seth, General Officer commanding Delhi area will be the Parade Commander.
Since Independence, the ceremonial 21-gun salute has been accorded by seven vintage Quick Fire 25 Pounder guns which fire blank rounds as the national anthem is played. This year, the 105 mm IFGs will fire the blank rounds.
Briefing the media on the parade, Maj. Gen. Kumar said the Army will be represented by Mounted Columns of 61 Cavalry, nine mechanised columns, six marching contingents and a fly past by helicopters of Army Aviation. Three Param Vir Chakra and three Ashok Chakra awardees will participate in this year’s parade, he said. “All Indian Army equipment on display is Made in India,” he added.
The parade will march from Vijay Chowk to the Red Fort, through the traditional route of Kartavya Path. President Droupadi Murmu will take the salute as this year’s guest, President of Egypt Abdel Fattah El–Sisi, looks on.
There will be 16 marching contingents from the armed forces, Central Para Military Forces, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps, NSS along with 19 military pipes and drums bands while 27 tableaux of various States, Departments and armed forces will take part.
Of these, 17 tableaux are from States and Union Territories (UTs) and six from various Ministries and Departments. The selection process involved scrutiny of tableaux proposals from various States and UTs by an expert committee and several rounds of interactions by the committee members with representatives of the States on the theme, presentation, aesthetics and technical elements of the tableaux, the Defence Ministry said.
While cultural performance by a group of 475 artistes selected through ‘Vande Bharatam’ competition will also be held, a team of “Daredevils” motor cycle riders from Corps of Signals, co-led by a woman officer, will be part of the parade.