India to show military might, cultural heritage at R-Day parade

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India will show its military might on Tuesday with Rafale fighter jets taking part in the Republic Day flypast for the first time and the armed forces showcasing T-90 tanks, the Samvijay electronic warfare system, Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets, among others, said the Defence Ministry on Monday.

Total 32 tableaus — 17 from states and union territories, six from the Defence ministry and nine from other Union ministries and paramilitary forces — depicting the nation’s rich cultural heritage, economic progress and defence prowess will roll down the Rajpath at the Republic Day parade, the ministry said in a statement.

“School children will perform folk arts and crafts displaying skills and dexterity handed down from generations — Bajasal, one of the most beautiful folk dances of Kalahandi in Odisha, Fit India Movement and Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” the ministry noted.

A 122-member proud contingent of the Bangladesh armed forces will also march on Rajpath on Tuesday, the ministry said.

“The Bangladesh contingent will carry the legacy of legendary Muktijoddhas of Bangladesh, who fought against oppression and mass atrocities and liberated Bangladesh in 1971,” it added.

India is currently celebrating the Swarnim Vijay Varsh – Golden Jubilee year – commemorating the country’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war that led to the creation of Bangladesh.

The Indian Army will showcase the main battle tank T-90 Bhishma, infantry combat vehicle BMP-II-Sarath, mobile autonomous launcher of the Brahmos missile system, multi-launcher rocket system Pinaka, electronic warfare system Samvijay among others during the parade on Tuesday, the Defence ministry noted.

The Indian Navy’s tableau at the Republic Day parade this year will showcase models of Indian naval ship (INS) Vikrant and naval operations that were conducted during the 1971 India-Pakistan war.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will showcase models of light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas and indigenously developed anti-tank guided missile Dhruvastra on its tableaus during the parade, the ministry noted.

They also showcased scaled-down models of the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jet and Rohini radar on the tableaus.

A total of 38 IAF aircraft, include Rafale, and four planes of the Indian Army will participate in the flypast on Tuesday.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will have two tableaus at this year’s parade, one showcasing light combat aircraft Tejas’ successful take off from aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya in 2020, and another displaying full complement of the anti-tank guided missile systems, the Defence ministry said.

The Republic Day parade ceremony will commence with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the National War Memorial.

“He will lead the nation in paying solemn tributes to the fallen heroes by laying a wreath. Thereafter, the PM and other dignitaries will head to the saluting dais at Rajpath to witness the parade,” the ministry noted.

As per tradition, the national flag will be unfurled followed by the national anthem with a booming 21-gun salute, it said.

The parade will commence with President Ram Nath Kovind taking the salute, the ministry added.

Seventeen tableaux from various states and union territories, namely, Gujarat, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Tripura, West Bengal, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi and Ladakh will be showcased during the parade, depicting the geographical and rich cultural diversity of the country, it said.

It stated these tableaux will show the vision for Ladakh to be carbon neutral, the sun temple at Modhera in Mehsana District of Gujarat, tea-tribes of Assam, shore temple and other monuments of Pallava Dynasty in Tamil Nadu, Bhakti Movement and saints of Maharashtra, etc.

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