So, Obama is yet again visiting India, this time as a chief guest at the annual Republic Day parade held in the capital city of India, Delhi across Rajpath (the road).
Indian Republic Day is the day when the Constitution of India was formed and actively came into force. This is the one of the major national holiday as well as event that takes place throughout the country. Just like any other country we also take pride in our history and commamorate the day with an amazing display of our rich heritage, culture and patriotism in the form of Parade. The parade also honours the sacrifices made by martyrs for the many wars fought, folks who have displayed acts of bravery and gallantry in their lifetime, and the soldiers still serving the country every single day of their life.
Prior to the commencement of the parade the Prime Minister lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, a memorial to martyred soldiers at the India Gate at one end of Rajpath, followed by two minutes silence in the memory of them. As a child each year I patiently anticipated the magnificent annual Parade, and as always it never ceased to astound me. The march past lead by the very many defence personels and units, the cultural displays by each and every state of India, the grande finale of motorbike stunts, and the air display perfomed by plane formations too, I don't think I can ever get enough of them.
A brief schedule of the Parade are as follows:
- The President's speech.
- Awards for unusual acts of bravery awarded to Indian citizens, including civilians. These winners are part of the parade too and they proudly sit in an open jeep and the young children who win gallantry awards ride on elephants.
- The various regimental units of the Indian Armed Forces, National Cadet Corps, police units, etc. march past the President.
- Then comes the colourful floats of each State. These floats consists of depiction of some aspects of the individual State’s culture.
- Then is my favourite, the spectacular display of stunts on motorcycles by personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF).
- And finally the air stunts by the pilots of India’s Air Force. I absolutely love the aerial maneuvers by the plane formations that strewn the colours of the Indian flag across the sky.
Here is President Mukherji, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi.
Wish I was there! Oh well, someday :) With that, wishing all Indians a Happy Republic Day!