ONI Bureau: A proud nation celebrated the 69th Republic Day with much enthusiasm and fervor, as President Ram Nath Kovind led the country at the Republic Day Parade 2018, which showcased India’s military prowess as well as rich cultural heritage.
In a first, Heads of 10 ASEAN Guests attended the Republic Day Celebrations in India as Chief Guests. So far, India used to host just one Head of the Nation as the Chief Guest. But, PM Modi, who always believed in out-of-the-box things, deviated from the tradition and did it.
The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member countries included – Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Brunei. To honour this historic event (25 years of ASEAN as well), the ASEAN flag was flown in the sky during the Parade.
The woman squad of of the Border Security Force (BSF) performed daredevil motorcycle act for the first time. The squad was named ‘Seema Bhavani’. The lotus formation by Seema Bhavani was appreciated by all.
India also showcased its military prowess with Brahmos, Akash and other missiles and tanks being displayed at the parade.
For the first time, All India Radio (AIR) participated in the Tableau parade with the theme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ – the monthly radio programme, addressed by the PM Narendra Modi. All 23 tableau displayed the culture and tradition of various states as well as government departments.
Ashoka Chakra (India’s highest peacetime military decoration for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield) was awarded to Late Air Force Commando JP Nirala, who lost his life in Bandipora encounter.
The Republic Day Parade 2018 was the biggest-ever extravaganza in the history of India’s R-Day Celebrations with the grand display of military as well cultural prowess.