New Delhi, January 26, 2012
Five planes in arrow formation fly over Raj path during the 63rd Republic Day Parade, in New Delhi on January 26, 2012.
India today showcased its military prowess, its many-splendoured socio-economic achievements and its rich and diverse cultural heritage as it marked its 63rd Republic Day with colourful celebrations across the country, including a scintillating parade down Rajpath in the capital.
The highlight of this year's parade was clearly the 3000-km range Agni-IV missile. The intermediate range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, mounted on a road mobile launcher, was paraded by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO). The state-of-the-art missile was successfully flight tested last November.
The DRDO also put on display for the first time the 150-km range Prahaar tactical battlefield support missile and the Rustom-I Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
There were other firsts, too. The C-130J Super Hercules aircraft participated in the parade for the first time during the spectacular flypast by the Indian Air Force.
And, the Air Force contingent, comprising 144 men, was led for the first time ever by a woman, Flight Lieutenant Sneha Shekhawat.
Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand was the chief guest at the parade
The parade ceremony commenced at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, the memorial to the immortal soldier, at India Gate where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath.
An eternal flame burns at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to commemorate the indomitable courage of our Armed Forces personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the motherland. The Amar Jawan, the immortal soldier, is symbolised by a reversed rifle topped by a helmet.
President Pratibha Patil conferred the Ashoka Chakra on Lieutenant Navdeep Singh (Posthumous), at the beginning of the 63rd Republic day celebrations, in New Delhi on January 26, 2012. The award was received by his father Honorary Captain (Retired) Joginder Singh.
As per tradition, after unfurling of the National Flag, the National Anthem was played.
Thereafter, President Pratibha Patil conferred the Ashok Chakra on Lieutenant Navdeep Singh of the Army Ordnance Corps / 15th Battalion,The Maratha Light Infantry. The award was received by his father, Honorary Captain (Retd) Joginder Singh.
The President then took the salute at the parade, which was commanded by Lt Gen Vijay Kumar Pillai, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area. Major General Rajbir Singh, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area was the parade second-in-command.
The weaponry put on display by the Indian Army included the T-72 tank, Carrier Mortar Tracked, SMERCH Multiple Launch Rocket System, Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket System, Full Width Mine Plough, NBC Water Purification Systems and Jammer Station VHF/UHF.
The Army`s Mechanized Columns concluded with a flypast by Dhruv, the Advanced Light Helicopter of the Army Aviation Corps.
The Indian Air Force did not make static display of any aircraft today but its latest acquisition, the C-130-J Super Hercules tactical aircaft made its debut, with three of the six aircraft acquired from the United States participating in the flypast.
The Indian Navy`s tableau also glossed over its newly-acquired capabilities, instead focusing on its long-standing, reliable capabilities.
Children of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya Hastal Village Delhi, performing folk dance ‘Kodiyan Chakarvan’ at Rajpath during the 63rd Republic Day Parade, in New Delhi on January 26, 2012.
The spectators on both sides of Rajpath broke into smiles when sniffer dogs of the Delhi Police Bomb Disposal Squad and the National Security Guard displaying their skills in a lotus formation and a grand salute by the leader sitting on a tableau of the Army`s Remount Veterinary Corps (RVC).
Param Vir Chakra winners Naib SubedarYogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers and Havaldar Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK RIF and Ashok Chakra winners Brigadier C A Pithawalla, BGS (Trg), HQ Southern Command, Lt Col Jas Ram Singh (retd), Major D. Sreeram Kumar, Instructor, IMA, Dehra Dun, Hon`y Naib SubedarChhering Mutup (retd), Hukum Singh and Govind Singh, both from district Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh and BhureLal of district Guna, also from Madhya Pradesh followed the Deputy Parade Commander on Jeeps.
The marching contingents of the Army included the horse-mounted columns of the 61st Cavalry, Parachute Regiment, Bengal Engineer Group & Centre, Brigade of the Guards, Kumaon Regiment, Assam Regiment, Mahar Regiment, Gorkha Rifles Regiment and the Corps of Military Police.
The marching contingents of the Navy, comprising 144 men, was led by Lt. Commander Manikandan K. and the Air Force contingent comprising 144 men was led by Flight Lieutenant Sneha Shekhawat, the first woman ever to lead an IAF contingent at the parade.
Border Security Force camel contingent passes through the Rajpath during the 63rd Republic Day Parade, in New Delhi on January 26, 2012.
The marching contingents of paramilitary and other auxiliary civil forces included contingents from the Border Security Force, Assam Rifles, Coast Guard, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Railway Protection Force, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme.
The camel-mounted band of the Border Security Force (BSF) and the ex-servicemen marching contingent was another major attraction.
Tableaux from 23 states and Central Ministries and Departments presented the varied historical, architectural and cultural heritage of the country. They also showcased the country’s progress in different fields.
Nineteen of the 24 children selected for the National Bravery Award – 2009 also participated in the parade. Five children got the award posthumously.
In the children’s pageant section, 1,200 boys and girls drawn from Delhi`s two schools, - Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector-2, R K Puram and Government Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Hastsal, Delhi, besides regional cultural zones, - South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur, East Zone Cultural Centre, Kolkata and North Central Zone Cultural Centre, Madhya Pradesh presented dances and other programmes.
The West Bengal tableau passes through the Rajpath during the 63rd Republic Day Parade, in New Delhi on January 26, 2012.
Janbaz, the motorcycle display by the BSF was a major attraction of the parade. It consisted of 154 riders on 30 motorcycles performing Bordermen Salute, Side Riding, Yoga, Janbaz-1, Ladder Double, Harmony, Exercise, Pyramid, Parallel Bar, Guldasta, Karvan and Flag March under the leadership of Inspector Amit Kumar. They performed breathtaking stunts in a synchronised and synergetic display of mind, body and machine coordination.
The grand finale of the parade was a spectacular flypast by the IAF, with the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft participating in the parade for the first time. The flypast was led by a Vic formation of three Mi-35 helicopters, followed by the three Super Hercules again in a Vic formation.
Trailing them were one IL-78, flanked by two AN-32 and two Dornier, in a Big Boy formation.
Next in line were the fighters, - five Jaguars followed by five MiG-29 flew in Arrowhead formation. The breathtaking Trishul formation, comprising three Su-30 MKI, flew over Rajpath and once in front of the saluting dais the Su-30MKI aircraft will upwards, making a Trishul in the sky.
The flypast concluded with another Sukhoi Su-30 MKI carrying out a Vertical Charlie manoeuvre over the saluting dais.
The ceremony culminated with the National Anthem and release of balloons.