India Celebrates 70th Republic Day, PM Modi And South African President Witness Flypast

NEW DELHI: Today, India celebrated its 70th Republic Day.The Republic Day parade ceremony commenced with PM Modi leading the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate.

For the first time in the history of the paramilitary, an all-women contingent from the Assam Rifles participated in the parade.

Major Khushboo Kanwar, a 30-year-old mother, lead the contingent of the Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force in the country.

The parade started from Vijay Chowk and proceeded towards the Red Fort grounds through the Rajpath, India Gate, Tilak Marg, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg and Netaji Subhash Marg.

The march began with showering of flower petals by helicopters led by the parade commander, parade second-in-command and Param Vir Chakra and Ashoka Chakra awardees.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was the chief guest on Saturday at the parade to mark the 70th Republic Day, which celebrates the anniversary of the adoption of India’s Constitution in 1950.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the family of Lance Naik Nazir Ahmed who posthumously received the Ashok Chakra today.

The theme for the Republic Day celebrations this year was the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and tableaux of many states.

The tableaux of Sikkim, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, West Bengal, Tripura, Goa, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Uttarakhand were also displayed on the occasion.

Four Indian National Army (INA) veterans, aged over 90 years, took part in the parade, among the many firsts for a Republic Day parade.

Woman power was on a remarkable display at the Republic Day celebrations today with contingents of the Navy, Army Services Corps and unit of Corps of Signals led by women officers.