India celebrated its 75th Republic Day with a display of women’s power, rich cultural heritage, and military prowess. French President Emmanuel Macron was the chief guest.
The Republic Day Parade at Kartavya Path featured President Droupadi Murmu and President Macron arriving in a traditional buggy, marking its return after 40 years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, top military officials, and foreign diplomats attended the event.
The highlight was an all-women tri-services contingent, showcasing the country’s growing ‘Nari Shakti.’ The parade started with over 100 women artists playing Indian musical instruments instead of traditional military bands. The first Army contingent, the 61 Cavalry, led the mechanized column, displaying T-90 Bhishma tanks, NAG missile systems, and more.
Captain Sandhya led the all-women tri-service contingent, drawing huge applause. Another all-women Armed Forces Medical Services contingent also marched down the boulevard.
The Indian Navy’s contingent, led by Lt Prajwal M, showcased 144 men and women Agniveers, followed by a naval tableau depicting ‘Nari Shakti’ and ‘Sea Power Across the Oceans Through Indigenisation.’ The celebration’s themes were ‘Viksit Bharat’ and ‘Bharat — Loktantra Ki Matruka’ (India–Mother of Democracy).
A 95-member marching contingent and a 30-member band from France participated. Two Rafale fighters and an Airbus A330 of the French Air Force featured in the celebrations.
The fly-past by 46 aircraft of the Indian Air Force, including Tejas aircraft in a formation of four for the first time, marked the grand finale. The ceremony began with the prime minister’s tribute at the National War Memorial, followed by the unfurling of the national flag, the national anthem, and a 21-gun salute.
President Murmu took the salute, and the parade was commanded by Lieutenant General Bhavnish Kumar. Sixteen tableaux from states and Union territories, along with nine from central ministries and departments, rolled down Kartavya Path during the parade.
Prime Minister Modi, wearing a traditional ‘bandhani’ print safa, interacted with the enthusiastic crowd after the parade, receiving cheers and slogans of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai.’ The celebrations concluded with a breathtaking fly-past by the Indian Air Force.
In the words of Prime Minister Modi, “The 75th Republic Day has been a historic celebration, showcasing India’s unity, diversity, and our commitment to progress. The impressive display of women power and military might reflects the strength and resilience of our nation.”