DELHI – Officials in India are completing final preparations for the 70th annual Republic Day on Saturday, January 26th. This year’s celebration will also celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, “Father of the Nation.”
Wednesday, January 23, 2019, preparations included a full-dress rehearsal for the annual parade at Rajpath. The entire area has been cordoned off from traffic since the evening of January 22nd and will remain closed until the parade is over on Saturday.
The day is always celebrated with a special guest of honor. This year, the guest will be Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa. He was invited to commemorate the close relationship that Gandhi had with the nation of South Africa.
Last year, 10 leaders of ASEAN nations were invited guests of honor. The group included the presidents of Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Singapore as well as the Sultan of Brunei and the prime ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Brunei.
Security measures have been ramped up ahead of the festivities, including the installation of 250 closed-circuit TV and 30 facial recognition cameras.
The parade at the capital will feature a convention of over 4,000 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (non-resident Indians). Their arrival has already snarled airport traffic.
Other highlights of the festivities will include:
- The first time a woman officer will lead the Army Services Corps in the parade.
- The first time a woman officer will be included in the Daredevils Motorcycle Team in the parade. The 31 members of the Daredevils and 51 J & K Police motorcyclists will also perform a stunt show at the University of Jammu.
- The first time an all-women contingent of Assam Rifles will march in the parade. The Assam Rifles is one of the longest-standing paramilitary forces in the country.
- The 26 children who are winners of the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar, aka the National Child Award, will be honored in the parade.
- Various new equipment most lately employed by the Indian Army will also travel the entire parade route. Equipment featured will include T-90 tanks, the M777 Howitzer, and the self-propelled K9 Vajra gun.
- Military aircraft, including MiG 29, Jaguars, and a new blended bio-fuel plane will perform flyovers.
Various states throughout the country will join in local celebrations, including parades in major cities.
Uttar Pradesh plans to release 1,500 ill or aged prisoners from jails in Agra, Bareilly, Fatehgarh, Naini, and Varanasi.
Bangalore will feature its annual Republic Day Flower show at Lal Bagh, featuring some 700,000 flowers.
We congratulate the Republic of India on this 70th celebration of Republic Day.
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- India Celebrating, Republic Day of India – 26 January
- Indian Holiday, Republic Day
- Trip Savvy, Celebrating India Republic Day
- Press Information Bureau, Government of India, Ministry of Women and Child Development, President of India confers “Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar” today in New Delhi
- Wikipedia, Public Domain, Dancers_performing_in_the_2015_Republic_Day_Parade_in_New_Delhi