India celebrated its 67th Republic Day today, with French President Francois Hollande as the chief guest. The celebrations begin at the Amar Jawan Jyoti where Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the memorial.
For the first time in the history of India’s Republic Day Parade, a 76-member French Army contingent led by a French military band consisting 48 musicians marching on Rajpath presented a ceremonial salute to the President of India. The French Army contingent is led by Lt Col Paul Bury.
Here’s the latest from across the country:
11.45 am: Republic Day parade concludes
We leave you with what was perhaps the most adorable contingent in the parade- the Indian Army dog squad participates after 26 years.
11.30 am: The grand finale of the parade
A spectacular flypast by the IAF commenced with the ‘Chakra’ formation, comprising three Mi-35 helicopters in ‘Vic’ formation, followed by the ‘Hercules’ formation comprising three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft in ‘Vic’ formation.
A breath-taking ‘Trishul’ formation comprising three Su-30 MKI of No. 24 Squadron flew over the Rajpath, and once in front of the saluting dais. Trailing them was the ‘Globe formation’ comprising one C-17 Globemaster flanked by two Su-30s, followed by the fighters, where five Jaguars flew in Arrowhead formation, another five MiG-29 Air Superiority Fighters called the ‘Tridents’ flew in Fulcrum style.
11.25 am: India’s dare-devils showcase their skills
‘Dare Devils’- the motorcycle display team of Corps of Signals will be a major attraction of the parade. They will perform different stunts like ‘Salute to President’, ‘Signal Rocket’, ‘Signal Fighter’, ‘Abhimanyu’, ‘Shradhanjali’, ‘Commando’, ‘Lotus formation’, and ‘Human Pyramid’, etc. on moving motor cycles.
11.10 am: India’s brave-hearts
Twenty three of the twenty five children selected for the National Bravery Award–2015 participated in the parade. Two children got the award posthumously.
In the children’s pageant section, about 500 boys and girls drawn from five schools in Delhi and a group of school children from South Central Zone Cultural Centre will perform colourful dances on Rajpath.
11.05 am: Celebrating Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary
The tableau depicted the 125th Anniversary of Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, affectionately known as Babasaheb, who was a great philosopher, parliamentarian, orator, scholar, jurist, economist, politician and social reformer. A Renowned Alumnus of Columbia University and London School of Economics, he took-up cudgels against social discrimination. He continues to inspire us in our present day endeavours to secure for the weaker sections their due rights in society.
11.00 am: Rajasthan’s famous Hawa Mahal
The tableau showcased “Hawa Mahal” not as a monument, but as a “lively Building”, which is full of eye-catching activities throughout the day and night.
Grandeur of Jaipur and pride of Rajasthan, this huge structure is famous as “Palace of Winds” in the entire world and is a world heritage site. It was built in 1799 by the King of Jaipur Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh and was designed by the architect Lal Chand Usta. He designed it in the form of the crown of Shri Krishna. Standing 50 feet high, this five storey huge building has 953 small windows known as “Jharokhas”. It reflects the striking fusion of Rajput and Mughal architecture style.
In this tableau, Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh is shown in the front, while the replica of “Hawa Mahal” is shown in the rear side of the tableau. Some women are shown performing “Panihaarin” – the famous folk dance of Jaipur. Famous craft & arts stops are also showcased on the tableau along with some tourists.
Quick view: Here’s what’s special at today’s R-Day parade
10.55 am: J&K’s Mera Gaon Mera Jahan; Ghulam Nabi Azad gives standing ovation
The tableau of Jammu and Kashmir, depicted rural development through technology and economic activities, besides making the villages clean and green.
Mera Gaon Mera Jahan (my village my world) under Clean and Green Mission 2015-16 is the flagship scheme of the Government of India which aims at reaching ensuring sustainable rural development by making available environment friendly, latest technology.
Under the scheme, the Jammu and Kashmir State has adopted three villages i.e. Apple village of Kashmir, Apricot village of Ladakh and Basmati village of Jammu, to highlight different stages of seedlings, plantation, weeding, cleaning packing etc. The scheme also aims at creating awareness among the people about making their villages clean, green, healthy, polythene free, besides conserving natural resources.
10.52 am: Sikkim’s Saga Dawa
The tableau depicted celebration of Buddha Jayanti in Sikkim, which is popularly called Saga Dawa. It is an important occasion which marks the Gautama Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and attainment of Nirvana or Moksha.
The Buddhist communities of Sikkim on this day take a religious procession carrying the chariot of Gautama Buddha and sacred Scriptures on their shoulder and enchant “Om Mane Padme Hum”. These Holy Scriptures are called “Kangyurtengyur”.
The prayer wheels in front of the trailor are religious symbol for doing prayer. The wheels rotates clockwise and contain rolls of paper having mantras written on them.
10. 50 am: Gujarat tableau depicts Gir forest
The Gujarat tableau depicted some rare and exotic varieties along with Sidi community, settled in the Gir forest, performing their traditional dance.
The only natural abode of Asiatic lions at the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is a distinct identity of Gujarat. The relentless efforts of the Government in collaborations with the cattle owners have established a unique ecological balance between the flora and fauna in the sanctuary. This has resulted in a sharp rise in the number of the endangered species to 523!
10.45 am: Goa leads state tableau
The Goan tableau depicted Perni Jagor the ancient mask dance – drama of Goa, performed by Perni families, using well crafted and painted wooden masks, depicting various animals, birds, super natural power, deities, demons and social characters.
In some places, Jagor performances are held with participation of both Hindus and Christian community, whereby, characters are played by Hindus and musical support is provided by Christian artistes.
10.42 am: BSF, Pak rangers exchange sweets at border
— ANI (@ANI_news) January 26, 2016
10.40 am: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the parade
10. 35 am: Camel regiment marches through Rajpath
Sticking to the 66-year tradition of the Republic Day celebrations, the colourful BSF Camel Regiment consisting of 56 camels led by Deputy Commandant Kuldeep J Choudhary walked through Rajpath, saluting President Pranab Mukherjee.
A 34-camel mounted band also marched alongside the BSF camel regiment.
And the band
10.30 am: The Indian Air Force Tableau
With the theme ‘Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations by IAF: In Service of the Nation and Beyond’, the IAF Tableau showcases its role in Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Yemen and Nepal rescue and relief operations, by displaying models of C-17 Globemaster, C-130 Hercules and MI-17V5 aircraft.
10.25 am: Dog squad marches through Rajpath
After a gap of 26 years, an Army dog squad drawn from the Remount Veterinary Corps (RVC) took part, along with their handlers.
10. 20 am: Major Neha Singh leads Defence Regiment
The Akash Weapon System of 27 Air Defence Regiment led by Major Neha Singh.
10.15 am: Celebrations in Mumbai
— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) January 26, 2016
10.10 am: French contingent marches through Rajpath
A 76-member French Army contingent led by a French military band consisting 48 musicians marching on Rajpath presented a ceremonial salute to the President of India. The French Army contingent was led by Lt Col Paul Bury.
10.00 am: President award Ashok Chakra to Lance Naik Goswami
President Pranab Mukherjee awarded the nation’s highest peacetime gallantry award Ashoka Chakra to Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami of 9 Para (Special Forces)/6th Battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles for his acts of most conspicuous gallantry.
Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami exhibited most conspicuous gallantry in personally eliminating two terrorists and assisting in evacuation of his wounded colleagues and made supreme sacrifice in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.
9.55 am: President Pranab Mukherjee, Francois Hollande arrive at Rajpath
Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave President Mukherjee and Hollande a warm welcome as they arrived at the main viewing gallery along Rajpath.
President Hollande is the chief guest for the 67th Republic Day celebrations.
The President’s motorcade was escorted by a horse carriage.
9.52 am: Spectators erupt in cheer as Prime Minister Modi arrives
As PM Modi’s motorcade pulled up at Rajpath, spectators gathered to witness Republic Day celebrations gave the Prime Minister a rousing welcome. Receiving him was Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
9.50 am: Modi leaves for Rajpath, will welcome President Pranab Mukherjee
After paying tribute to the immortal soldier at Amar Jawan Jyoti, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left for the main stage on Rajpath where he will welcome President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and President Francois Hollande of France, who is the chief guest.
9. 40 am: PM Modi pays tribute at Amar Jawan Jyoti
Prime Minister Modi arrived at the memorial on Rajpath to pay his tribute to the unknown soldiers who have lost their lives fighting for the nation.
Present at the memorial were Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Minister of State Defence Rao Inderjit Singh, along with the three service chiefs – Chief of the Army Staff General Dalbir Singh, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R K Dhowan.
9. 35 am: President leaves Rashtrapati Bhavan
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Chief Guest President Francois Hollande have left the Rashtrapati Bhavan for Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath.
— indianhistorypics (@IndiaHistorypic) January 26, 2016
9.20 am: Following the Deputy Parade Commander
Param Vir Chakra winners Subedar Major and Honorary Captain Bana Singh (Retd), Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers and Naib/Subedar Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles and Ashok Chakra winners Major General Cyrus A Pithawalla (Retd), Subedar Major (Honorary Captain) Sunder Singh (Retd), Major D Sreeram Kumar, Instructor, Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Lieutenant Colonel Jas Ram Singh (Retd), Honorary Naib Subedar Chhering Mutup (Retd), Shri Hukum Singh and Shri Govind Singh both from district of Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh and Shri Bhure Lal of District Guna also from Madhya Pradesh
9.15 am: Who all are part of the military contingents?
The marching contingents of the Indian Army will include horse-mounted columns of the 61st Cavalry, the Parachute Regiment, the Corps of Signals, the Rajput Regiment, the Garhwal Rifles, the Assam Regiment, 11 Gorkha Rifles and Remount Veterinary Corps Dog Squad.
The marching contingent of Navy comprising 144 young sailors will be led by Lieutenant Commander Anil Raina, while the Indian Air Force contingent comprising 144 men will be led by Flt Lt Ashish Mann.
The Paramilitary and other auxiliary civil forces will include contingents from the Border Security Force, Assam Rifles, Indian Coast Guard, an all women contingent of Central Reserve Police Force, Railway Protection Force, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme.
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) January 26, 2016
Democracy is a result of hard work and dedication. Wishing you all a responsible and discerning Republic Day. pic.twitter.com/tdtAsuh2z2
— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) January 26, 2016
— PIB India (@PIB_India) January 25, 2016
— Narain Karthikeyan (@narainracing) January 26, 2016
8.40 am: Security has been heightened across the nation, here’s a picture from Karnataka
— Abhishek Goyal (@goyal_abhei) January 26, 2016
I wish everyone a very happy Republic Day. Let’s rededicate ourselves on the 67th Republic Day to the causes of republicanism & nationalism.
8. 35 am: Have you seen this video featuring India’s sport legends?
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) January 24, 2016
8.25 am: Rewind to 2015, when Obama and Kal Penn visited India
Here’s a recap of Obama’s visit, hosted by actor Kal Penn, in a rickshaw.
8.15 am: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat hoists flag in Nagpur
Marking Republic Day celebrations, Bhagwat hoisted the national flag at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur. An RSS wing – the Muslim Rashtriya Manch – has claimed that they will hoist the national flag at madrassas across the country. Read more about that here
— ANI (@ANI_news) January 26, 2016
8.05 am: Mumbai’s BMC building lit up in the colours of the national flag
Do you have pictures of Republic Day celebrations around you? Tweet to us and we’ll feature the best!
Fly by BMC.. pic.twitter.com/K6GSZ1CoU4
— Arita Sarkar (@sarkararita) January 25, 2016
8.00 am: Happy National Day, Australia!
As we celebrate Republic Day today, Down Under Australia celebrates its national day. The day marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip. #AustraliaDay on Twitter for a koala emoji!
Thank you Mr President! Best wishes and congratulations to you and the People of India on Republic Day. http://t.co/XZAwzxiy9S
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) January 26, 2016
7.45 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets nation on Republic Day
PM Modi took to Twitter early this morning paying tribute to Babasaheb Ambedkar, the father of India’s constitution.
Republic Day greetings to all my fellow Indians. ??? ?????????? ?? ??????? ???? ?? ??????????…?? ?????
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 26, 2016
Tributes to all great personalities who framed our Constitution. I salute Dr. Ambedkar for his efforts as Chairman of Drafting Committee.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 26, 2016
7. 40 am: The traditional unfurling of the flag – what happens then
As per tradition, after unfurling of the National Flag, the National Anthem will be played with a 21 gun salute. The parade will then commence and the President will take the salute.
The parade will be commanded by Lt. General Rajan Ravindran, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area. Major General Rajesh Sahai, Chief of Staff, Headquarters Delhi Area will be the parade Second-in-Command.
7.25 am: Here’s the list of gallantry award winners this year
President Pranab Mukherjee has approved the award of one Ashok Chakra, two Kirti Chakras and eight Shaurya Chakras to the Indian Army personnel on the occasion of Republic Day 2016. Check out the full list here.
7.15 am: What to look out for in the Indian Army contingents?
The Army’s missile firing capability T-90 ‘Bhishma’ tank, Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP II (Sarath), Mobile Autonomous Launcher of the BrahMos Missile System, Akash Weapon System, Smerch Launcher Vehicles and Integrated Communication Electronic Warfare System (ICEWS) will be the main draw.
7.10 am: Snipers on rooftops, armed traffic cops – Delhi on high alert
A multi-layer security blanket has been thrown around the national capital ahead of Republic Day, with anti-aircraft guns and light machine guns (LMGs) positioned at vantage points in view of intelligence inputs of terror threats, said sources. Security personnel have been instructed to bring down any aerial objects flying without permission, added the sources.
“Specially trained personnel with light machine guns have been deployed at 10 strategic spots in New Delhi area,” a senior police official said Monday.
Apart from Delhi Police, paramilitary personnel have also been pressed into service, added the official.
7.05 am: #Throwback – January 26, 66 Years Ago
As India celebrates another Republic Day, a look at how a newly independent country decided to lay its faith in a living document called the Constitution Read more here.
7.00 am: Twitter has launched a new emoji to celebrate India’s Republic Day. Go ahead and tweet using #RepublicDay. The #RepublicDay emoji was launched by Bollywood actor Sonam Kapoor, who is essaying the role of Neerja Bhanot in the upcoming film ‘Neerja’, the youngest recipient of India’s highest peacetime military award for bravery, the Ashok Chakra.
6.45 am: Google Doodle celebrates Republic Day
Lined with six camels, Google India celebrated Republic Day with a doodle sporting a traditional band atop the camels.
Back in time: Here’s the first Republic Day address
In his Republic Day message to the nation, President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed appealed to all people to observe self discipline. He spoke of the national scene over the past year and listed the important gains of the Emergency. He concluded his speech with the appeal for the practice of what Acharya Vinoba Bhave calls “atmanushasan” (self-imposed discipline) and said, “Once all parties accept this need for self-discipline and the obligations which are essential for the smooth working of our democratic system, the country, I am sure, will enter a new era of all round progress”. Read more here.