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Defence Ministry initiatives on Republic Day aimed at ‘larger participation’

🔴 When it comes to choosing the best tableau in the parade, this time, not only will there be an official winner decided by a jury, but people will get to vote for their favourite tableau, which will get a popular choice award.

Written by Krishn Kaushik |
Updated: January 28, 2022 6:09:54 am
Republic Day parade, Republic Day parade news, Republic Day, Defence Ministry, Ajay Kumar, Indian Express, India news, current affairs, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India News“It is very important that we continue this trend even in subsequent years” to have “larger participation” from people to mark Republic Day, rather than keeping it confined to just officials, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar told The Indian Express. (File)

More than 500 special spectators, dancers chosen through a country-wide competition, the use of giant scrolls painted by artists from different states, and reaching out to the next of kin of soldiers who gave their lives for the country were some of the special initiatives taken by the Defence Ministry for Republic Day, with the idea of getting more people involved.

“It is very important that we continue this trend even in subsequent years” to have “larger participation” from people to mark Republic Day, rather than keeping it confined to just officials, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar told The Indian Express.

He said a large number of events were organised to “engage with the country”. For example, he said cultural performers during the parade were chosen through a country-wide competition that took around two months, and started at the district level. The 480 dancers were, for the first time, selected through competition.

When it comes to choosing the best tableau in the parade, this time, not only will there be an official winner decided by a jury, but people will get to vote for their favourite tableau, which will get a popular choice award. “For the first time, we will recognise the tableau that people like, not just a set of officials,” Kumar said.

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Regarding the ‘Shaheedon Ko Shat Shat Naman’ campaign, Kumar said tributes were paid to the next of kin of soldiers who have given their lives for the country since Independence, by going to their homes. He said when Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid a wreath at the National War Memorial, families of around 5,000 fallen soldiers were approached, including Kargil War hero Param Vir Chakra Captain Vikram Batra. Families of the other soldiers will be reached out to by Independence Day.

The Republic Day parade at Rajpath was also attended by 565 special invitees. The idea was, Kumar said, to “include people who normally don’t get the chance”. He said the associations and industry bodies concerned were asked to prepare a list of these special invitees, which included 250 construction workers — some working on the Central Vista redevelopment project — 115 sanitation workers, 100 auto drivers, and 100 frontline health workers.

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