In New Delhi on 26th January 2016 India showcase Diversity, Military on 67th Republic Day. His presence was a mark of the closer ties between the two nations that cover diverse areas including trade, technology, space, clean energy and defence.
01. The parade had started this morning amid unprecedented security that included anti-aircraft guns, 15,000 CCTV cameras and around 1000 snipers. The preparations come following a recent security review where officials concluded there is a “very real” ISIS threat on the occasion
02. The soldiers of France’s 35th Infantry Regiment, which was deployed in India between 1781 and 1784, was led by Lieutenant Colonel Paul Bury.
03. Elysee, the official twitter handle of the French Republic, posted during the event, calling attention to the various tableaux, including the one on PM Modi’s Digital India initiative.
04. The celebrations began with Prime Minister Narendra Modi driving to the Amar Jawan Jyoti, memorial to the Unknown Soldier at India Gate, and laying a wreath in honour of the soldiers who have died in the battles since World War I.
05. For the first time, a contingent from the French 35th Infantry Regiment led the marching contingents and it performed with panache, preceded by a pipes and drums comprising 48 musicians, led by Major Jean-Claude Leberruyer.
06. Vice President Hamid Ansari, the three service chiefs, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, cabinet ministers, a host of dignitaries and a group of women achievers were seated in a special enclosure to witness the hour-and-half long parade.
07. Ashok Chakra, the country’s highest gallantry award in peacetime, was presented to the widow of Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami of the Parachute Regiment. Lance Naik Goswami had died in Kashmir in September 2015, killing 10 terrorists in 11 days.
08. President Hollande, who had landed in Chandigarh on Sunday in view of the security threat, will be leaving from Delhi at 2 pm.
09. The parade this year was shorter – there were fewer marching contingents and massed bands. Instead of a marching continent of ex-servicemen, there was a tableau dedicated to them.
10. An army dog squad with handlers made an appearance after 26 years. In another break with tradition, the young recipients of the National Awards for Bravery came towards the end.