Another Republic Day has come and gone. India’s 62nd, to be precise. This one has been no different from its previous ones, at least the ones I have been observing for the last 25 years or so. For example,
- The run-up to the Republic Day saw the print and electronic media competing with each other in reporting the achievements of the country.
- There were interviews with key armed forces personnel, academicians, ministers, investors, NRIs, and other stakeholders for a “holistic” view of India.
- There were interviews with the kin of freedom fighters (there aren’t any freedom fighters left now, I guess) in the media. A couple of interviews with retired armed forces personnel were also thrown in for a little variety.
- The President’s speech (yawnnn…) was boring as usual and had nothing inspiring in it.
- The Republic Day parade was beamed live on Doordarshan, the national television.
I think that even for those who did not watch the parade (either in New Delhi or the live telecast), like me, could imagine what it would have been like. This is because the parade has been following a set pattern year after year and does not deviate from it for even an inch.
So I knew that there would be an impressive display of India’s military might through its arms and ammunition, various regiments and divisions of the armed forces, the BSF camels, the CRPF, the Coast Guard, etc. Then there would be tableaux from the states and union territories of India, as well as performances by school children and folk dancers.
The evening news on TV and the Republic Day coverage on various news websites confirmed that my visualisation of India’s 62nd Republic Day celebrations was spot on. Some images from this year’s Republic Day parade at New Delhi are presented below (all images are courtesy of www.rediff.com).