New Delhi: India celebrated its 69th Republic Day on Friday along with leaders from ten ASEAN countries, who were invited as chief guests to the annual Republic Day parade in Rajpath, New Delhi.
Leaders from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam graced the occasion. This year marks 25 years of relations between India and the bloc.
In a first, ten Heads of State or Government attended the event which showcased India’s historic, cultural and religious ties with the ASEAN countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who wished the nation on the occasion this morning, welcomed the dignitaries as well as the President to a special 100-foot dias at Rajpath to witness the parade.
India displayed her military prowess in the parade, with special focus on the Indian Navy and maritime security, which is an important component of New Delhi’s engagement with the ASEAN countries. India’s diversity was also on display, with tableaux from 14 states and Union Territories including Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir, Tripura, Assam, Manipur, and Kerala, among others, highlighting its rich cultural and historic heritage. India’s achievements and progress were shown through the government’s flagship schemes, such as ‘Khelo India,’ a national programme to develop sports.
Another major attraction, which drew loud applause from the crowds, was the Indian Air Force’s flypast. Beginning with formations by IAF helicopters and aircraft, the parade ended with a Su-30 MKI carrying out a ‘Vertical Charlie’ manoeuvre over the saluting dais.