As India awaits the celebrations of Republic Day 2018, there are many freshly added elements that will make this year’s completely unique. Every year on 26th January, a grand parade takes place at India Gate featuring the armed forces, the cultural diversity, and the accomplishments of the nation in various fields.
Months of practice and rehearsals take place so as to give out a phenomenal performance making sure that nothing goes wrong. Every year, the public eagerly awaits the parade but this time the excitement is doubled. This is because the 69th Republic Day Parade is going to bring along a lot of fresh elements that have never been witnessed before.
So without beating around the bush, let’s take a look at the highlights of this year’s parade:
1) 10 Asean Leaders
For the first time in Indian history, the nation will host 10 state leaders as the guests for the Republic day celebrations. These leaders belong to the South East Asian Nations namely Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, and Brunei. Reports suggest that each of these leaders’ convoy will have 9 luxury cars. For seating all these leaders, the 100-feet wide stage has been set up, enclosed by a bulletproof glass.
2) All Woman Biker Contingent
Unlike every year, this year’s bike stunts performed by the armed forces will have all women bikers. The BSF has trained 113 women bikers who will ride on 26 350cc Royal Enfield bikes performing acrobatics and stunts. These bikers are between the ages of 20 to 31 and hail from almost every state of India. The idea was given by BSF Director General KK Sharma.
3) Mann ki Baat Tableau
PM Modi’s monthly radio address Man Ki Baat which is broadcasted on All India Radio, is likely to be featured as the AIR tableau at the parade. For this purpose, AIR has even received initial approvals and an extensive coverage of the 10 ASEAN leaders has also been planned.
4) Students’ Participation
This year’s republic day parade will witness participation from more than 770 students who will be performing Kathak and folk dances of Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, etc. Another 150 students from Delhi’s Mt Abu public school will be dressed up in the traditional attire of ASEAN nations.
5) Debut of Rudra Helicopters
The integrated helicopter Rudra, India’s indigenous weapon system will make its debut at the Republic day parade. The fly-past by Indian Air Force will consist of 38 aircrafts including 21 fighter planes, 12 helicopters, and 5 transporters.