As Republic Day celebrations are in full swing across the country, the parade at Delhi’s Rajpath saw several firsts this year. From women bikers of CRPF performing daredevils stunts to PM Narendra Modi paying his respects to the fallen soldiers at the National War Memorial, it was a day when the country witnesses a break from traditions.

Prime Minister Modi for the first time paid his tributes to the fallen soldiers at the newly built National War Memorial (NWM) at the India Gate on Republic day. Newly-appointed Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and three service chiefs — Army chief General M M Naravane, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria also accompanied him.

The memorial was inaugurated by Modi in February last year in the memory of soldiers who were martyred after independence. 

 The star attraction of the parade, Captain Tania Shergill led an all-male Army contingent of 144 personnel, 2 JCOs and one officer.

This was the first time when the contingent of the Corps of Army Air Defence marched in the parade followed by the Combined Band of Bengal Engineers Group and Centre, Brigade of Guards Training Centre, 3 Electronics and Mechanical Engineers Centre and Madras Regimental Centre.

The Republic Day 2020 also marked a day of public display for new weaponry with Anti-Satellite Weapons (ASAT) including DRDO missile used in last year’s ‘Mission Shakti’ anti-satellite weapon test and a 155mm ‘make-in-India’ Dhanush gun.

Another debutants this year were the ‘Saravatra Bridge’ system, a five-metre short span bridge system and an air defence tactical control radar.

Moreover, a contingent of women bikers of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) performed daredevil stunts for the first time at the parade. The contingent was led by Inspector Seema Nag. Nag was standing on her bike and saluting as it rolled down the Rajpath. Following that, several contingents performed several mindboggling stunts which awed the spectators.

Making its debut,  took part in the celebrations in Rajpath. Wing Commander SK Chauhan led the formation, while, Squadron leader Vikas Kumar and Squadron leader Abhishek Vashisht piloted the other two copters. The formation is supposed to resemble the Chief of Defence Staff-who watches over the Navy, Army and Air Force. 

The flypast by IAF aircraft saw the debut of 3 ALH helicopters in ‘tri-service formation’, US-made heavy-lift Chinooks and the deadly Apaches.

While there is a national holiday declared on this day, Indians mark the day by hoisting the national flag and remembering the work of our freedom fighters and our founding fathers. 

Courtesy : DNA

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