Building on last year’s celebrations, in the 75th year of Independence, celebrated as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the Republic Day celebration this year shall witness zeal, enthusiasm, patriotic fervour and ‘Jan Bhagidari’, as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. President Droupadi Murmu will lead the Nation in celebrating Republic Day from Kartavya Path in New Delhi on January 26, 2023. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi will be the Chief Guest at the parade.
The week-long celebrations commenced on January 23, the birth anniversary of great freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. To mark the occasion, a one-of-a-kind Military Tattoo and Tribal Dance Festival ‘Aadi Shaurya – Parv Parakram ka’ was organised in New Delhi on 23 and 24 January. The events will culminate on 30th January, which is observed as Martyrs’ Day.
The celebrations are marked by attractive performances from Vande Bharatam group of dancers from across the country, tales of bravery by Veer Gatha 2.0 participants, melodious performances by School Bands at the National War Memorial, the first-ever e-invitations, the largest-ever drone show and 3-D anamorphic projection.
The Republic Day parade, which will begin at around 1030 hrs, will be a unique mix of the country’s military prowess and cultural diversity, depicting the country’s growing indigenous capabilities, Nari Shakti and emergence of a ‘New India’. The parade ceremony will commence with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the National War Memorial. He will lead the nation in paying solemn tributes to the fallen heroes by laying a wreath.
Thereafter, the Prime Minister and other dignitaries will head to the saluting dais at Kartavya Path to witness the parade. As per tradition, the National Flag will be unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute. Amongst the many firsts, the 21-gun salute will be given with 105-mm Indian Field Guns. It replaces the vintage 25-pounder gun, reflecting upon the growing ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence. Four Mi-17 1V/V5 helicopters of 105 Helicopter Unit will shower flower petals on the audience present at Kartavya Path.
The parade will commence with the President taking the salute. The parade will be commanded by Parade Commander, Lieutenant General Dhiraj Seth, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, a second-generation Army officer. Major General Bhavnish Kumar, Chief of Staff, HQ Delhi Area will be the Parade Second-in-Command. The proud winners of the highest gallantry awards will follow. They include the winners of Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra. Param Vir Chakra winners Subedar Major (Honorary Captain) Bana Singh, 8 JAK LI (Retd); Subedar Major (Honorary Captain) Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers (Retd) & Subedar (Honorary Lieutenant) Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles and Ashok Chakra winners Major General CA Pithawalla (Retd); Colonel D Sreeram Kumar and Lieutenant Colonel Jas Ram Singh (Retd) will follow the Deputy Parade Commander on Jeeps. The Param Vir Chakra is awarded for the most conspicuous act of bravery and self-sacrifice in the face of the enemy, while the Ashok Chakra is awarded for similar acts of valour and self-sacrifice but, other than, in the face of the enemy.
Marching down the Kartavya Path for the first time will be the combined Band and Marching contingent of the Egyptian Armed Forces, led by Colonel Mahmoud Mohamed Abdel Fattah El Kharasawy. The contingent will consist of 144 soldiers, representing the main branches of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
Indian Army Contingents
The first contingent in the uniform of the 61 Cavalry will be led by Captain Raizada Shaurya Bali. The 61 Cavalry is the only serving active Horse Cavalry Regiment in the world, with the amalgamation of all the ‘State Horse Units’.
The Indian Army will be represented by a Mounted Column of 61 Cavalry, nine Mechanised Columns, six marching contingents and a fly-past by Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) of the Army Aviation Corps. Main Battle Tank ARJUN, NAG Missile System (NAMIS), Infantry Combat Vehicle of BMP-2 SARATH, Quick Reaction Fighting Vehicle, K-9 Vajra-tracked Self-Propelled Howitzer Gun, BrahMos missile, 10m Short Span Bridge, Mobile Microwave Node & Mobile Network Centre and AKASH (New Generation Equipment) will be the main attractions in the mechanised columns. A total of six marching contingents of the Army, including The Mechanised Infantry Regiment, The Punjab Regiment, The Maratha Light Infantry Regiment, The Dogra Regiment, The Bihar Regiment and The Gorkha Brigade will march past the saluting dais.
Another highlight of the parade this year will be Veterans’ Tableau, with the theme ‘Towards India’s Amrit Kaal with Resolve – A Veterans’ Commitment’. It will provide a glimpse of veterans’ contributions in the last 75 years and their initiatives in shaping India’s future during ‘Amrit Kaal’.
Indian Navy Contingent
The Indian Navy contingent will comprise 144 young sailors, led by Lt Cdr Disha Amrith as Contingent Commander. For the first time ever, the marching contingent consists of three women and six Agniveers. It will be followed by the Naval Tableau, designed on the theme ‘Indian Navy – Combat Ready, Credible, Cohesive and Future Proof’. It will showcase the multi-dimensional capabilities of the Indian Navy, Nari Shakti and key indigenously designed and built assets under ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. The forward part of the tableau will illustrate the women aircrew of Dornier aircraft, highlighting all-women crew surveillance sortie undertaken last year. The main section of the tableau will display the ‘Make in India’ initiatives of the Navy. There will be a model of the new indigenous Nilgiri class ship with a Dhruv helicopter deploying marine commandos. On the sides, models of indigenous Kalvari class submarines will be depicted. The rear section of the tableau will display models of autonomous unmanned systems being indigenously developed under the iDEX-Sprint Challenge.
Indian Air Force Contingent
The Indian Air Force contingent will comprise 144 air warriors and four officers, led by Sqn Ldr Sindhu Reddy. The Air Force tableau, designed on the theme ‘Indian Air Force Power Beyond Boundaries’, will display a rotating globe highlighting IAF’s expanded reach, whereby it has been able to provide humanitarian assistance across borders, as also exercises conducted with friendly countries. It will also showcase Light Combat Aircraft Tejas MK-II, Light Combat Helicopter ‘Prachand’, Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft NETRA and C-295 Transport aircraft. The tableau will also display a team of GARUDs in combat gear with laser designation equipment and specialist weapons.