As India celebrated it’s 70th Republic Day, a special parade bedecked the majestic route of Rajpath. The chief guest at the exalted event this year was South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was invited by PM Modi during the meeting of the two leaders in the G20 summit in Argentina last year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his tributes to the martyrs who had laid down their lives for the nation by laying a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti. Further he proceeded to the parade along with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani, a militant-turned-soldier who laid down his life while fighting a group of terrorists in Kashmir in November, was awarded the Ashoka Chakra by President Ram Nath Kovind Saturday. The gallantry honour, was received by Wani’s wife and mother at the Republic Day celebration. Wani is the first ever Kashmiri to be awarded the Ashoka Chakra.
India’s 70th Republic Day turned out exceptional and exclusive for more than one reason. One amongst the many firsts was discernable poyrayal of female power.
An all-woman contingent from the Assam Rifles unit of the Indian Army led by Khushboo Kanwar saluted the President at the Rajpath. The same contingent was also a part of the Assam Rifles, also known as India’s oldest paramilitary force. “For the first time in history, a women contingent of the paramilitary will be marching on the majestic Rajpath,” a lady officer said.
Another focal point of the event was Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi, who led a contingent of Army Service Corps which comprised of 144 men. It is after a long gap of 23 years that the Army Service Corps became a part of the annual parade.
Among all this , a woman officer as a part of the Army’s ‘Dare Devils’ motorcycle team – Captain Shikha Surbhi, performed her stunt in which she rode a bike standing as she saluted the President.
Contingents of the Navy, Army Services Corps and a unit of Corps of Signals were all be led by women officers. It makes us proud to see so many women fudge together a memorable performance. The day, mammoth in its significance unfolded as a commemoration awe- inspiring and monumental for the nation.
Narhitya Nawal is TTV’s news piece writer.