India’s Republic Day Extravaganza

Always intrigued by India and its Republic Day Parade and more than ever before since Doordarshan began live streaming it on YouTube. This was the 69th Republic Day and it was a grand show. The timezone difference notwithstanding I watched the entire programme until the wee hours of the morning with a great sense of pride. The 10 premiers of the ASEAN nations were the chief guests for the celebrations which had its moments of grandeur, but as always, my interest was ignited by the military equipment which wasn’t limited to the Bhishma T-90 tanks, the Akash SAM battery, and the BRAHMOS cruise missiles, although I would have appreciated seeing the most talked about Agni-V ICBM with a range of >5000 km, and then the military regiments in their vibrant colours putting their best foot forward in tandem. But it was the skilful acrobatic display of the BSF women cadets on bikes which were the most extraordinary. Altogether, it was a magnificent demonstration of India’s military might and cultural diversity on this special day. Jai Hind!