Ministry of Defence
Curtain Raiser – Republic Day – 2018
Republic Day 2018 is very special when the country will be celebrating its 69th Republic Day tomorrow with 10 Heads of State/Government will grace the Republic Day Parade on the historic Rajpath, the principal promenade of New Delhi. We have had a history of hosting a chief guest from a foreign nation at our Republic Day Parade in the Capital. However, having 10 Heads of State/Government in our midst to witness the most spectacular show of our nation, makes this Republic Day Parade so special.
Our honoured Chief Guests are Heads of State/Government from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It clearly signifies our strengthening relations with the ASEAN and ASEAN nations. Keeping in sync with our ‘Act East Policy’.
Rajpath will come alive tomorrow morning where the nation showcases her military might and traditions coupled with the latest initiatives and achievements along with her rich diverse social and cultural heritage. Another feather in tomorrow’s pageant will be two tableaux showcasing our historical, civilizational, educational, religious and cultural linkages with the ASEAN nations.
The parade ceremony will commence at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate where the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will lead the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath. An eternal flame burns at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to commemorate the indomitable courage of our Armed Forces personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the motherland. The Amar Jawan, the immortal soldier, is symbolised by a reversed rifle standing on its barrel and crested by a soldier’s helmet.
Women’s Motor Cycle team ‘Seema Bhawani’ of Border Security Force will be the main attraction of the spectacle, which was raised at Central School of Motor Transport (CSMT), BSF Academy Tekanpur on 20th October 2016. The BSF motorcycle team ‘Seema Bhawani’ is led by Sub Inspector Stanzin Noryang. The splendid driving skills of ‘Seema Bhawani’ will display stunts like Salute to President, Fish Riding, Side Riding, Faulaad, Prachand Baalay Shaktiman, Four Harmony, Mobile PT, Bull Fighting, Peacock, Sapt Rishi, Brahma Yog Guldasta, Wind Mill Formation, Seema Prahari, Bharat Ke Mustaid Prahari, Sarhad Ke Nigheban and Flag March Pyramid.
As per tradition, after unfurling the National Flag, the national anthem will be played with a 21 gun salute. The parade will then commence and the President will take the salute. To further strengthening the robust relationship, Government of India invited leaders of ASEAN as chief guests in Republic Day Parade – 2018. They are Prime Minister of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Dr Thongloun Sisoulith; Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Nguyễn Xuân Phúc; the State Counsellor of Myanmar, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (ASSK); Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, General Prayut Chan-o-cha; Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato’, Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak; Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong; Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen; President of the Republic of the Philippines, Rodrigo Roa Duterte; President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo and Prime Minister of Brunei, Darussalam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah.
The parade will be commanded by Lt. General Asit Mistry, General Officer Commanding, Headquarters Delhi Area. Major General Rajpal Punia, Chief of Staff, Headquarters Delhi Area will be the parade Second-in-Command.
Param Vir Chakra winners Subedar Major & Honorary Captain Bana Singh (Retd), Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers and Naib Subedar Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles and Ashok Chakra winners Major General Cyrus A Pithawalla (Retd), Lt Col Jas Ram Singh (Retd), Lt Colonel D Sreeram Kumar, Naib Subedar (Honorary) Chhering Mutup (Retd) and Shri Govind Singh of district Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh & Shri Bhure Lal of district Guna also from Madhya Pradesh will follow the Deputy Parade Commander on Jeeps.
The marching contingents start with flag bearer contingent bearing the ASEAN and 10 ASEAN countries’ flags followed by the Indian Army Band drawn from 39 Gorkha Training Centre and 1 EME Centre.
The Indian Army’s T-90 tank (Bhishma), Ballway Machine Pikate (II/IIK), Brahmos Missile System, Weapon Locating Radar (Swathi), Bridge Laying Tank T-72, Mobile Base Transceiver Station and Akash Weapon System will be the main draw in the mechanised columns.
The marching contingent of the Army will include horse-mounted columns of the 61st Cavalry, the Punjab Regiment, Maratha Light Infantry, the Dogra Regiment, Ladakh Scouts, the Regiment of Artillery and 123 Infantry Battalion – Territorial Army (Grenadiers) followed by the tableau of Ex-Servicemen.
The marching contingent of the Navy comprising 144 young sailors will be led by Lieutenant Tushar Gautam, while the Indian Air Force contingent comprising 144 men will be led by Squadran Leader Attal Singh Shekhon. The Paramilitary and other auxiliary civil forces will include the Border Security Force marching as well as Camel Contingents, Indian Coast Guard, Sashastra Seema Bal, Indo Tibetan Border Police, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme.
This year the Indian Navy’s Tableau will have the theme “Indian Navy – Combat Ready Force for National Security”. The tableau showcases proudly illustrates the combat potential of the multi-dimensional Indian Navy of the 21st Century.
An Indian Air Force Tableau will roll down the Rajpath with the theme “Indian Air Force Encouraging Indigenisation”. Models displayed in the tableau are Tejas Multirole Fighter Aircraft, Rudra Helicopter, Arudhra Radar and Akash missile system.
Tableaux from 14 States and UT, Nine Central Ministries, Departments and Central Paramilitary Force will present the varied historical, art and cultural heritage of the country. They will also showcase country’s progress in different fields, particularly floats from Karnataka, Gujarat, Tripura, Maharashtra, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur and Kerala with their varied themes, which will be of special attraction. The floats of All India Radio, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Income Tax Department will showcase the rapid development of some of the flagship programmes of the Government.
Eighteen children, including seven girls selected for the National Bravery Award–2017 will also participate in the parade. Three children have got the award posthumously. In the children’s pageant section, over 800 boys and girls drawn from three schools in Delhi and a group of school children from South Central Zone Cultural Centre, Nagpur and North East Zone Cultural Centre, Dimapur will perform colourful dances on varied themes.
The grand finale of the parade will be a spectacular flypast by the IAF. The flypast will commence with the ‘Rudra’ formation comprising three ALH Mk IV WSI helicopters in ‘Vic’ formation, followed by the ‘Hercules’ formation comprising three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft in ‘Vic’ formation. Trailing them will be the ‘Netra’ which is an Airborne Early Warning and Control System Aircraft also known as “Eye in the Sky”. It will be followed by the ‘Globe formation’ comprising one C-17 Globemaster flanked by two Su-30 MKIs.
Next in line will be the fighters, where three LCA aircraft Tejas will fly in ‘Vic’ formation followed by five Jaguars in Arrowhead formation. Another five MiG-29 Upgrade Air Superiority Fighters will fly in Fulcrum style. Then the breath-taking ‘Trishul’ formation comprising three Su-30 MKIs would fly over the Rajpath, and once in front of the saluting dais, the Su-30 MKI aircraft will split upwards, making a Trishul in the sky. The flypast will conclude with another Su-30 MKI carrying out a ‘Vertical Charlie’ manoeuvre over the saluting dais.
The ceremony will culminate with the national anthem and release of balloons.