President Droupadi Murmu led the nation in commemorating the 75th Republic Day at Kartavya Path in Delhi, with French President Emmanuel Macron as the Chief Guest. The parade, centered around the themes of ‘Viksit Bharat’ and ‘Bharat – Loktantra Ki Matruka,’ showcased India’s rich cultural diversity and military prowess, featuring 13,000 special guests.
A noteworthy highlight of this year’s Republic Day Parade was the unprecedented participation of over 100 women artists, heralding the event with traditional Indian musical instruments such as the shankh, naadswaram, and nagada. Breaking new ground, an all-women tri-service contingent marched down Kartavya Path, symbolizing ‘Nari Shakti’ or ‘women power.’ Women pilots captivated the audience during the flypast, while the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) contingents exclusively comprised women personnel.
The 120-minute parade commenced at 10.30 am, featuring a combined band and marching contingent of the French armed forces, led by Captain Khourda and Captain Noel, respectively. A multirole tanker aircraft and two Rafale fighter jets from the French Air and Space Force soared above the contingents, adding an international flair to the celebration.
The Indian Army’s mechanized column was led by the 61 Cavalry, the only active Horsed Cavalry Regiment globally, founded in 1953 and commanded by Major Yashdeep Ahlawat. The Indian Navy contingent, known as the Agniveers, comprised 144 men and women, led by Lt Prajwal M, and showcased a naval tableau highlighting the themes ‘Nari Shakti’ and ‘Sea Power Across the Oceans Through Indigenisation.’
The Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent, led by Squadron Leader Rashmi Thakur, included 144 airmen and four officers. The parade also featured the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), showcasing critical systems and technologies with a tableau themed ‘Women power in protecting the nation in all five dimensions – land, air, sea, cyber, and space.’
Notably, various contingents from the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Delhi Police were led by women personnel, emphasizing gender inclusivity. Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Sashastra Seema Bal, and Delhi Police contingents were each led by accomplished women officers.
In essence, the Republic Day Parade of 2024 was a spectacular display of India’s unity, cultural diversity, and commitment to gender equality, encapsulated in the theme of ‘Nari Shakti’ permeating every facet of the celebration.