The Chief Guest of this year’s 70th Republic Day Parade was the current President of Africa Mr. Matabele Cyril Ramaphosa.This year, 22 tableaux of varied states and central government along with a variety of performances by school children were part of the 70th Republic Day 2019 parade.
The audience witnessing the parade were enthralled by the fantastic fly-past displayed by the Indian Air Force.For the first time, after a long struggle and demand from the Netaji Bose family and Maj Gen Gagandeep Bakshi, the Indian Government agreed to include the four of remaining freedom fighters of the Indian National Army (aged over 90 years) in the Republic Parade.
They were placed in a jeep immediately after Param Vir Chakra awardees. This is second honor accorded to them after PM Modi invited and honored them on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of INA foundation day on 21st October, 2018 at Red Fort.
The parade saw a fantastic performance by the Indian Army Corps of Signals as the security personnel performed adventurous stunts riding motorcycles. The highlight of the stunts was 33 people on 9 motorcycles’ making a human pyramid. The leader of this formation was Subedar Major Ramesh.
This year’s parade was full of women power as Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi created history by becoming the first woman army officer to lead an all-men Navy’s marching contingent. Also, for the very first time, the 2019 Parade saw the participation of an all-women Assam Rifles contingent marching past the Rajpath.
Amongst the main attraction for this year’s Republic Day Parade was the all-woman marching contingent. Niharika Bhatt, a 2015 batch IPS officer led the contingent of the Chandigarh Police Force.
Additionally, Captain Shikha Surabhi was the first and only woman officer in the Indian Army’s Motorcycle Daredevils Squad.The Indian Army as usual put up a great performance at the Republic Day parade. The Parade showed Captain Navneet Eric of 45 Cavalry commanding the T-90 (Bhishma), the main battle tank of the Indian Army.
Captain Devansh Bhutani, commanded K-9 Vajra-T, a self-propelled howitzer, during the 2019 parade. ‘Shankhnaad’ was heard on Rajpath for the first time. Another change that was introduced this year was the playing of a desi tune instead of the martial tune which has been played since British time. This martial tune created for the Indian Armed forces was played for the first time. This was the first original martial tune of independent India based on Indian classical music and the composition of the tune is the combination of three classical ragas–Raag Bilaskhani Todi, Raag Bhairavi and Raag Kirvani.