By Express News Service, in The New Indian Express,27th January 2016
PM Narendra Modi walks down the Rajpath after the R-Day parade
NEW DELHI: Braving the winter chill, more than 10,000 spectators witnessed the country’s military prowess and reveled in the multiple hues of the country’s rich cultural diversity and achievements showcased through various tableaux at the historic Rajpath on Tuesday at the 67th Republic Day parade, graced by French President Francois Hollande.
Following intelligence inputs of a terror threat, the national capital was brought under an unprecedented security blanket as thousands of personnel kept hawk-eyed vigil to thwart untoward incidents. Guest of Honour Hollande was seated between President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi who wore a marigold-coloured ‘safa’ (turban). Modi was seen explaining things to Hollande on several occasions during the one-and-a-half-hour event. This year, the duration of the parade was shortened from more than two hours.
A French military contingent marched down Rajpath in a first by any foreign armed force. And honouring the visiting guest, the 136-soldier contingent was given pride of place over Indian marching teams.
Apart from India’s missile-firing capable T-90 ‘Bhishma’ tank, the Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP II (Sarath), Mobile Autonomous Launcher of the BrahMos Missile System, Akash Weapon System and SMERCH Launcher Vehicles, the highlights of the parade included a canine squad.