New Delhi, President Ram Nath Kovind will lead the Nation in celebrating 73rd Republic Day on January 26, 2022. The celebrations this year are special as the Republic Day falls in the 75th year of Independence, being celebrated as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ across the country.
To mark the occasion, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has conceptualised a series of new events during the main parade on Rajpath on January 26 and ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony at Vijay Chowk on January 29. It has been decided that the Republic Day celebrations will now be week-long from January 23-30 every year. The celebrations will commence on January 23, the birth anniversary of great freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and culminate on January 30, which is observed as Martyrs’ Day.
Many unique initiatives
Several firsts planned during the main parade include the launch of ‘Shaheedon Ko Shat Shat Naman’ programme by National Cadet Corps; a grand flypast by 75 aircraft/helicopters of the Indian Air Force; cultural performances by 480 dancers selected through a nationwide Vande Bharatam dance competition; display of ten scrolls each of 75 metres prepared during the ‘Kala Kumbh’ event and installation of 10 large LED screens for a better viewing experience of spectators. A drone show by 1,000 indigenously developed drones has been planned for ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony, along with projection mapping.
Parade Time change
The parade at Rajpath will start at 1030 hrs, instead of the earlier timing of 1000 hrs to provide better visibility to the parade and flypast.
Special arrangements have been made keeping in view the current COVID-19 situation. The number of seats for spectators has been significantly reduced and people are being encouraged to register on the MyGov portal (https://www.mygov.in/rd2022/) to witness the live celebrations online. They will also get to vote for best marching contingent and tableau in popular choice category.
Only double vaccinated adults/one dose vaccinated children of 15 years and above will be allowed entry at the parade. Children below 15 years of age will not be permitted. All social distancing norms will be followed and wearing of mask is compulsory. No foreign contingent will be participating this year in view of the pandemic.
Special arrangements have been made to give opportunity to those segments of society which usually do not get to watch the parade. Some sections of auto-rickshaw drivers, construction workers, safai karamcharis and frontline health workers will be invited to watch the Republic Day Parade as well as the ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony.
The Republic Day Parade ceremony will commence with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the National War Memorial. He will lead the nation in paying solemn tributes to the fallen heroes by laying a wreath. Thereafter, the Prime Minister and other dignitaries will head to the saluting dais at Rajpath to witness the parade.
As per tradition, the National Flag will be unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute. The parade will commence with President Shri Ram Nath Kovind taking the salute. The parade will be commanded by Parade Commander, Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, Ati Vishisth Seva Medal, a second-generation Army officer. Major General Alok Kacker, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area will be the Parade Second-in-Command.
The proud winners of the highest gallantry awards will follow. They include the winners of Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra. Param Vir Chakra winners Subedar Major (Honorary Captain) Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers (Retd) and Subedar (Honorary Lieutenant) Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles and Ashok Chakra winner Colonel D Sreeram Kumar will follow the Deputy Parade Commander on Jeeps. The Param Vir Chakra is awarded for the most conspicuous act of bravery and self-sacrifice in the face of the enemy. The Ashok Chakra is awarded for similar acts of valour and self-sacrifice but, other than, in the face of the enemy.
Indian Army Contingents
The first contingent in the uniform of the erstwhile Gwalior Lancers will be 61 Cavalry led by Major Mrityunjay Singh Chouhan. The 61 Cavalry is the only active serving horse cavalry regiment in the world. It was raised on August 01, 1953 with the amalgamation of six state forces’ cavalry units.
The Indian Army will be represented by a Mounted Column of 61 Cavalry, 14 Mechanised Columns, six marching contingents and a fly past by Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) of Army Aviation. One Tank PT-76 & Centurion (On Tank Transporters) & two MBT Arjun MK-I, one APC TOPAS & BMP-I (On Tank Transporter) & Two BMP-II, one 75/24 Towed Gun (On Vehicle) & two Dhanush Gun System, one PMS Bridge & Two Sarvatra Bridge System, one HT-16 (On Vehicle) & two Tarang Shakti Electronic Warfare System, one Tiger Cat Missile & two Akash Missile System will be the main attraction in the mechanised columns.
A total of six marching contingents of the Army will be there including the Rajput Regiment, the Assam Regiment, the Jammu & Kashmir Light Regiment, the Sikh Light Regiment, the Army Ordnance Corps and the Parachute Regiment. The combined Band of the Madras Regimental Centre, the Kumoun Regimental Centre, Maratha Light Regimental Centre, Jammu & Kashmir Light Regimental Centre, Army Medical Corps Centre and School, 14 Gorkha Training Centre, Army Supply Corps Centre and College, Bihar Regimental Centre and Army Ordnance Corps Centre will also march past the saluting dais.
Past to Present: Soldiers’ Uniform and weapons to showcase evolution
The theme of the marching contingents will be the display of the evolution of uniform and personnel weapon of Indian Army over last 75 years. The contingent of the Rajput Regiment will be wearing the uniform of Indian Army of 1947 and would be carrying .303 Rifle. The Assam Regiment will be in uniform during the period of the 1962 and carrying .303 Rifles. The Jammu & Kashmir Light Regiment would be in uniform worn during 1971 and would carry 7.62mm self loading Rifle. The contingent of the Sikh Light Regiment and the Army Ordnance Corps would be in the present day uniform with 5.56mm INSAS Rifle. The contingent of the Parachute Regiment would be donning the new Combat Uniform of Indian Army, unveiled on January 15, 2022 and would be carrying 5.56mm x 45mm TAVOR Rifle.
Indian Navy Contingent
The Naval contingent will comprise of 96 young sailors & four officers led by Lt Cdr Aanchal Sharma as Contingent Commander. It will be followed by the Naval Tableau which is designed with the aim to showcase the multi-dimensional capabilities of the Indian Navy and highlight the key inductions under ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. The ongoing ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ also finds a special mention in the tableau.
The forward part of the tableau depicts the Naval Uprising of 1946, which contributed in India’s struggle for independence. The rear section illustrates the ‘Make in India’ initiatives of the Indian Navy from 1983 to 2021. Model of New Vikrant with LCA Navy in air flanked by models of indigenously designed and built warships. The frames on the sides of the trailer depict the construction of Indian Naval platforms in India.
Indian Air Force Contingent
The Indian Air Force contingent comprises of 96 airmen and four officers and will be led by Squadron Leader Prashant Swamyanathan. The Air Force tableau is titled ‘Indian Air Force, Transforming for the Future’. The tableau showcases scaled down models of MiG-21, Gnat, Light Combat Helicopter and Rafale aircraft, as well as the Aslesha radar.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will display two tableaux, signifying the defence technological advancements of country. The tableaux are titled ‘Suite of Indigenously Developed Sensors, Weapons and Electronic Warfare Systems for LCA Tejas’ and ‘Air Independent Propulsion System’ developed for the submarines of Indian Navy.
The first tableau will display an indigenously-developed Advanced Electronically Scanned Array Radar; five different aerial launched weapons and an Electronic Warfare Jammer to further enhance the capabilities of fourth generation LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas. The second tableau showcases indigenously-developed AIP System for propelling the Indian Naval submarines underwater. The AIP System is powered by indigenously-developed fuel cells with a novel onboard hydrogen generator.
Indian Coast Guard Contingent
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) contingent will be led by Deputy Commandant H T Manjunath. ‘Ready, Relevant and Responsive’, the ICG, in January 2021, undertook a major fire-fighting operation ‘Sagar Aaraksha-II’ in foreign waters, to douse a major fire onboard MV X-press Pearl off Sri Lanka. The ICG ships and aircraft relentlessly fought the fire for more than 150 hours & doused it successfully to avert a major ecological disaster in the region. The motto of the ICG is ‘Vayam Rakshamah’ meaning ‘We Protect’.
Contingents of CAPF & Delhi Police
The marching contingents of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), led by Assistant Commandant Ajay Malik; 15 times winner of best marching contingent, Delhi Police, led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Vivek Bhagat; Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) commanded by Assistant Commandant Mohnish Bagree; Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) led by Deputy Commandant Nirupesh Kumar and Border Security Force (BSF) Camel Contingent headed by Deputy Commandant Manohar Singh Kheechee will also march past the saluting dais.
The National Cadet Corps (NCC) Boys Marching contingent, comprising of 100 Senior Division cadets, will be led by Senior Under Officer Rupendra Singh Chauhan of the Punjab Directorate. Senior Under Officer Pramila of Karnataka Directorate will head the NCC Girls Marching contingent, consisting of 100 Senior Wing Cadets drawn from all 17 Directorates. The marching contingent of National Service Scheme (NSS), comprising of 100 volunteers, will be headed by Baraiya Siddhi Ramesh from Diu Union Territory, Ahmedabad Directorate.
It will be followed by tableaux of 12 States/Union Territories and nine Ministries/Departments, which have been prepared on various themes under ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. The list of tableaux of states/UTs is as follows:
|1||Arunachal Pradesh||Anglo-Abor (Adi) Wars|
|2||Haryana||Haryana: No 1 in Sports|
|3||Chhattisgarh||Godhan Nyay Yojana: A new path to prosperity|
|4||Goa||Symbols of Goan heritage|
|5||Gujarat||Tribal Revolutionaries of Gujarat|
|6||Jammu & Kashmir||Changing face of Jammu & Kashmir|
|7||Karnataka||Karnataka: The cradle of traditional handicrafts|
|8||Maharashtra||Biodiversity and State Bio-symbols of Maharashtra|
|9||Meghalaya||Meghalaya’s 50 years of Statehood and its tribute to Women-led cooperative societies and SHGs|
|10||Punjab||Punjab’s contribution in freedom struggle|
|11||Uttar Pradesh||ODOP and Kashi Vishwanath Dham|
|12||Uttarakhand||Pragati Ki Aur Badhta Uttarakhand|
The list of tableaux of Ministries/Departments is as under:
|1||Ministry of Education & Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship||National Education Policy|
|2||Ministry of Civil Aviation||UDAN – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik|
|3||Ministry of Communication/Department of Posts||India Post: 75 years @ Resolve – Women Empowerment|
|4||Ministry of Home Affairs (CRPF)||CRPF: Saga of Valour and Sacrifice|
|5||Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (CPWD)||Subhash @125|
|6||Ministry of Textiles||Shuttling to the Future|
|7||Ministry of Law & Justice, Department of Justice||Ek Mutthi Aasmaa: Lok Adalat, Inclusive Legal system|
|8||Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation||Jal Jeevan Mission: Changing Lives|
|9||Ministry of Culture||150 years of Shri Aurobindo|
The tableaux will be followed by cultural performances by 480 dancers chosen through an all-India dance competition ‘Vande Bharatam’. It is for the first time that dance groups, which will perform during the parade, have been chosen based on all India level competition. This will be followed by motorcycle display by Seema Bhawani Motorcycle Team of BSF and Himveers of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
The grand finale and the most keenly awaited segment of the parade, the Fly Past, will, for the first time, witness 75 aircraft/helicopters of the Indian Air Force displaying a number of formations, as part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. Vintage as well as current modern aircraft/helicopters like Rafale, Sukhoi, Jaguar, Mi-17, Sarang, Apache and Dakota will display different formations, including Rahat, Meghna, Eklavya, Trishul, Tiranga, Vijay and Amrit. The ceremony will culminate with the national anthem and the release of Tri-colour balloons. For the first time IAF has coordinated with Doordarshan to show cockpit videos during the fly past.
Following are the details of the new initiatives planned during the Republic Day parade:
Shaheedon Ko Shat Shat Naman
On January 26, a nationwide flagship programme of NCC ‘Shaheedon Ko Shat Shat Naman’ will be launched to honour the supreme sacrifices of the fallen heroes in defending the Nation. Next of Kin (NOK) of approximately 5,000 fallen heroes will be presented with the Plaque of Gratitude by NCC cadets all over the country, at about the same time as Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays homage to the country’s bravehearts at the National War Memorial in New Delhi. The programme will continue till August 15, 2022. During the period, the NCC cadets, accompanied by NCC Officers/Permanent Instructor of State Directorates, will felicitate the NOKs of all 26,466 fallen heroes whose names were etched at the National War Memorial.
Kala Kumbh – Huge Scroll paintings to adorn Rajpath
Ten scrolls each of 75 metres in length and 15 ft in height will be displayed along the Rajpath during the parade. They were prepared during the ‘Kala Kumbh’ event jointly organised by Ministries of Defence & Culture. The scrolls were painted in two phases – at Bhubaneswar & Chandigarh – by over 600 renowned artists and young aspirants from across the country. Inspiration was drawn from the unsung heroes of the freedom struggle showcasing the rich cultural heritage of indigenous & contemporary visual art practices.
Vande Bharatam Nritya Utsav
For the first time, dancers who perform during the cultural programme at the parade have been selected through a nation-wide competition ‘Vande Bharatam’, jointly organised by Ministries of Defence and Culture. The competition that began at the district level with the participation of nearly 3,870 dancers in 323 groups progressed to state and zonal levels over a period of two months in November and December. Finally, 480 dancers were selected. They will showcase their talent during the parade at Rajpath.
Veer Gatha – Stories of Valour from school children
In another first, Ministry of Defence in collaboration with Ministry of Education organized nationwide ‘Veer Gatha’ competition to motivate school students to do projects on gallantry award winners. More than eight lakh students from around 4,800 schools across the country participated and shared their inspirational stories through essays, poems, drawings and multimedia presentations. After several rounds of evaluation, 25 were selected and declared as winners. They will receive cash prize of Rs 10,000 and witness the R Day parade.
Static Band Performance by CAPF
Before the commencement of the parade, the contingents of Central Armed Police Forces will undertake static band performances in the seating enclosures at Rajpath.
For a better viewing experience at the parade, 10 large LED screens – five on each side of Rajpath – will be installed. Curated films combining footages of previous Republic Day Parades, short films on the Armed Forces and stories related to various events in the run-up to the RDC 2022 will be screened before the parade. Thereafter, the screens will show the live event.
Beating the Retreat Ceremony
Apart from military bands performing martial tunes, some new activities have been planned during the Beating the Retreat Ceremony on January 29, 2022 at Vijay Chowk. These include a drone show and projection mapping.
A novel ‘Drone Show’ has been conceptualised, designed, produced and choreographed within the country. The ‘Make in India’ initiative has been organised by a startup ‘Botlab Dynamics’, supported by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and Department of Science & Technology. The show would be of 10 minutes duration involving around 1,000 drones fabricated through indigenous technology. Synchronised background music will also be played during the drone show.
Projection mapping show to commemorate 75 years of independence for duration of around three-four minutes would be showcased on the walls of North and South Block before the end of the ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony.