On the 75th Republic Day celebration, the Kartavya Path witnessed a series of notable firsts during the parade, adding a distinctive touch to the grand event.
The groundbreaking moments included a troupe of 100 women artistes showcasing traditional musical instruments, a departure from the conventional military bands.
The parade also featured all-woman marching contingents from the Army, Navy, Air Force, medical services, and Delhi Police. Notably, a couple serving in the Army participated in the same parade, marking a historic first.
The debut of the recently inducted IAF’s C-295 aircraft and the rollout of six all-terrain specialist vehicles brought a novel edge to the parade, showcasing modern capabilities tailored for diverse terrains.
Among the 13,000 special guests present, ranging from space scientists to sarpanches and entrepreneurs to street vendors, French President Emmanuel Macron’s attendance marked the sixth participation of France in the Republic Day event, the highest among all nations. A French military team also marched alongside Indian contingents down the historical avenue.
Highlighting the spirit of “nari shakti” (women power), the armed forces displayed a significant female presence in ceremonial marches. Captain Sandhya Mahla led an all-woman tri-service contingent, featuring women Agniveers, while Major Srishti Khulla led an all-woman Armed Forces Medical Services marching contingent.
In a unique occurrence, Major Jerry Blaize and Captain Supreetha CT made history as the first couple to march down Kartavya Path as members of two contingents. The parade also featured a 149-member, all-male contingent of the Bombay Sappers, returning after two decades, led by Major Divya Tyagi.
The Army showcased various indigenous weapons systems, including the T-90 Bhishma tank, NAG missile system, Sarvatra mobile bridging system, drone jammer system, and medium-range surface-to-air missile system.
The Navy tableau highlighted women in all roles and the indigenous carrier battle group with aircraft carrier Vikrant and GSAT-7 satellite. The Indian Air Force’s tableau depicted LCA Tejas, Su-30, and the new C-295 transport aircraft, showcasing the use of space technology with the GSAT-7A satellite.
The parade concluded with daredevil stunts performed by 265 women on motorcycles and a traditional flypast featuring 46 aircraft, including 15 women pilots. Two Rafale jets and an Airbus A330 multi-role tanker from France also participated, adding an international dimension to the spectacle.