India showcases military might at 62nd R’Day parade

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NEW DELHI - The 62nd Republic Day celebrations saw a spectacular showcase of India’s military might here, witnessed by millions on a cold but sunny Wednesday morning, to mark the day when the country’s constitution came into force.

Watching the parade at Rajpath, the grand boulevard in the heart of Delhi, was Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as chief guest. He is the second Indonesian chief guest on the occasion after Sukarno in 1950 — on India’s first Republic Day.

The armed forces unveiled the indigenous light combat aircraft Tejas besides displaying T-90 main battle tank (MBT), BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and advance light helicopter (ALH) Dhruv.

President Pratibaha Patil, the commander in chief of the armed forces, took salute as military contingents, including mounted troops from the 61st Cavalry, mechanised columns and eight regiments of the army marched down Rajpath.

Martial music from various contingents filled the air.

Present at the Rajpath were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his wife Gursharan Kaur, and tens of thousands of enthusiastic Indians on a clear and sunny day.

Patil earlier awarded Ashok Chakra, the country’s highest peacetime award for gallantry, posthumously to Major Laishram Jyotin Singh, an army doctor who died fighting terrorists who attacked the Indian embassy in Kabul last year.

Millions watched the spectacle on television — in India and abroad.

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