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Women Shine in the Spotlight at 75th Republic Day Parade

At the 75th Republic Day Parade, women were the main attraction. In every aspect of India’s most ceremonial spectacle, from the flypast to the mechanized columns, marching contingents, bands, and cultural programs, female embodiment was made prominent. Despite the cold, tens of thousands gathered on Kartavya Path to join in the festivities that celebrated the power and strength of women.

Unfurling the National Flag

In the presence of President Droupadi Murmu, the national flag was unfurled by a female officer, Major Saumya Shukla, amidst a booming 21 gun salute presented by the ceremonial Battery of the Army’s 871 Field Regiment. The chief guest was French President Emmanuel Macron. Escorted by the President’s Bodyguard, both Murmu and Macron made their stylish entrance to the venue in a horse-drawn buggy that has been absent from the limelight for several decades.

Republic Day Parade

The parade paid glorious tribute to the nation’s extraordinary women, with pivotal roles played by proud and strong women receiving standing ovations. The parade was kick-started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who led the nation in respects to those soldiers who laid down their lives for their country at the National War Memorial.

Highlight of the Festivities

Setting the mood for the festivities were four Mi-17 helicopters of the Indian Air Force’s 105 Helicopter Unit. Flying in a spearhead formation, they showered petals upon the cheering crowds on Kartavya Path. One of the pilots in this eight-helicopter formation was a woman, Squadron Leader Poornima. Instead of the traditional military bands, the parade was led by an ensemble of 112 women artists playing several Indian musical instruments.

International Participation

French military personnel also participated in our parade, with a 95-member contingent and a 33-member band from France. Also featured in the flypast were two Rafale fighters and an Airbus A330 MRTT from the French air force.

Women In The Driver’s Seat

The parade was a landmark event for women in the nation, with their participation comprising 80% of all activities. There were fifteen women pilots who participated in the flypast, including six fighter pilots. They flew different aircraft including Rafales and Sukhoi-30s. An exclusive women’s contingent from the tri-services, consisting of Agniveers, was also a part of the parade for the first time. Two women officers commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery last year participated as well.

Cultural Extravaganza

The cultural program called “Vande Bharatam” showcased women power through 30 different traditional dance styles performed by 1500 women dancers. Additionally, a group of 265 women bikers from the Central Armed Police Forces put on an exhilarating display of motorcycle stunts.

BSF Marching Contingent and Wide-Ranging Audience

The Border Security Force contingent had 144 women and was led by Assistant Commandant Monika Lakra. The band of the BSF was also led by a woman, Sub Inspector Shweta Singh. The parade was attended by approximately 77,000 spectators, including 13,000 special guests. These were individuals who had made a mark in their respective fields and had successfully availed of various government schemes.

All of these achievements are an ode to the power of women and a reflection of the changing societal dynamics in India. The Republic Day Parade highlighted how women are not only participating but leading in various central aspects of the nation.


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