India 67th Republic Day highlights
Here is what you need to look out for at the 67th Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi
Published: 09:00 January 26, 2016
BY Dona Cherian, Special to Guides Gulf News
The Presidential speech on the eve of the Republic Day is a much anticipated occasion for all Indians and you can watch a live webcast of the speech by President Pranab Mukherjee here.
Time 7.00pm (IST) 5.30pm (in UAE)
Every year, the parade and the celebrations get even more colourful and, for the first time since 1950, foreign troops will march down the Rajpath on Republic Day. French troops, the 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade, will march alongside Indian soldiers. The contingent is 76 soldiers strong and will be the first marching contingent of the parade.
While the traditional BSF contingent astride camels will march this time as well, a contingent of 36 army dogs and their handlers is a highlight of this year’s parade. Another ‘first’ is an all-women contingent performing stunts. 120 soldiers, part of the ‘Women Daredevils CRPF’, will showcase their skills tomorrow.
French president, Francois Hollande, is the guest of honour this year
A motorized glass roof has been installed for the VVIP enclosure as last year’s celebrations saw U.S. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama being forced to use umbrellas against the rain drizzle before the parade.
The list of Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awards has been announced. These are three of the highest civilian awards awarded by the Government of India and were instituted in 1954.
Every year, the list of awardees is announced on January 25, before the Republic day celebrations take place on the 26th.
The Padma Vibhushan awardees include South-Indian superstar Rajinikanth, Yamini Krishnamurthi (classical dancer), Girija Devi (classical singer), Ramoji Rao (entrepreneur), Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (humanitarian and spiritual leader), Dr Viswanathan Shanta (cancer specialist) and the late Dhirubhai Ambani (founder of Reliance Industries).
South Indian actor, Rajinikanth, is a cultural icon and a gifted actor
Padma Bhushan awardees include Anupam Kher (actor), Udit Narayan (singer), Saina Nehwal (badminton player), Sania Mirza (tennis player), Indu Jain (chairperson of Bennett, Coleman & Co.) among others.
Padma Shri awardees include Ajay Devgan and Priyanka Chopra from the Bollywood industry along with senior lawyer Ujjwal Nikam.
The Indian Consulate in Dubai has a series of events planned in celebration of the Republic Day. After a flag hoisting ceremony in the Consulate premises by the Consul General Mr. Anurag Bhushan, the festivities will continue in the Indian High School grounds in Oud Metha, Dubai. The Indian flag will be hoisted there as well followed by a march past and cultural performances by the students of Indian High School. The celebrations will be from 8am to 11am.
In the evening a cultural programme, titled ‘Bhaarat Meri Shaan’, will be hosted at the Indian High School grounds where students will perform various folk dances and other activities. The programme, under the patronage of the Consulate, will also present a chance to try various dishes from cuisines across India. The event starts at 6.30pm, January 26.
Both events are open to the public and has no entry fees.