Published: Sun, January 28, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Breaking gender stereotypes: BSF women bikers steal limelight at Republic Day parade

Breaking gender stereotypes: BSF women bikers steal limelight at Republic Day parade

A grand display of Indian military might and rich cultural diversity in the presence of leaders from the 10 Asean nations marked the 69th Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath on Friday. Christened Seema Bhavani, the contingent drew applause from the crowd as well as the dignitaries as it zoomed past. PM Narendra Modi greets people after #RepublicDay parade pic./TtACMHS6hd - ANI () January 26, 2018 West Bengal: Sweets exchanged between troops of the Border Security Force and Border Guards, Bangladesh at Fulbari post.

Army contingents marched with the ASEAN flag as well as the flags of all the countries whose heads attended the event.Showcasing the diverse culture of the nation, 23 tableaux from 14 states and UTs, including some from the ministries, were showcased on the occasion.

The Navy showcased Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) Vikrant, which will be commissioned in 2020 and the Defence Development and Research Organisation exhibited the "Nirbhay" missile and the Ashwini radar system. Earlier the Congress chiefs were given front rows regardless of whether they were in power or not, party leaders said.

Camel Contingents, Indian Coast Guard, Sashastra Seema Bal, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme were also among the marching contingents at the parade.

Tanks, Missile show in Parade: Three T-90 tanks, two BRAHMOS missiles, two AKASH missiles also become part of the mechanised columns at the parade.

Further the event also saw the posthumous conferment of the Ashok Chakra to Jyoti Prakash Nirala, an IAF Garud commando who laid down his life while gunning down two terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Congress slammed the Centre for playing petty politics after party chief Rahul Gandhi was made to sit in the sixth row at the Republic Day Parade.

In the children's section, over 800 boys and girls drawn from three schools in Delhi along with a group of school children from Nagpur and Dimapur, performed colourful dances on different themes. This was for the first time that BSF included women bikers squad to perform stunts at the Republic Day. Five Mi-17 V5 helicopters of the Indian Air Force preceded the parade commander and the lead helicopter carried the national flag.

The parade commenced amid a heavy security blanket with thousands of security personnel, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshooters deployed in view of the event being attended by ASEAN leaders.

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