Republic Day 2024: Biggest representation of women ever, French Foreign Legion to march on Kartavya Path
French President Emmanuel Macron will be the chief guest. The parade will be women-centric, with all-women contingents from central armed police forces and tri-services.
Two Rafale fighter aircraft, one multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft, a 33-member French Air Force band contingent and a 95-member marching contingent of French Foreign Legion will be part of India’s 75th Republic Day celebrations on January 26 over Kartavya Path in the national capital.
Briefing media persons, Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane said: “We have French President Emmanuel Macron as the chief guest for our Republic Day celebrations. Two Rafales and one transport aircraft will be flying over the Kartavya Path.”
The French Foreign Legion will be marching on the day, he added.
It is pertinent to mention here that the legion is a corps of the French Army that consists of several specialities, including infantry, cavalry, engineers, and airborne troops. Macron is the second French president to be invited as the chief guest during the Narendra Modi government tenure. Prior to him, Francois Hollande was the chief guest in 2016.
Women-centric Republic Day
Aramane also said that this year's parade will be women-centric. “We will be having all women members in central armed police forces (CAPFs) marching contingents. The tri-services marching contingent would also have all women members that include officers, other ranks and Agniveers,” he said.
From CAPFs, the Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Indian Coast Guard and Delhi Police will be participating in the parade. BSF’s camel contingent will also march past down the Kartavya Path. The defence secretary also said that for the first time, the parade will be heralded by 100 women artists playing Indian musical instruments.
"Best representation of women will be seen in this year’s Republic Day parade," the secretary said, adding, that the parade would commence with the music of shankh (conch shell), Nadaswaram and Nagada, among others to be played by women artists.”
Which states/UTs’ tableaux have been selected?
As per the defence secretary, states like Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Ladakh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana have been qualified to showcase their achievements during the parade.
Among the ministries, the home, external affairs, MeitY, Port, Shipping, Waterways, Culture, ISRO, CSIR, election commission and Central Public Works Development have been chosen to display their milestones.
Aramane also informed that a memorandum of understanding with 29 states and UTs had been signed, wherein all states would get equal opportunities to showcase their tableaux in three years. "No states will be repeated before three years," adding that the ministry would support the small states/UTs who don’t have resources. He stated that the qualification of the tableaux depends on the quality, and interest and should be generating enthusiasm.
Who are the Special Guests invited?
About 13,000 Special Guests pan India have been invited to witness the parade to ensure Jan Bhagidari, he added.
These Special Guests include the best performers in various fields and those who made the best use of various schemes of the Government such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Rural & Urban), PM Ujjwala Yojana, PM Street Vendor's Aatmanirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi), PM Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, PM Fasal Bima Yojana, PM Vishwakarma Yojana, PM Anusuchit Jaati Abhyuday Yojna, PM Matsya Sampada Yojana, Stand-Up India scheme, Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme and Rashtriya Gokul Mission.
Besides, Sarpanches of Vibrant Villages, women workers of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Electronic Manufacturing sectors & Central Vista Project, women Space Scientists of ISRO, Yoga Teachers (Ayushman Bharat), winners of international sports events and Paralympic medalists will also attend the parade.
In addition to Best Self-Help Groups, Farmers Producer Organisations, and ‘Super-100’ of Project Veer Gatha 3.0 & winners of the National School Band Competition will also attend the parade. They all will be seated in an enclosure opposite the chief guest. The border villagers from Ladakh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh among others have also been invited for it.
The Ministry of Culture will be showcasing the ‘Anant Sutra -- The Endless Thread’ textile installation at Kartavya Path. It will be installed behind the spectators seated in the enclosures. Anant Sutra is a visually stunning tribute to the saree, India’s timeless gift to the world of fashion.
This unique installation will showcase nearly 1,900 sarees and drapes from every corner of the country, mounted at a height with wooden frames along the Kartavya Path. It will have QR codes which can be scanned to know the details about weaving and embroidery arts used in it.
Commemorative Coin & Stamp
The defence ministry will release a Commemorative Coin and Commemorative Stamp during the celebrations.