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Published On: Fri, Jan 26th, 2018

India flaunted its military prowess and cultural diversity at majesticRajpath

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modi-republic-day_650x400_41516964929NEW DELHI : India flaunted its military prowess and cultural diversity at the 69th Republic Day parade at the Rajpath in the presence of 10 ASEAN leaders.
Marching contingents, strategic defence weaponry and colorful tableaux were on display Friday as India celebrated its 69th Republic Day with a grand parade watched by thousands along with 10 Asean leaders who attended the event as chief guests.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the guests after which President Ram Nath Kovind unfurled the tricolor to a 21-gun salute. Cold weather conditions and dense fog failed to dampen the enthusiasm of thousands of spectators who witnessed the nearly one-and-half-hour-long Republic Day parade from the Rajpath to the Red Fort amid an unprecedented security cover.Lt. Gen. Asit Mistry, general officer commanding, headquarters Delhi area, led the march.
The parade ceremony commenced at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate after prime minister Modi led the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath. An eternal flame burns at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to commemorate the indomitable courage of India’s armed forces personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the nation.
As per tradition, after unfurling the national flag, the parade began and the President took the salute of the marching contingents. The marching contingents included one carrying flags of the 10 ASEAN countries. The parade was commanded by Lt. General Asit Mistry, General Officer Commanding, Headquarters Delhi Area.

Signifying India’s fast growing strategic ties with ASEAN, leaders  of the powerful bloc  at the majestic Rajpath which showcased the country’s military might and cultural diversity.

The presence of the ASEAN leaders was unprecedented and reflective of India’s stature as a major power in the region,where China has been trying to expand its influence.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited the ASEAN leaders to attend the Republic Day celebrations as chief guests.
Yesterday,the ASEAN leaders  had attended the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit, marking 25 years of partnership.
Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Thai PM Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, Singaporean Premier Lee Hsien Loong and Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah were among  leaders who attended the event.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith and Cambodian Premier Hun Sen also watched the grand parade.

The ties between India and ASEAN have been on an upswing. The ASEAN region along with India has a combined population of 1.85 billion people, which is one fourth of the global population, and their combined GDP has been estimated at over $3.8 trillion.

Investment from ASEAN to India has been over $70 billion in the last 17 years accounting for more than 17 per cent of India’s total FDI. India’s investment in ASEAN during the same period has been more than $40 billion.
A packed Rajpath ushered in the Republic Day ceremony with a loud chee despite the chilly whether , hundreds of people were seen walking towards the venue as early as 6 a.m.( With Agency Inputs ).


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