R-Day parade: soldiers will carry the flags of ten ASEAN nations

R-Day parade: soldiers will carry the flags of ten ASEAN nations

Army soldiers will carry the flags of ten ASEAN nations while school kids will perform skits at Rajpath on the cultural heritage of these South East Asian nations, whose heads of the states will be the chief guests at the 69th Republic Day.

Breaking away from the tradition of having a single leader attending the R-Day as its chief guest, India would roll out the red carpet for the top leadership of Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.

For the first time, the entire ASEAN block has been invited for the national parade to commemorate 25 years of India-ASEAN relations.

At the beginning of the parade, a Mi-17 chopper will carry the ASEAN flag in its under-sling. The helicopter will be a part of an Indian Air Force's five aircraft group that would also carry the national ensign as well as the flags of the three services.

The Ministry of External Affairs will showcase the salient features of the ASEAN in two tableau and school children will present a short kaleidoscope of the rich heritage of these South East Asian nations.

Other highlights of the parade will be a thrilling display of dare-devil biking skills of 111-member strong all women team of the Border Security Forces, said Maj Gen Raj Pal Punia, a senior officer from Indian Army's Delhi area. The full dress rehearsal occurred Tuesday.

In the previous editions. the biking shows that impressed even former US President Barak Obama, were conducted exclusively by the menfolk of the BSF.

Within months of the Doklam standoff where border guarding troops from India and China had a face-off for 72 days, the government has decided to showcase the peaceful ways of guarding India's contentious border with China.

A tableau from Indo-Tibetan Border Police will showcase its border guarding skills. Its the second ITBP tableau in two decades as the last one happened in 1998. There would be 23 tableau from central government and state governments including Karnataka, which will focus on the wildlife of the state.

Indian Army soldiers from the regiments of Punjab, Maratha Light Infantry, Dogra and Ladakh Scouts, and Madras Regimental Centre will be parading on the central boulevard, in addition to the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard contingents.

The 90-minute parade will be led by General Officer Commanding Delhi Area, Lt Gen Asit Mistry and culminate with a flypast.

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