The largest democracy in the world, India, celebrates the 66th birth anniversary of its Constitution– the longest in the world- this January 26. Needless to say, the highlight of the national celebration is the Republic Day parade at Rajpath, New Delhi: a breathtaking spectacle of immaculate march past, stunning maneuvers by Air Force, and rich cultural display of unity in diversity.
Like each year, thousands and millions out of the 1.2 billion Indian population will tune in to watch the celebrations from the comforts of their television screens. However, this year India’s Republic Day celebrations will be grander and more special than ever before. Here’s why.
US President Barack Obama is on his three-day visit to India starting January 25 and will also be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day. This is the first time that a US head of state has been given this honour by India. All eyes, including the world leaders and international media, are on Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi- the heads of the world’s two largest democracies.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the day to counter any terrorist attempt:
- No-fly zone around Rajpath and nearby areas
- Seven-layer security ring around the VVIP enclosure on Rajpath
- Multi-agency control room to monitor the surveillance operations in every area of the national capital
- Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) to be deployed to monitor air space on and around Rajpath
- Anti-aircraft guns at strategic locations to thwart any attempt to violate the air space
All these arrangements won’t in any measure affect the grand celebrations soldiers, officials, civilians, and school children, put together for the historic day. The celebrations will be replete with nationalistic imagery: tableaus of different states, powerful missiles, march past by thousands of soldiers, and much more. Obama is going to have a complete taste of India by the end of the day for sure!
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