NEW DELHI Thousands watched as tanks, camel-mounted forces and motorbike stunt riders paraded in New Delhi Saturday, as India marked its seventieth Republic Day in an annual display of culture and military might.
Security was tight, especially in the capital where large sections were sealed off for the parade and visiting dignitaries.
Around 25,000 police and paramilitary forces were deployed across the city for the event.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was the chief guest on Saturday at the Republic Day parade, which celebrates the anniversary of the adoption of India’s Constitution in 1950. India had first invited President Donald Trump but US officials declined, citing a scheduling issue.
Schoolchildren, folk dancers, and police and military battalions marched through the on the sun-bathed boulevard on a cold morning, followed by the military hardware display.
Men, women and children in colourful dresses performed traditional dances and acrobatics drawing applause from the spectators.
The spectacle ended with Indian air force aircraft whizzing past the saluting base. Millions of Indians watched the 90-minute display on TV.
26 January marks the date in 1950 when India’s new constitution came into effect. India gained independence from Britain in 1947, but went through a transitional phase when it was still classed as a dominion.
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