India is celebrating its 70th Republic Day with Rajpath coming alive by showcasing military might and traditions coupled with the latest initiatives and achievements. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is the chief guest of the Republic Day Parade at the historic Rajpath, the principal promenade of New Delhi.
Reports claim that one of the reasons Ramaphosa was invited was due to Mahatma Gandhi's close association with South Africa.
The parade, which was themed 'Mohan se Mahatma' brought out tableaux honouring many incidents of Mahatma's Gandhi's life.
The celebrations come just a few months away from the Lok Sabha elections which will test the strength of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the hold the Opposition parties have in the country.
National Bravery Award controversy surrounds Republic Day celebrations
Two weeks earlier, reports suggested that the 20 children picked by Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) for the National Bravery Awards will not be able to attend after the centre's decision to distance itself from the NGO.
The Delhi High Court ordered a probe to look into the finances of the ICCW. Due to allegations of organisation's 'financial integrity', the Centre decided to not go ahead with it's picks but made a list of candidates of its own.
26 children were conferred with the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puruskar 2019 and also got to participate in the parade.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is the chief guest for this Republic Day celebrations
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to be the chief guest during the G20 summit held in Buenos Aires in Argentia last year.
This invitation was extended after speculations were rife that the United States President Donald Trump had turned down the invitation first.
Woman leads all-men contingent for the first time
Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi leads Army Service Corps Contingent down the Rajpath. This is the first time a woman has lead an all-men army contingent in the Republic Day Parade in Indian History.
Republic Day Parade [WATCH]
First indigenously developed air defence system of India, the Akash weapons system; can carry out surveillance of airspace upto 150 kms and can effectively engage hostile aerial platforms upto 25 kms#republicdayindia #RepublicDay2019 pic.twitter.com/G4M6gbJZ5Y— PIB India (@PIB_India) January 26, 2019
Republic Day parade commences with show of at least 20 tableaux across the country
Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays respect to martyrs at Rajpath
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Amr Jawan Jyothi on Saturday morning to pay his respects to the fallen martyrs of the country.
He was received by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the venue.