India celebrated its 69th Republic Day today with a splendrous display of its military might and cultural heritage on New Delhi’s ceremonial heart, the Rajpath.
The parade was watched — as chief guests — by ten heads of states of the ASEAN or Association of South East Asian Nations, a first since the parade began its journey in 1950.
The ASEAN chiefs from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Brunei sat on a 100-foot stage enclosed in bullet-proof glass. The stage this year is three times than last year.
The parade was presided over by President Ram Nath Kovind, flanked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers, top leaders from political parties and senior government officials.
The national capital has been put under a security blanket with thousands of security personnel, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshooters deployed in view of the Republic Day parade that will be attended by ASEAN leaders.