AIR correspondent reports that amidst patriotic fervor Indian Ambassador Navdeep Suri and the Consul General in Dubai led the India expats in celebrating the 70th Republic day in UAE. The main celebration ended with a majestic fly past by the pilots of the Indian Air Force to the delight of the spectators, among whom was South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the chief guest for the Saturday's event.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Rahul Gandhi Saturday met South African president Cyril Ramaphosa and are learnt to have discussed issues of mutual interest. Mahatma Gandhi had close ties with South Africa.
President Ram Nath Kovind will host a State Banquet in honour of the visiting President on Friday evening.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke security cordon to walk up to the crowds lining Delhi's Rajpath and greet them at the end of the parade. Lance Naik Nazir Ahmed Wani, who killed 6 terrorists and laid down his life during an anti-terror operation at Shopian in Kashmir in November 2018, was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, the country's highest peacetime gallantry award.
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Also for the first time, an all-women's contingent of the Assam Rifles paramilitary force will take part, three years after it began to accept female recruits. Woman power was later accentuated in a show of daredevil stunts by a woman biker from the Corp of Signals.
The Assam Rifles scripted history with an all-women contingent marching down Rajpath in New Delhi. The ones related to Gandhi, particular the one created by the railways ministry, were well appreciated.
Shanknaad, a military tune based on a poem by Mahar Regiment veteran was played for the first time in the Republic Day Parade. The M777 gun system is an American Ultra Light Howitzers that has been developed in the country by BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defence under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make in India initiative.