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26 Jan, 2020 04:39

India marks Republic Day with grand show of military might & cultural diversity (VIDEOS)

India celebrated its 71st Republic Day with a grand parade, showcasing the nation's military might, history and cultural diversity, with visiting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro as the guest of honor.

Before the parade kicked off down the iconic Rajpath boulevard in downtown Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid a wreath at the newly built National War Memorial for the first time instead of doing so at the Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial, dedicated to the heroes of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

The PM also met with Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro, who was the chief guest at the ceremony.

President Ram Nath Kovind, meanwhile, addressed the nation. "As India and Indians march forward, we remain committed to engaging the global community to build a secure and prosperous future for ourselves and for the entire humanity," he said.

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The procession featured T-90 Bhishma main battle tanks, a Russian design that was tailored for the Indian Army and assembled locally. They were followed by Ballway Machine Pikate infantry combat vehicles.

The army showcased its Akash mobile anti-air missile systems, as well as a new anti-satellite weapon, which was tested under the codename Mission Shakti.

The marching columns included elite airborne troops and naval officers.

The border guards rode on camels.

Captain Tania Shergill became the first woman to lead an all-male column.

The troops were followed by colorful floats, each representing different regions of India.

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