Republic Day: UAE contingent leads parade at Rajpath with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince as guest of honourA 149-member marching contingent from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with a band comprising 35 musicians from the Gulf nation, led the Republic Day parade at the Rajpath.
India today celebrated the 68th Republic Day today with a dazzling parade at the majestic Rajpath where its military might and rich cultural diversity were on full display.
A 149-member marching contingent from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with a band comprising 35 musicians from the Gulf nation, led the Republic Day parade at the Rajpath.
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was the Chief Guest at the function. Hence, the UAE contingent was given the honour to lead the parade.
He joined a select group of world leaders who have graced India's Republic Day celebrations in the last few decades.
Al Nahyan, also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE armed forces, was seated next to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who wore a pink color 'safa' (turban).
Leading the UAE contingent was Lt Col Abood Musabeh Abood Musabeh Alghfeli. Its personnel carrying M-16 rifle were from Presidential Guards, the Air Force, the Navy and Army.
The UAE is the second country after France to send troops to participate in the Republic-Day parade of India, a tradition started last year.
The UAE military contingent was followed by an impressive military band of 35 musicians, dressed in white trousers and red bandhgala coat and playing delightful marching tune "Kaptien".
The UAE contingent got a formal invitation from the Indian Army to participate in the Republic Day parade about three-four weeks ago.
The Arab nation was initially interested to send its paratroopers, but the Defence Ministry did not agree to it.
Senior army officials said it was a good chance for Indian troops to interact with their UAE counterparts.
Light rain and overcast skies failed to dampen the enthusiasm of thousands of spectators who watched the nearly an hour-and-half-long parade along the imposing Rajpath, India's ceremonial boulevard.
(With PTI inputs)