India Celebrates 64th Republic Day: Stunning Images of National Celebration
By Simi John | Jan 27, 2013 09:48 AM EDT
The whole of India turned out on Saturday 26 January to celebrate the country's 64th Republic Day, marking the anniversary of the day the world's biggest democracy became a republic in 1950 with nationwide exhibitions of history, cultural diversity and military strength.
In the capital New Delhi, the main Republic Day parade was held on the Rajpath, the city's centrepiece boulevard, with military parades displaying weaponry and tableaux from various states, followed by a cultural show that celebrated India's rich heritage.
King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk was this year's chief guest, and the star of the military parade was India's own surface-to-surface Agni-V missile, which has a range of 3,106 miles.
The previous day, President of India Pranab Mukherjee addressed the nation, his speech sounding a sombre note about the brutal rape and murder of the 23-year-old medical student that took place on 16 December in Delhi.
"There is a law of the land. But there is also a higher law. The sanctity of a woman is a directive principle of that larger edifice called Indian civilisation. The Vedas say that there is more than one kind of mother: birth mother, a guru's wife, a king's wife, a priest's wife, she who nurses us, and our motherland. Mother is our protection from evil and oppression, our symbol of life and prosperity. When we brutalise a woman, we wound the soul of our civilisation," he said.
Google also dedicated a doodle to the occasion, showcasing national symbols like the tiger, the lotus and India Gate. The stripes in the tiger formed the word 'Google'.
Here is our selection of offbeat moments from India's Republic Day celebrations.
A schoolgirl with stickers of India's national flag on her face attends a function during the Republic Day celebrations in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 26, 2013.Source: Reuters
Indian soldiers march during the Republic Day parade in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad January 26, 2013.Source: Reuters
Indian Army soldiers perform a daredevil stunt during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 26, 2013Source: Reuters
Performers in traditional costumes dance during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 26, 2013Source: Reuters
Indian policemen perform a stunt on a motorcycle during the Republic Day parade in Jammu January 26, 2013.Source: Reuters
An Indian paramilitary trooper performs a stunt on his motorcycle during the Republic Day parade in Agartala, capital of northeast state Tripura, January 26, 2013.Source: Reuters
An Indian policeman performs a stunt on his motorcycle during the Republic Day parade in Jammu January 26, 2013. India celebrated its 64th Republic Day on Saturday.Source: Reuters
A surface-to-surface Agni V missile is displayed during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 26, 2013.Source: Reuters
A woman waves India's national flag as she rides her mini bike near the India Gate during the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi January 26, 2013.Source: Reuters
People watch the Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 26, 2013.Source: Reuters
Google doodles 64th Republic Day IndiaSource: Google Doodle