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India bids to display pretense ‘military might’ at R-Day parade amidst rifts in army

— Republic Day parade marred by fog, ISI likely to be blamed for haze
— Indians themselves make mockery of ‘military might’ display while Army emerges as crippled, being incapable of combating a night fight

From Christina Palmer & Ajay Mehta

NEW DELHI—The government and the Indian nation went out to celebrate the 60th Republic day on Tuesday while the government bided to display a sham and rather pretense ‘”Military Might” in the region while the notorious ‘War of Generals’ that erupted between the Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor and upcoming Army Chief General Vijay Singh as already divided the Indian army into two groups from Generals to foot soldiers and while the Army Chief, himself announced that Indian Army was unable to combat a night battle, despite making claims of evolving a unique war doctrine to crush Pakistan and China in hours by Indian Army.
The grand gala held here at New Delhi was very badly marred by thick fog and many diplomats and international media personnel were heard gossiping in a humorous manner that Indian government would most likely be blaming Pakistani Intelligence agency Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) for the thick fog and smog as every thing that goes wrong in India is always attributed to ISI by Indian government and its intelligence agencies.
Marching down from the Raisina Hills, the Republic Day parade showcased the country’s ‘unity in diversity’ as well as the armed forces in full battle regalia. Despite the heavy fog, well turned out and synchronised military contingents marched (with great fear depicting from their faces as Indian intelligence agency RAW had scared them enough of a possible terror attack on the parade and the participating contingent had been doing the rehearsals for the past few days under unprecedented security and with constant feelings of being vulnerable and unsecured) through the Rajpath where President and Supreme Commander of armed forces Pratibha Patil took the salute.
The march-past was watched by the Republic Day chief guest South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A K Antony and the country’s top political and military brass, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Patil and her South Korean counterpart arrived at the Rajpath escorted by the President’s 46 bodyguards riding well-trained, impeccably-bedecked horses. Minutes before the parade began, Singh, Antony and chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force laid wreaths at ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’, the British-era World War-I memorial at India Gate, where an eternal flame burns in memory of those who laid down their lives while defending the nation’s frontiers.
A heavy security blanket was thrown around the capital for the Republic Day celebrations in the backdrop of facade RAW inputs about some foreign militants acquiring over 50 para-gliding equipment which could be used to launch an air-borne suicide attacks in different parts of the country, including the Parade venue here in New Delhi
After the President unfurled the tricolour flag of India and a customary 21-gun salute, the parade led by Major General KJS Oberoi, General Officer Commanding of Delhi Area of the Army, started.
The fog played spoilsport as four Mi-17 helicopters, which were scheduled to shower flower petals on the spectators, failed to do so due to the weather conditions.
The first to walk were the winners of the Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra followed by mounted columns of 61 Cavalry. The Army then showcased its armoury before the nation which included the flopped indigenous MBT Arjun, SMERCH Multiple Launch Rocket System and Armoured Engineer Recce Vehicle and Sarvatra Bridge.
The army also brought its state-of-the-art ICV Communication Vehicle besides Samyukta Electronic Warfare System, Infantry Fighting Vehicle ‘Sarath’ and Ambulance Tracked to the parade.
The army contingent included personnel from Madras Regiment, Jat Regimentry, Sikh Regiment, Dogra Regiment, Garhwal Regiment, Bihar Regiment, Gorkha Regiment and Territorial Army displayed the march past.
They marched to the tunes ‘Pragati’, ‘Sam Bahadur’, Hanste Lushai and General Tappy played by several bands drawn from various regiments of the Army. Some 148 Navy personnel then marched to the tunes of ‘Jai Bharati’ along with a tableau of INS Shivalik, which will be inducted shortly into the Indian Navy.
The Air Force contingent followed the Navy men marching to the tunes of ‘Space Flight’ played by its band. A tableau of ‘The Air Warrior’ was also displayed. The corruption tainted and inefficiency marred DRDO’s Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, Agni-III missile, surface-to-surface Shourya missile and Rohini Radar were also displayed.
Other marching contingents included camel-mounted BSF, Assam Rifles, Coast Guard, CRPF, ITBP, CISF, SSB, RPF, Delhi Police, NCC and NSS. Following the country’s armed and police forces came the country’s rich cultural diversity in full display in 21 tableaux — 13 from states and eight from ministries. However the much publicized first women battalion that exposed as being a selected group of prostitutes, deployed in Kashmir region to appeas the male soldiers, was not included in the march past.
Rajasthan came out with the Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory in Jaipur displaying sophisticated instruments while Manipur came up with Hiyang Tanaba , the traditional boat race of Meiteis tribe.
The lovely silk from Bhagalpur was what Bihar brought to the parade. Bihar’s ‘Bhagalpur Ki Lok Sanskriti: Resham Udyog’ tableau displayed the sleek and lustrous silk made by Bhagalpur weavers. One of the eye-catchers was Maharashtra’s float ‘Dabbawala’, a common sight in Mumbai which showcases the life of Mumbai’s signature office tiffin suppliers. Dabbawala in CST railway station and an MBA student learning the working skills from the Dabbawala were some of themes in the tableau.
Karnataka showcased ‘Pattada Kal’, a world heritage site which is a fine example of temple architecture while Meghalaya’s tableau showed its ingenious system of tapping of stream and spring water by using bamboo pipes.
However the defence analysts say that the show that was organized by the Chinese leadership to mark the 60th national day of China, last year, if compared with the Tuesday’s 60th Republic Day Parade of the Indians, in the backdrop of showing is to who has the military might in the region, clearly reflects that India is still far behind claiming to be the mightiest in the region with regard to military powers and strength.
Meanwhile, many Indians have themselves marked the mockery of the shallow bid of Indian government to display a charade military might. The people from all walks of life expressed these sentiments on hundreds of blogs on the internet and also while giving their comments to the media. The Daily Mail has just selected a few of these thousands of expressions and sentiments of the Indian nationals. Following are just a few that we are reproducing here with the courtesy of Indian newspaper The Indian Express’s website.
Machines do not indicate might
By: Abhijit | 26-Jan-2010
Military might does NOT come from showing some machines for public. It need courage and determination to use those when needed. Our politicians do not have any of those.
By: Air Cmde Raghubir Singh (Retd) | 26-Jan-2010
This time the Republic Day show has been unimpressive & rather dull affair firstly due to hazy inclement weather & secondly being held under the shadow of terror. Repeating same weapons time & again which have not been unused even after great provocations serve little purpose .It is time to debate whether we should have Republic day march past on Rajpath or change over to some better way to showcase our resolve & our might?
Military might, cultural heritage on display at R-Day parade
By: chtrgupt | 26-Jan-2010
Showcasing our Military strength is one thing and using it to make our countrymen happier is another. Our armed forces should do well to prevent Kargils and 26/11 s. Our intelligence and technology should be useful to prevent terror attacks and eliminating terror cells which have proliferated. With all the strength, we only keep complaining about our neighbor Pakistan for not doing anything to prevent those attacks. So much so, they have become bold enough to make wild threats that they can not guarantee against future attacks.
Military might
By: Raj Thackrey | 26-Jan-2010
The Indian army can show its military might only in front of Indians, in front of Chinese they are like barking dogs with tail below. All this fuss about republic day should be banned, India needs to divert this money spend on education and health care of its citizens instead of putting it in a bottomless pit as the Chinese said.
Military Might
By: U N Han | 26-Jan-2010
Let us use our military might against terrorism so as to preserve cultural heritage. Display of strength that is not used against external threat is of no use to the nation.

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