India celebrated its 73rd Republic Day on January 26, 2022, with the iconic Parade at Rajpath showcasing its military might and cultural diversity. This year’s celebrations—the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence is being observed as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ across the country. The ceremony began with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi paying homage at the National War Memorial. President Ram Nath Kovind posthumously awarded Ashok Chakra, the country’s highest peacetime gallantry award, to Assistant Sub Inspector Babu Ram, who was killed fighting terrorists in Kashmir. The parade contingents of security forces were followed by tableaux from states that showcased India's cultural diversity. Selected government ministries and departments also took out tableaux. The Central Public Works Development tableau paid tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary. The Indian Air Force flypast with 75 aircraft to mark the ‘Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav’ celebrations was the highlight of the Parade.
On the eve of the 73rd Republic Day celebrations, the President approved awards of 384 Gallantry and other Defence decorations to Armed Forces personnel and others. These include 12 Shaurya Chakras, 29 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, 04 UttamYudh Seva Medals, 53 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals, 13 Yudh Seva Medals, 03 Bar to Vishisht Seva Medals, 122 Vishisht Seva Medals, 03 Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 81 Sena Medals (Gallantry), 02 Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry), 40 Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), 08 Nao Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), and 14 Vayu Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty).
FLAME MERGING CEREMONY AT NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL
National War Memorial was inaugurated and dedicated to the Nation by the Hon'ble Prime Minister on February 25, 2019. The Memorial stands as testimony to the sacrifices made by our gallant soldiers since Independence. The Memorial houses the eternal flame, which exemplifies the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty, thus making him immortal. Since its inauguration, all homage ceremonies have been conducted only at the National War Memorial, including those on National Days. On January 21, 2022, in a befitting solemn ceremony, the flame at Amar Jawan Jyoti was merged with the eternal flame at National War Memorial with full military honours. The ceremony was presided over by Air Marshal BR Krishna, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee.