For the first time in the history of independent India, a female officer will lead an all-male Indian Army contingent as parade adjutant.
Captain Tania Shergill, a fourth generation army officer, will get the honour of leading the Indian Army’s Corps of Signals contingent down the central vista (also known as Rajpath) of India’s capital city of New Delhi.
Captain Tania Shergill, first woman parade adjutant for the Republic Day parade: Selection happened at our signals training camp about a year ago. 2 officers were selected then, to lead the contingent on Army Day parade as well as Republic Day parade. I feel good to lead it. pic.twitter.com/XNySt00bOZ— ANI (@ANI) January 24, 2020
Captain Shergill made history on 15 January when she led the same all-male army contingent during a parade in Delhi to mark the 2020 Army Day.
Commissioned into the Indian Army in 2017, Gill’s great grandfather served with the Sikh Regiment, while her grandfather served with the Armoured Corps, and her father with the Artillery.
Gill said earlier this week that she was looking forward to her first participation in this year’s Republic Day parade.
Netizens described Gill's participation in the event as a matter of great pride.
She's inspiring— Trooper 🇮🇳 (@Sourav91957901) January 24, 2020
Apart from Gill, 57 women from the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force will also display some bone-chilling daredevilry on motorcycles. So far, only male teams from the paramilitary forces have performed this feat.
Rajpath will witness Women' s power on 26th January,— DD News (@DDNewslive) January 20, 2020
'Dare Devils', an all-woman biker contingent of CRPF will perform at the Republic Day parade at Rajpath pic.twitter.com/kEtE9PrRTj
The air defence unit of the Indian Army will also be taking part in this year’s parade for the first time. Two female air force officers – Flight Lieutenants Gagandeep Gill and Reema Rai – will be part of the 148-member Indian Air Force contingent to partake on the Republic Day parade.
Flight Lieutenants Gagandeep Gill and Reema Rai are the two lady officers selected in the 148-member Indian Air Force contingent to take part in the Republic Day parade this year. #Republicday2020 pic.twitter.com/EYPPaQqoIk— ANI (@ANI) January 13, 2020
In another departure from tradition and convention, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not lay a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti or the flame dedicated to the Immortal Soldier, instead he will place a wreath at the National War Memorial near India Gate, which was inaugurated last year.
Republic Day marks the day when the Constitution of India came into effect, on 26 January in 1950, replacing the Government of India Act of 1935.
The day is celebrated annually with great pomp and show and will see the participation of all regiments of the Indian Army, Air Force, and Navy.
There will also be school children dancing to patriotic songs and colourful tableaux from several Indian states and state-run entities.
India’s President Ram Nath Kovind, who is the commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces, will take the salute at the parade. The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsanaro, will be the chief guest at this year’s event.
As a grand finale, the Indian Air Force will perform a fly-by and carry out some manoeuvres by state-of-the-art combat aircraft, including the newly inducted Apache attack and Chinook heavy-lift helicopters.