India celebrated its 27th anniversary of becoming a Republic on Monday (26 January) -- the first time it has done so under a state of "internal emergency".
GV Guards on horses escort President Ahmed down boulevard
SV Crowd watching
SV President Ahmed leaves carriage and greeted by Mrs. Gandhi
SV Horse guards standing at attention
SV President Ahmed on reviewing stand ZOOM OUT TO GV Parade begins with horse guards on parade (3 shots)
GV & CU Tanks in parade (3 shots)
SV Guided missiles in parade (2 shots)
GV Rescue helicopter on float
GROUND TO AIR Jets fly over
SV Children in national dress dancing
SV & GV Military band and troops on parade (2 shots)
SV Mrs. Gandhi, Premier Chirac and President Ahmed and others applauding
SV ZOOM OUT TO GV Troops on parade
Initials CL/2300 CL/2320
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: India celebrated its 27th anniversary of becoming a Republic on Monday (26 January) -- the first time it has done so under a state of "internal emergency".
The celebrations were highlighted by a massive parade in the capital New Delhi, involving thousands of armed forces and civilians.
President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed took the salute in the presence of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who had celebrated 10 years in office on the previous day. Posters carrying her portrait have appeared throughout the city.
Ranks of sailors and soldiers paraded past the President's dais, and in front of French Prime Minister, Jacques Chirac, who was on a four-day official visit to India. There was also an Air Force fly-past and floats depicting the government's economic policies.
One float had dancers and singers from Sikkim, the new 22nd state of India. Sikkim, the former Himalayan mountain kingdom which is of strategic importance to India, lies on the border with Chinese-ruled Tibet, and was absorbed by India early last year after internal troubles there.
Among people honoured by the President on Monday was the former ruling Congress Party leader, Kumaraswamy Kamraj, who went into opposition when the party split in 1969. He died last year and was posthumously awarded the country's highest honour, the Bharat Ratna (Gem of India).
Hundreds of school children danced in the parade as India showed off some of her military strength. Jets of the Indian Air Force zoomed overhead while below ground to air guided missiles and tanks wee paraded, together with thousands of troops from all three armed forces. Among them were the Punjab Regiment, one of the oldest regiments of the Indian Army.