The colourful splendour of India's Independence Day parade was marred by cold and rain yesterday (Wednesday).
The colourful splendour of India's Independence Day parade was marred by cold and rain yesterday (Wednesday). However, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was not deterred -- nor were President Giri and their official guest, President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania. Among the colourful and traditional elephants, decorated floats and dancers was the first public display of Soviet-made anti-tank missiles.
Leading the parade were units of the Indian Army cavalry, mounted on horses and camels. These were followed by armed military continentia - headed by Russian-made T-55 and PT-75 tanks. Then came the Russian anti-tank missiles which were making their first public appearance in New Delhi.
President Nyerere arrived in India for a State visit following the Singapore Commonwealth Conference, but the day after this parade he cut short his stay and flew back to Dar-Es-Salaam. Although no official reason was given for his change of plans, it is generally understood to be because of the overthrow of Uganda's President Obote, who is now in Tanzania.
After the military display, came the traditional parade - led by gaily-decked elephants. Then came the symbolic floats - carrying dancers and other entertainers. A cheerful delegation of singing schoolchildren brought up the end of the parade.