This year’s Republic Day Parade will be special.
All eyes and attention will be trained on the 65-member All-Women’s contingent of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) as they come riding down the majestic Rajpath as part of this year’s Republic Day Parade celebrations.
A special day demands special celebrations, for it is on this day in 1929, the Indian National Congress gave the first call for Purna Swaraj or complete independence from British rule in India.
It was on this day in 1950 that the Constitution of India came into force. Every year, on 26 January, the nation comes together to celebrate our hard-fought freedom.
Every year, on 26 January, Rajpath, the road connecting the spectacular Rashtrapati Bhavan with the imposing India Gate, comes alive with a display of military pomp and pageantry, joined by colourfully dressed children and representatives of various states that make India.
This year’s celebrations will have several attractions and highlights. However, all eyes will remain glued in anticipation of the All-Women’s contingent performing jaw-dropping stunts on their customised 350cc Royal Enfield Motorcycles. It will be a hands-free display of grit and daredevilry.
Leading the contingent by example is Inspector Seema Nag, currently posted with the Rapid Action Force (RAF) of the CRPF.
These are no ordinary women. They are talented soldiers who were selected after careful evaluation and put through months of rigorous training on motorcycles. At present, the CRPF maintains six battalions of 1,000 women each, part of the 3.5 lakh strong force, which also happens to be the world’s largest paramilitary force.
To be clear, these are not mere show entertainers but 65 of the best trained and completely focused soldiers, who will display complete command and control over their very mean and unforgiving machines.
Watch out for the daredevil stunts, which require high skill coming together in poetic harmony as they ride past the applauding crowd. It will be a perfect demonstration of team spirit and trust, a quality every soldier lives by, in the military or paramilitary.
The same team had earlier showcased their skills at the birth anniversary celebrations of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Kevadia, Gujarat, on 31 October 2019.
So, let your clap be loud in salute, as you cheer on for the brave and dedicated women of the CRPF.
However, this is not the first time an all-women bike riding team will perform at the Republic Day parade.
In 2018, the BSF presented a 113-strong All-Women’s contingent, which won hearts as they rode down Rajpath in a 26-motorcycle spectacular formation, performing heart-stopping stunts. That year, the contingent was led by Sub-Inspector Stanzin Noryang, who hails from Ladakh.
The people, of course, loved the acts back then, as they will this year.
The parade this year will have another highlight.
Capt. Tania Shergill of the Army’s Corps of Signals and a fourth-generation military officer will command the All-Men’s marching contingent, for the first time. She also has the honour of being appointed Parade Adjutant on the Republic Day parade.
Women’s participation in the Republic Day parade is not a symbolic gesture but represents a larger perspective of the increasing role women are playing in providing security and making the country a safer place.
The participation in the parade is to motivate other young girls to come forward and join the forces or paramilitary forces in serving the country.