Thousands of Indians converged on a ceremonial boulevard in the Indian capital to watch a display of the country's military power and cultural diversity, amid tight security during Saturday’s 26th January national day celebrations.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, which celebrates the anniversary of the adoption of India's Constitution in 1950. India had first invited President Donald Trump, but US officials had declined, citing a scheduling issue.
The theme of the parade was the 150th birthday of India's independence leader, Mohandas Gandhi. President Ramaphosa watched with interest, and waved at tableaux depicting among other topics, Gandhi's life as he won independence for the country in 1947 from Britain, the colonial power.
Schoolchildren, folk dancers, and police and military battalions marched through the capital's parade route, followed by the military hardware display that drew applause from the spectators. The spectacle ended with Indian air force aircraft staging a fly past.
Four Indian national army veterans, aged over 90 years, also took part in the parade, seated on a tableau. They were followers of Subhash Chandra Bose, a Congress Party leader who formed an army to fight British colonial rule, which was backed by the Japanese in the 1940s.