PRESIDENT PATIL'S REPUBLIC DAY SPEECH: Mrs. Pratibha Patil has not been as bad a president as some would have had us believe she would be when she started. In her Republic Day Eve address, she addressed most of the topics that desperately need to be addressed by our leaders - the price rise, corruption, eradication of poverty, food production and distribution and, surprise, surprise, one of my pet topics - ragging!
MY FAVOURITE TAGORE POEM: Mrs. Patil's speechwriters made sure she said all the right things. But they can't compare with the beauty of this well-known favourite from Tagore - my prayer for my nation this Republic Day. (Did you know he had a house in Shillong?!)
SHOWCASING INDIA'S MILITARY MIGHT: Being a pacifist at heart, I am often confused about the necessity of our huge defense budget when there are more pressing needs at hand. But Republic Day is the day we honour our fallen heroes who have died defending our nation and who are remembered at the start of the parade when the Prime Minister lays a wreath at Amar Jawan Jothi and 2 minutes of silence is observed. The highlight this year was the participation of the indigenously built Tejas Light Combat Aircraft for the first time in a Republic day Parade. Here is the programme for the parade as well as a few pictures.
Check out the mustaches!
The Tejas Trainer
And of course, the Daredevils
THE DAREDEVILS: The Daredevil motorcycle team of the Army(of Guinness book fame) have enthralled us for many years on Republic Day and are easily my favourite part of the parade. I'm sure my brother will love the fact that they drive Bullets! This is a link to some more pictures of their exploits this year and here is a video that tells their story in brief.