Is the Republic Day parade still relevant?
India’s cultural diversity was once again on display in the main streets of Lutyens’ Delhi as the country proclaimed itself a Republic for the 61st time.
Men, women and children in uniform and vivid attire marched along with their tableaux as the armed forces turned out in full battle regalia.
All this, when a significant number of people revelled in watching Dhoni’s batting prowess in the cricket test match between India and Bangladesh.
And others, having collected bottles of liquor before the dry day, chose to sleep a while longer — keeping the sanctity of a national public holiday intact.
So while the martyrs and gallant officers received their bravery medals, their fellow countrymen celebrated with drinks.
Do we really need the Republic Day parade to flex our military muscle?
Even if it inspires Indians, the enhanced security checks and the dense fog kept many away this time – even those who would have otherwise braved the cold to witness the parade.
Is it that the event has become too familiar and monotonous?
The pomp and the gaiety of the parade was also dimmed as even the trails of coloured smoke left behind by air force jets disappeared in the fog.
Have security considerations robbed the Republic Day parade of its charm? Or has the event itself become insipid and a waste of money and resources?
Will an overhaul help?