At one point, President Obama was seen holding an umbrella over the head of Vice President Ansari. The Indian Air Force defied the odds, didn’t cancel the flypast and flew right on schedule despite poor visibility and low clouds, delivering the most thrilling part of the event.
President Obama didn’t travel down Rajpath in the limousine of President Pranab Mukherjee. He travelled in his own armoured limousine, “The Beast.” A day after speaking out against Russia, President Obama was witness to a parade with primary Russian weapon systems.
US-built aircraft on display such as the C-17, C-130 or P8-I were escorted by Russian-built fighters. Women power was the central theme of the parade; there were all-women contingents in the parade for the first time, and women officers commanded other marching units.
At least 11 of the tableaux on display focussed on the PM’s favourite programmes such as Make in India, Swatch Bharat, Beti Bachao, and the Jan Dhan scheme. Motorcycle stunt riders from the Border Security Force, called India’s daredevils, got the thumbs-up from the President. Michelle Obama was also seen clapping for the stunt bikers.