India’s Modi pays homage to fallen soldiers on Republic Day, welcomes ASEAN leaders
STORY: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday (January 26) paid tribute to the fallen soldiers at a memorial in New Delhi on India’s 69th Republic Day before welcoming the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders at the annual glitzy parade.
In a first, leaders of all member nations of ASEAN are attending India’s Republic Day parade, a flamboyant display of the South Asian nation’s military might and cultural heritage. So far Indian tradition has been to invite the head of government of a single country as the guest for the Republic Day.
The leaders of Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei were personally received by Modi at Rajpath, a ceremonial boulevard in the heart of the capital, New Delhi. ASEAN is important to India since it is part of the country’s ‘Look East’ policy and Modi’s ‘Act East’ policy to develop political and economic ties with Southeast Asia.
India won independence from British rule on August 15, 1947, but it was not until January 26, 1950, that the nation declared itself a sovereign republic state with the adoption of its Constitution.