The Assam Rifles, the oldest and the most decorated Para Military Force of India with more than 187 years of unparalleled history, valour and heritage is fielding a contingent for the Republic Day Parade 2023. The 144 strong contingent backed by the Assam Rifles Military Band will march with honour and pride at the National Capital on the Republic Day bringing the euphoria and spirit of the North East with them.
In a sui generis initiative, the Assam Rifles Contingent participating in the Parade will be a mixed contingent with equal number of Riflemen and Riflewomen highlighting the credo of “Gender Equality”. The contingent will be led by Captain Akshay and will comprise of soldiers recruited from all over the country thus strengthening the belief in “UNITY in DIVERSITY”. The mixed marching contingent of Men and Women of Assam Rifles marching shoulder to shoulder is the epitome of ethos of the Force of equal opportunity to all. Since their inception in 2015 women soldiers of Assam Rifles along with their male counterparts have been deployed on all Frontline duties together, be it in the North East, Jammu and Kashmir or the United Nation Missions.
During its 187 years of its existence, the Force has evolved itself into a modern and operationally efficient outfit, capable of responding to any challenges with élan and alacrity. The Force is well poised to meet all the envisaged security paradigms facing our great Nation. Assam Rifles have always been the FIRST RESPONDERS in all eventualities in North East India which has earned them the adulations of their fellow citizens as well as the title of “Friends of the North East”.
The Force that binds the North East is a local folklore often said in the remote corners of the North East for the Assam Rifles, signifying the faith of the people in the Force that has stood tall against all challenges, whether it was the World Wars, Chinese aggression of 1962, insurgency in North East or disasters due to natural calamities. On the Republic Day the smartly attired soldiers of the Force will be watched fondly by their Friends in the North East with whom their relationship is everlasting. Their every step will be greeted with joy and pride not only on the Kartavya Path but in all corners of the North East. From the Tirap District in Arunachal Pradesh to Lunglei in Mizoram. From the historic and iconic location of Vijaynagar in the East to the Brahamaputra plains on the West, the chant of Assam Rifles will echo. The contingent will also be watched from our Northern Borders of J&K where Assam Rifles has been fostering a new bond since 2020 with the locals. Very recently Assam Rifles rescued more than 172 civilians at the Zozila Tunnel site who were trapped due to an avalanche. The Force is carving a new niche for itself in J&K both in operations and also winning the hearts and minds of the people. In an earlier stint, 7 Assam Rifles in 1991 eliminated 72 insurgents in one night, induced surrender of 13 others and recovered a large cache of War Like stores at Dudhi and this memory still stays fresh in the minds of citizens of the Country. The value of the Force is felt overseas as well and has resulted in their deployment overseas in Sri Lanka during Op Pawan and United Nation missions at Haiti, Golan Heights, Congo and recently at Abyei.
The marching contingent at the Kartavya Path on 26th Jan not only signifies the confidence of the men and women, young in age but also the socio economic changes in the North East. It adds to the belief that the Government of India Act East Policy is actually progressing well. ‘The Sentinels of the North East’, the Assam Rifles march on the Republic Day will not only be on the Kartavya Path but also into the hearts of citizen of the Country.
Report: Pratyusha Mukherjee
Source: Indian Army