Prime Minister Narendra Modi will tomorrow unfurl the national flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort to mark the 71st Independence Day of India. Thereafter, the Prime Minister will address the nation for the fourth time as the country's premier. The length of Modi's speech has gotten longer with every year. Modi spoke for 65 minutes in 2014, his speech in 2015 was 86 minutes and in 2016, his speech lasted even longer - for 94 minutes.
Thousands of security personnel, including 9,100 personnel from the Delhi Police, have been deployed in and around the historic Mughal fort which will see the presence of senior ministers, top bureaucrats, foreign dignitaries and common people during the PM's address.
PM Modi will unfurl the tricolour at 7 am on Tuesday.
Here is how the events will unfold at the Red Fort tomorrow:
# On arrival at Lahori Gate of Red Fort, the Prime Minister will be received by the Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra.
# The Defence Secretary will introduce the General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area, Lt. General Manoj Mukund Naravane to the Prime Minister. The GoC Delhi Area will then conduct the Prime Minister to the Saluting Base where a combined Inter-Services and Police Guard will present the general salute to the Prime Minister. Thereafter, Narendra Modi will inspect the Guard of Honour.
# The Guard of Honour contingent for the Prime Minister will consist of one officer and 24 men each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. The Guard of Honour will be positioned directly in front of the National Flag across the moat below the ramparts.
# This year, the Army being the Coordinating Service, the Guard of Honour will be commanded by Lt Col Dheeraj Singh of the Indian Army. The Army Contingent in the Prime Minister’s Guard will be commanded by Major Sourav Goswami, the Navy contingent by Lt Cdr VV Krishnan, while Sqn Ldr Salil Sharma will lead the Air Force contingent and the Delhi Police contingent by ACP Ankit Chauhan.
# The Army contingent for the Prime Minister's Guard is drawn from the 8th Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry (Siachen).
# After inspecting the Guard of Honour, the Prime Minister will proceed to the ramparts of the Red Fort where he will be greeted by Arun Jaitley, Subhash Bhamre, the Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa and the Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba. The GoC Delhi area will conduct the Prime Minister to the dais to unfurl the National Flag.
# The unfurling of the tri-colour will synchronize with the 21 Gun Salute fired by the valiant gunners of the elite 2281 Field Regiment (Ceremonial). The ceremonial battery will be commanded by Lt. Col Aditya Kumar Devrani, Shaurya Chakra, Sena Medal and the Gun Position Officer will be Regimental Havildar Major (Assistant Inspector Gunnary) Kolate Rajesh Shripati.
# The National Flag Guard comprising 32 men and one officer each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police will present the Rashtriya Salute at the time of unfurling of the National Flag by the Prime Minister. Lt Col Saket Bharadwaj from the Indian Army will be in command of this Inter-Services Guard and Police Guard. The Naval Contingent for the National Flag Guard will be commanded by Lt Cdr MYV Tejas, the Army contingent by Major Gerry Mathew, the Air Force contingent by Sqn Ldr Ravi Tomar and the Delhi Police contingent by Additional DCP Shri Rajiv Ranjan.
# The Army Band will play the National Anthem when the National Guard presents the ‘Rashtriya Salute’ while unfurling the National Flag by the Prime Minister. All Service personnel in uniform will stand and salute. The Band will be commanded by Sub Maj Bhaskar Singh Rawat of the Military Band of the Garhwal Rifles Regimental Centre.
# Two Army Officers, Capt Md Hasseb Khan and Lt Vinay Budhwar will be positioned on either side of the saluting dais for the Prime Minister for ADC duties. Lt Col Kanchan Kulhari will assist the Prime Minister in unfurling the National Flag.
# After unfurling the National Flag, the Prime Minister will address the Nation. After the Prime Minister's address, school children and NCC Cadets will sing the National Anthem.
# Seven hundred cadets of the National Cadet Corps drawn from various schools of the Delhi Directorate comprising the Army, Navy and Air Force wings are participating in the flag hoisting ceremony this year. The cadets will take part in the singing of patriotic songs and the National Anthem along with the school children. In total, 3,500 girl students and 5,000 boy students from 37 schools of Directorate of Education, Government of Delhi will sing the National Anthem. They will also sing patriotic songs in different regional languages during the celebrations. On this occasion these school children will display the formation of ‘Bharat’.