New Delhi: Contrary to reports appearing in a section of the media that the Border Security Force’s (BSF) camel contingent will not be participating in this year’s Republic Day parade, the contingent participated in the full dress rehearsal here on Saturday.
Earlier reports had said that the 90-member camel contingent – 54 troops and the rest with band personnel – would not be participating in the Republic Day rehearsal in the absence of official directions.
However, the Centre finally decide to keep alive the 66-year-old tradition of the ceremonial parade by including the BSF camel contingent and the camel-mounted band.
The camel contingent became a part of the Republic Day parade for the first time in 1976, replacing army squad which had been participating since 1950. The BSF camel contingent is the inheritor of the Bikaner Royal Camel Force known as ‘Ganga Risala’, which is based in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.
The lead camel contingent on Republic Day showcases smartly-dressed and large-moustached armed BSF border guards, followed by bandsmen in beautiful multi-colour dresses on the back of the camels playing martial music.
The BSF headquarters raised this issue before the defence ministry and on Wednesday the Centre reconsidering the matter took a decision to include the camel contingent in the parade. (ANI)