India’s Modi celebrates Republic Day parade with ASEAN leaders
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated Republic Day on Friday (January 26) with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for the first time, in an annual glitzy parade.
Earlier on Friday, Modi paid tribute to fallen soldiers at the India Gate memorial in New Delhi, before welcoming the ASEAN leaders to a flamboyant display of the South Asian nation’s military might and cultural heritage.
Leaders in attendance at the ceremonial boulevard included Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, Malaysia PM Najib Razak, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and Indonesia President Joko Widodo. The Southeast Asian leaders were treated to a military display, followed by floats highlighting cultural aspects of Indian society and an air force flyby.
The ten-nation 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.