It is India’s 67th Republic Day and the creative people at Google could indeed not hold back on their creativity. The search giant today gave millions of Indians who logged on to their search page a surprise by presenting them with a special Google Doodle that consists of six camels with six bandsmen.
Those are not any ordinary camels, but those that belong to the Border Security Force (BSF). The doodle shows off six of their camels, along with six bandsmen riding atop, marching elegantly showing off all of their colors as would be during their march on the ceremonial boulevard. And there are just six shown here for a reason. Each of the colorfully decked out camels also carries a letter of the word ‘Google’.
Indeed these are no ordinary camels because the BSF happens to be the only force in the country to own them. More importantly, they are not just for ceremonial duties but are used in operations in the Thar desert for patrolling the India Pakistan border. So definitely not a case of all show and no go!
The 90-camel contingent, 54 with troops and the rest with band personnel, first became part of this national festival celebration in 1976 after it replaced a similar squad of the army which had been participating in the Republic Day parade since it first took place in 1950.
Incidentally, the contingent this year were made to skip the Republic Day dress-rehearsals initially, sending out a signal that they won’t be part of the annual parade, but the contingent were brought in for the exercise a few days before the grand event where French President Francois Hollande is the chief Guest.
According to tradition, the lead camel contingent on Republic Day showcases smartly dressed and large-moustached and armed BSF border guards, the second follows with bandsmen in beautiful multi-color dresses on the back of the camels playing martial music.
The BSF camel contingent is the inheritor of the heritage of the Bikaner Royal Camel Force, known as ‘Ganga Risala’, and is based in the border town of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.
The same can be said about the bandsmen who are members of the Border Security Force. A long-standing tradition at the Republic Day parade, this will be the 66th year in which the BSF camel contingent will walk down the ceremonial boulevard.
The contingent is much sought after for ceremonial duties rendered by the government protocol to greet and honor foreign heads and dignitaries many times in the past and was present for welcoming US President Barack Obama at the last Republic Day parade and for entertaining the guests during the Afro-India summit held last year.
Google had marked the 65th Republic Day with a doodle featuring ‘Jaanbaaz’, BSF’s motorcycle daredevils who delight the crowd at Rajpath every January 26, in their famous pyramidal formation.
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