The Indian government did a military parade. It almost looks like independence day. Well it is not independence day, it is just a bullet train launch. Why did the Indian Army show off like this?

Photo of TV showing a parade

(click on image to enlarge)

4 Answers 4


It actually is a tri-service guard of honor being given to Japan's PM Shinzo Abe. He came to India for the annual visit in which he also inaugurated the Bullet Train project. The picture is a bit misleading.


As correctly stated by user52109, such a guard of honour is customary for any visiting state head. Such as given for ex-President Barack Obama in 2015: enter image description here

A similar guard of honour is given to the Indian PM on the Independence day. As given to PM Modie on Independence Day celebration of 2017: enter image description here

So It almost looks like independence day as it is the same thing.

Also, as it is a ceremonial procedure it is not a way to invoke national pride due to the Bullet train project being allegedly controversial.

  • 1
    Oh, I see where I was mistaken. It still kind of is a show of national pride to the foreign dignitary though.
    – Braydon
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 15:00

Probably because the bullet train is somewhat controversial. Many are questioning if India really should build a bullet train, and not invest in fixing existing safety issues in its other railways. Given the criticism it seems likely that this parade is an attempt to garner support by invoking national pride. Military parades generally invoke a sense of national pride. It is likely that proponents of the rail want to make it a matter of national pride as well, a symbol of a modern India entering the 21st century.


Simply because it's an opportunity to show off. After all, there's no need for any sort of launch* ceremony at all: just start selling tickets.

*Does anyone else find the use of "launch" to describe a train just a bit off? One launches rockets and such: with a train, it's to be hoped the thing stays on its rails :-)

  • Launch is perfectly accurate. You would also say a business "launched" a new line of products, or a new location, even though no launching is involved.
    – Braydon
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 17:15

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