News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV

member station

The Two-Way

Obama Attends India's Republic Day Celebrations


Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images

President Obama became the first U.S. head of state to attend India's annual Republic Day parade, which marks the day the country adopted its constitution.

NPR's Scott Horsley, who is traveling with Obama, says the parade is "partly a showcase for the country's military might, but there are also floats honoring everything from India's female mountain climbers to its home-grown industrial development."

Julie McCarthy, who is NPR's correspondent in India, says it "was a jaunty occasion despite the rain."

Julie tells our Newscast unit:

"India's military hardware — much of it imported from Russia — rolled down the Parade route overseen by President Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A loud cheer went up as the president stepped from his special car called 'The Beast.'

"The two leaders and first lady Michelle Obama sat in a bullet-proof, but not weather-proof, enclosure, as colorful floats passed depicting the life of fishermen in the state of Goa [and] matchmaking in the state of Madhya Pradesh. There was a band that played sitting atop camels, performances by schoolchildren. Daredevil stunt riders got the thumbs-up from Obama, the first American president to view India's Republic Day parade, which ended with a flyover featuring a Russian-made fighter jet that flew vertically into the clouds, and left the crowd below breathless."

Support comes from

The highlight of Obama's trip so far is what Obama called a "breakthrough understanding" between the U.S. and Indian governments that would allow U.S. companies to help build nuclear plants in India.

The nuclear deal was originally signed in 2008, but it was held up because of an Indian law that holds the companies that build nuclear plants and supply equipment liable in case of an accident. The "breakthrough understanding" could help India the world's No. 3 greenhouse gas emitter, cut its carbon pollution.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for.  If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.