It’s the 26th of Jan, and India marks the successful 70th year of Republic day after its independence. The synergy of national anthem being sung with great pride and patriotism echoes the air, competitions and sports events being held for encouragement, and above all, the great Republic Day Parade. It takes place every year on this day at Rajpath, New Delhi, which is the main attraction of India’s Republic Day celebrations. The parade last for 3 days showcasing India’s defense capability along with its cultural and social heritage. The proud representatives of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force with the traditional dance troupes take part in the parade. Out of it all, the grand parade on is held 26th of Jan, in New Delhi and the event starts with India’s prime minister laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, in beloved, never-forgotten pride remembering of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our country, to keep all its citizens and their families safe and secure.
Here are some facts and highlights of Republic Day Parade, and it’s evolution.
1. The Short Version
In the early decades, India’s spectacular Republic Day parade had the flavor of the newly-formed nation. The first ever Republic Day parade was performed at the Irwin Amphitheater (now Major Dhyan Chand Stadium) where 3,000 officers of the armed forces and more than 100 aircrafts participated, after India’s newly-sworn President Dr. Rajendra Prasad rode through the streets of Delhi to arrive at the venue. In the years that followed, the parade line-up tightened and the focus gradually shifted to a more consolidated, refurbishing, yet proud, type of a celebration.
2. Guests & Visitors
Not just a cheerful crowd of thousands and lakhs of people, but so far, India has invited chief guests from over 44 countries. This was a decision taken, based on the foreign policy priorities a long time ago. Chiefly, countries from the Non-Aligned Movement and Soviet Bloc had found this kind of representation on all the Republic Day ceremonies till the late 70s. Right from the 80s, the invites became superior and more diverse that countries from Latin America and Western Europe started appearing on the guest-list. For the last few years, in the wake of the Act East policy, East-Asian countries have been favored as chief guests as well.
This day is basically celebrated as Republic Day as a day to mark the formation and enactment of the Indian Constitution. It came into effect in the year 1950, to manifest the fact that the government abides by constitutional checks and balances. The Constitution of India states in its preamble that India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, and a democratic republic country. With unity in diversity as its foundation, this day also portrays in the parade, the equality given to every culture of the manifold states in India.
4. Fun Facts
Fact #1 The first Republic Day was celebrated on January 26, 1950, three years after we got independence.
Fact #2 After we achieved Independence on August 15 in 1947, our leaders wanted January 26 to be remembered in history as well. Therefore, the day was made to coincide with the day of Swaraj.
Fact #3 India’s Constitution is the longest in the world. It has a total of 448 articles and is written both in English and in Hindi.
Fact #4 Drafting the Constitution was a herculean task. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar took 2 years and 11 months to draft the Indian Constitution.
Fact #5 A majority of national awards such as Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan, and Kirti Chakra are awarded during the Republic Day ceremony.
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