Republic day is celebrated on 26th January every year to honour the constitution of Independent India. India got her independence on 15th August 1947, but became a republic three years later on this day. Replacing the Govt. of India Act, the longest act of british parliament, our constitution came into force on Republic day.
The story behind the selection of this particular day to enact the constitution holds a very important place in history. On this day, in 1929, Poorna Swaraj was announced by the Indian National Congress. Previously, Dominion status was given to India by the British Government which is basically a semi- independent rule. Therefore, the Government of India chose to keep this day alive in the history as “Republic Day”. Since then, this day has been celebrated as Republic day.
There are a series of events that happen across the country on this day, but the main highlight of the day is the Republic Day Parade that happens at Rajpath, New delhi. Today, the program started with Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi, the head of the government and Rajnath Singh, the defense minister of India, paying homage to our valiant martyrs at the National War Memorial, New Delhi. This was followed by a two minute silence for the martyrs and the Prime minister penning his thoughts in the visitor’s book of War Memorial.
Image Source : DD National(National War memorial)
Later, the Prime Minister arrived at Rajpath where the ceremony was supposed to begin . Swagatam song was played to welcome the chief guest of the day, that is our President Shri Ram Nath Kovind and his first lady, Savita Kovind. The national flag was then unfurled at the location in presence of our President. It is important to note that the National Flag is unfurled and not hoisted on this day, in order to show that India is already independent. Immediately after the flag was unfurled, the 21 Gun salute was paid and the national anthem was sung.
The show began with four MI 17 V5 Helicopters flying from the direction of Rashtrapati Bhawan. In the formation of wine glass, the helicopters had flags of the India, Army, Navy and Airforce. The Param Vir Chakra winners, Yogendra Singh yadav and Subedar Sanjay kumar and The Ashok Chakra Winner, D. Sreeram Kumar, paraded on the Rajpath and paid their salutes to the President. A 61 Horse Cavalry was led by Cap. Deepanshu Sheoran with the motto “ Horse Power is forever Supreme” . This cavalry is the only active horse cavalry left in the entire world.
The army tableau consisted of the T-90 Bhishma, the main battle tank of India, Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP- II Sarath, Brahmos Weapon System, Pinaka Multi Launcher Rocket System, Bridge Laying Tank T-72,Samvijay Electronic warfare system and the Schilka weapon system, followed by the marching of different regiments.
The Naval tableau was themed as Swarnim Vijay Varsh, reflecting the contribution of the navy in the Indo-pak war of 1971. The Air Force Tableau was themed “ touch the sky with glory” with Lt. Bhawna Kant, as one of the first three women fighter pilots of the country. There was also a DRDO Tableau showcasing its achievements in development of the “light combat aircraft and 2nd anti-tank guided missile system”. There were bands of particular regiments that marched in the parade as bands of CRPF, Delhi police and BSF Camel band.
Image Source : DD National(Ladakh Tableau & Uttar Paresh Tableau)
For the first time ever, the tableau of ladakh which recently became the union territory of the country, was displayed with the theme “ Vision to the future”. Another astonishing tableau was of the mesmerising Ram Mandir which was displayed by Uttar Pradesh. The department of Biotechnology’s tableau was displayed to praise the efforts of the doctors and the health care workers for their contribution in the Covid pandemic.
Image Source : DD National(Rafale jet)
The ceremony ended with flying of the Rafale Aircraft with gravity defying stunts which gave us a breathtaking experience. “Namaste” was used as a greeting instead of shaking hands with one another. Social distancing was followed by keeping seats at a safe distance from each other. The crowd was less in comparison to previous years due to the Covid Pandemic.