January 26 marks the 75th celebration of India’s Republic Day. The day’s activities will include the traditional procession on Rajpath, now known as Kartavya Path, in New Delhi. It includes march-pasts by Indian Armed Forces soldiers as well as bright tableaux that depict the variety and culture of several states.
Here are some interesting facts about Republic Day:
- Republic Day commemorates the day when the Constitution of India came into effect as the country became a sovereign state after getting its Independence on August 15, 1947.
- The constitution replaced the British colonial Government of India Act (1935) as the country’s governing text.
- The first President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad unfurled the national flag on January 26, 1950, marking the birth of the Indian Republic. The day was declared a national holiday after being recognised as the Republic Day of India.
- In 1950, the inaugural Republic Day procession took place. Major Dhyan Chand Stadium, formerly known as the Irwin Amphitheatre, served as the venue. Over 100 aircraft and 3,000 Indian military men took part in the display.
- Indonesian President Sukarno was the first chief guest of India’s first Republic Day parade.
- Rajpath had its inaugural parade in 1955. Interestingly, Pakistan’s Governor General Malik Ghulam Muhammad was the chief guest at the occasion.
- The Beating Retreat ceremony has its roots in a 1600s custom and is held annually on January 29 at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi. The custom of announcing the troops’ homecoming dates back to King James II, who gave the command for his soldiers to beat drums, lower flags, and stage a parade to mark the conclusion of a battle day.
- The 2024 Republic Day theme is ”India – Mother of Democracy” and ”Viksit Bharat” (Developed India).
- This year’s Republic Day parade will feature two all-women contingents from the defence forces marching. “One contingent, consisting of 144 personnel, will comprise all women soldiers, with 60 from the Army and the remainder from the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy,” stated defence officials.
- The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, has been invited to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations. This is, notably the 6th time, a French leader will be the chief guest at the celebrations in the national capital. Last year, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was the chief guest.
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