India celebrates Republic Day every year on 26th January. It is a very special day in the history of India. The day symbolizes the adoption of the Constitution of India in the year 1950. The Committee for drafting the Constitution was pioneered by Dr. B R Ambedkar. Like every year, Republic Day 2022 will be celebrated in India with a grand display of India's historical and cultural extravaganza.
Rajpath in New Delhi, the capital city of India, is specially adorned on Republic Day; attended by the Indian President, Prime Minister, and several national and foreign dignitaries. Republic Day parades are held by the Indian armed forces, navy and airforce personnel, and many other representatives of the states and several other prominent organizations. There are several interesting facts about the Republic Day parade, which I thought of sharing with you in this article.
Venue for the Republic Day Parade
The Republic Day Parade was originally held at Irwin stadium which is now called the National stadium in 1950. Then till the year 1954, it was held in Kingsway (the current Rajpath), Red Fort, and Ramleela Maidan sequentially. From 1955 onwards, Rajpath has been selected to be the permanent venue for the Republic Day Parade.
Chief Guest at the Parade
An eminent personality from a country abroad is invited as a guest in the Republic Day parade every year. Either the President, Prime Minister, or the ruler of that country becomes the Chief guest. In 1950, Dr. Sukarno, the President of Indonesia, was the guest at the first Republic Day Parade celebrations. While in 1955 at Rajpath, Malik Ghulam Mohammad, the Governor-General of Pakistan, was invited. Pre Covid, India had invited Jair Messias Bolsonaro, President of Brazil, as the Chief guest in the Republic Day Parade of 2020.
The Parade is initiated by the arrival of the President of India. The cavalier bodyguards of the President arrive in a gallant and royal manner. They salute the National Flag, a marvelous feat of discipline to watch at the Rajpath. Next, the National Anthem is played by the military music band. Followed by the gun salute by firing 21 guns. “25 Ponders”, the 7-cannons of the Indian Armed Forces are leveraged to fire 3 rounds which sum up to 21 guns. The gun salute is sequenced in such a way that the first one is fired at the starting of the National Anthem and the last one is fired almost after 52 seconds.
Preparation for the Parade
The vehicles, tanks, and any other equipment of the Indian military forces are all conglomerated in one camp. Scrutiny and inquiries are conducted for ensuring security and safety during the parade. All the plannings are made to the accurate seconds. One mismatch will jeopardize the entire event, hence the synchronization is given utmost importance. The army personnel, participating in the parade, had to undergo extensive investigations and rigorous training as part of the preparatory steps for the parade.
Significant events at the Republic Day Parade
The favorite song of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, “Abide with me” is played at the parade every year. This year 2022, though, it has been dropped from the list of songs to be played. The “Best Marching Group” is selected by the judges, who sit along the parade route judging each group. Another notable event is the “Flypast”, conducted by the Western Airforce Command. About 41 aircraft participate in the air show event, flying off from different Airforce centres and joining each other at Rajpath. 12 states and union territories, as well as 9 ministries and departments, will participate in the event.
This year there will be a special “Drone Show” for 10 minutes. Botlab Dynamics, a start up affiliated to the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and Department of Science & Technology have conceptualised the entire show. About 1000 swarm drones will be designed and showcased at the show. A laser projection show will also be showcased to celebrate 75 years of Indian independence.
Wishing all my fellow Indians, “Happy Republic Day!!”.
A travel enthusiast craving to explore the exotic destinations in the world, deciphering the mysteries and the thrill concealed in them.