India became a self-governing country on August 15, 1947. India is the world’s largest democracy which means that the citizens of the nation hold the power to elect its leader and run the government. Although India attained independence in 1947 from the Britishers, it was on January 26, 1950, when the country adopted its Constitution which promises freedom and equality for all. Therefore, we celebrate Republic Day on January 26 every year. This year, the country will be celebrating 70th Republic Day.
Republic Day is celebrated with great enthusiasm across the nation. Mumbai is geared up with tight security across the city; Mantralaya and Vidhan Bhavan are also decorated on the occasion. The schools, colleges, government, and private institutions are all decked up to honour the Constitution that came to force on January 26, 1950. The Mumbai schools, colleges, and other educational institutions are going to present several cultural programs; speech recitation, group discussion are also organised by the students to demonstrate India’s rich heritage and culture. On the other hand, Sarkari babus and Netas too are getting groomed for the event. There is Patriotism in every Hindustani, forgetting all the differences.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has arrived in India to grace the Republic Day celebrations as the Guest of Honour. Ramaphosa is been accompanied by First Lady Dr. Tshepo Motsepe, and a high-level delegation including nine ministers, senior officials, and a 50-member business contingent. He will be the second President of South Africa after Nelson Mandela to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations. It will be Ramaphosa’s first visit to India as the head of state. India’s Prime Minister Modi will do flag hosting followed by his address to the nation.
The ‘National War Memorial’ near India Gate will also be inaugurated on the eve of the Republic Day to honour the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the nation. IAF will carry out a special fly-past with three helicopters and SU 30 jets on the occasion.
The celebrations this year will be special as 2019 marks the 150th birth anniversary of ‘Father of the Nation’. Around 17 tableaux from states/Union Territories and six from various ministries will be displayed in the parade based on the theme ‘Gandhi’. The Rajpath parade will also see a tableau showcasing ‘Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth’ which is a historical educational institution situated in Varanasi. The tableau will also display the glory of Ghats, Buddhist Monks, rituals, and ancient temples of Varanasi.
Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat is going to receive the Param Vishisht Sewa Medal (PVSM) for his contributions to improve the nation’s military services.
Adding to the grandeur of the commemoration, Indian Air Force will be flying an aircraft which will run by blended bio-fuel on the Republic Day 2019 fly-past with 10 per cent of bio-fuel in it. The aircraft will fly over Rajpath with a ‘V’ shape formation resembling ‘Victory’ sign. This year’s Parade will also witness the inclusion of M777 Howitzer and K9 Vajra, the self-propelled gun which are the latest artilleries inducted in the Indian Army. T-90 tanks, SU-30, Mig 29, Jaguar aircraft will also be a major attraction of the parade. Moreover, this will be the first time in the history that four veteran soldiers of the ‘Azad Hind Fauz’ aged above 90 years will take part in the parade at Rajpath. On the other hand, for the very first time in Indian history, a woman officer would be leading the Army Services Corps in the 2019 Republic Day parade. The Daredevils Motorcycle Team will also include a women officer in their team this year.
Retired Army official Amarnath Chaurasia greeted the nation on the special occasion of 70th Republic day! He said, “I hope this generation will understand the essence of Indian Army and join hands to protect the country. Our country is progressing and we are very happy to see women actively taking charge of the armed forces. Woman officer leading the Army Services Corps in the 2019 Republic Day parade for the first time is a moment of pride for us.”
The list marking the ‘first-time-ever’ special event doesn’t end here. An all-women contingent of Assam Rifles, which is one of the oldest paramilitary forces of India, will take part in the 2019 Republic Day parade. CISF will display its tableau in the parade after 11 years.
In addition to that, it will be the first time that winners of National Bravery Awards might not be able to join the parade at Rajpath as the NGO giving the awards has allegations of financial integrity. However, the winners of Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar will get the chance to walk at Rajpath parade.
Brigadier Sudhir Sawant expressed, “In 1991, I was the first one to voice in the Lok Sabha in favour of women participation in the Indian Army. The then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and other political parties approved the proposal and since then, women are making their presence in giving security to the country. We are proud to see women in the armed forces; we expect, in near future, the country will be proud to see more women soldiers at the border.”