It was on this day 26th January, 1950 that the Indian Constitution came into force replacing the Government of India act of 1935. India transformed with the democratic government system and transitioned into an independent Republic and hence celebrated as the Republic Day. For all of you who aren’t aware why 26th January was chosen for this – well it was on this day in 1930 Purna Swaraj was proclaimed by the Indian National Congress. Republic Day is also one of three national holidays in our country. The celebrations include ceremonious parades done by the armed forces along with air shows by the Indian Airforce along with a vibrant display on India’s culture at the Rajpath in New Delhi.
This year, the chief guest for the Republic Day parade was Francois Hollande the French President. The relations between India and France have been strengthened after Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Paris where he invited Hollande to be the chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations. This was also the first time the French Armed Forces and the French Army band participated in the parade and where the first performer of the day. This was in line with the Bastille Day in 2008, when the Indian Army along with their band opened the parade. It was good to see the french officers dressed in grey elegantly marching on the Rajpath.
Republic Day is a fantastico display of India’s might and cultural diversity. The Indian Army, Navy and Airforce display their might with the ultra advanced warfare equipment along side the marching contingent. This year the Bramhos was part of the parade along with the T-90 tanks and other artillery. Also there were the Jaabaaz bike formations by the armed forces that depicted various formations on a bullet motorcycle. From the Air force, there was an acrobatic display by the MIGs and Sukhois, flying at great speeds over the India Gate. These were also accompanied by the Jaguars and the c17 GlobeMaster of the Indian Air force.
One of good sight this Republic Day was the Girl Power. There were a lot of contingents led by women. Not only in the non-warfare arena but women were in charge of many warfare artillery which was commendable. Even some of the combinations by the Indian Air force were led by women commanders. Apart from these, there were all girls marching contingent and band and it nice to see all the dignitaries giving a standing ovation to the fantastico display.
On the cultural front, there were displays by various states who showed their specialties. Gujarat showcased the Gir forest along with folk songs. Karnataka displayed the Coffee cultivation and a huge glass of filter coffee was on display. Other states like Rajasthan showcased their folk dances infront of the Hawa Mahal while state like Uttar Pradesh displayed an embroidery skills. Apart from the states there were display by the Election Commission of India, Power Ministry, Swachh Bharat. It was s great sight to see the Digital India initiative too which displayed various e-Governance facilities.
Republic Day has always been and will always be day of great pride. A day with fantastico display of cultural, technological and military might, the parade is watched by people from all walks of life. Few lucky ones in Delhi get to witness it live while others like me enjoy it in the comfort of my house.
Jai Hind !