Republic Day is on the horizon, and the nation is gearing up for a spectacular celebration. In the heart of the festivities lies Rajpath, Delhi, where a breathtaking parade will unfold, showcasing the might of the Indian armed forces and more.
The Republic Day 2024 parade kicks off at 10:30 am on January 26, following the route from Vijay Chowk to Kartavya Path. Approximately 77,000 attendees will fill the venue, with 42,000 spots reserved for the general public.
Themes of the Year: This year’s parade themes, “Viksit Bharat” and “Bharat – Loktantra ki Matruka,” echo India’s essence as a thriving democracy.
|Historic All-Women Tri-Services Group
|A first in history, an all-women tri-services group will join the parade, featuring troops from the Army’s military police and personnel from other services.
|French Bastille Day Participant in R-Day Parade
|Squadron Leader Sumita Yadav, an air traffic controller, will participate after her remarkable presence in the Bastille Day parade in Paris.
|French Contingent’s Participation
|A 95-member marching contingent, a 33-member band contingent, two Rafale fighters, and an Airbus A330 from France will add international flair.
|Indian Members in French Military Team
|Six Indians, including CCH Sujan Pathak and CPL Dipak Arya, will march alongside the French military team.
|The Culture Ministry presents ‘Anant Sutra,’ showcasing 1,900 sarees from across India, creatively displayed at Kartavya Path.
|The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology features a tableau highlighting artificial intelligence (AI) across sectors.
|ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 Highlight
|ISRO’s tableau showcases the success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission, emphasizing its South Pole landing.
|Flypast with French Inclusion
|A French refuel aircraft and two Rafale aircraft join the flypast, featuring new-gen vehicles and notable Indian Air Force aircraft.
|Special Guests Invited
|Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane announced approximately 13,000 special guests, including achievers in government schemes, to witness the parade.
Chief Guest: Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron is the esteemed chief guest. His itinerary includes visits to iconic landmarks such as Amber Fort, Jantar Mantar, and Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, where he’ll also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Republic Day in India is a momentous occasion that commemorates the day when the Constitution of India took effect on January 26, 1950. This marked a significant shift, transforming the nation from a dominion into a republic, breaking free from the shackles of the British Raj. Let’s delve into the rich history, the struggles for independence, and the vibrant celebrations that define this remarkable day.
India’s journey to sovereignty began with the successful Indian independence movement, culminating in freedom from the British Raj on August 15, 1947. The Indian Independence Act 1947 paved the way for two independent Dominions within the British Commonwealth. Despite the freedom, India operated under the modified Government of India Act 1935.
Recognizing the need for a permanent constitution, a Drafting Committee was appointed on August 29, 1947. Chaired by Dr. B R Ambedkar, the committee toiled to prepare a constitution, presenting it to the Constituent Assembly on November 4, 1947. After intense deliberation, the Constitution was signed by 308 members on January 24, 1950, officially coming into effect on January 26, 1950.
A Life of Contradictions
Dr. Ambedkar’s Prophetic Words
In his final address to the Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1949, Dr. Ambedkar foresaw a life of contradictions post-January 26, 1950. Political equality would coexist with social and economic inequality. He urged swift resolution to avoid jeopardizing the political democracy painstakingly constructed by the Assembly.
Celebrating Unity in Diversity
Grand Republic Day Parade
The heart of Republic Day celebrations lies in the grand parade at Rajpath, New Delhi. President Rajendra Prasad leads the festivities, with ceremonious parades paying tribute to India’s unity in diversity and cultural heritage. The eve witnesses the President addressing the nation.
Delhi Republic Day Parade Extravaganza
The Delhi Republic Day parade, organized by the Ministry of Defence, is a three-day spectacle starting from the Rashtrapati Bhavan gates. Military regiments, Navy, and Air Force contingents, along with para-military and police forces, display India’s defense capabilities and cultural richness.
Beating Retreat Ceremony
The Beating Retreat ceremony on January 29 signifies the end of Republic Day festivities. Bands from the military branches perform at Raisina Hill, accompanied by the President’s Bodyguard. The ceremony, a symphony of national pride, features tunes like “Abide With Me” and “Saare Jahan Se Achcha.”
On the eve of Republic Day, the President awards civilians with Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri, recognizing exceptional and distinguished service. These awards, the second to fourth-highest civilian honors, lack monetary benefits but hold immense prestige.
Award Ceremony Etiquette
Recipients receive a certificate from the President, a medallion, and a replica. However, a Supreme Court ruling prevents the use of titles or honorifics associated with the awards in any form, emphasizing the pure honor bestowed upon the awardees.
Republic Day is more than a date on the calendar for India; it’s a celebration of freedom, diversity, and constitutional ideals. As we revel in the parades, ceremonies, and awards, let’s remember the sacrifices that paved the way for a democratic and sovereign India.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was January 26 chosen for Republic Day?
What did Dr. Ambedkar foresee in his November 25, 1949 speech?
Dr. Ambedkar foresaw a life of contradictions, with political equality and social-economic inequality coexisting post-January 26, 1950.
What is the significance of the Beating Retreat ceremony?
The Beating Retreat ceremony marks the end of Republic Day festivities, symbolizing national pride through musical performances by military bands.
How are Padma Awards distributed on Republic Day?
On the eve of Republic Day, the President of India awards Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri to civilians for exceptional service.
Can recipients of Padma Awards use titles or honorifics?
No, as per a Supreme Court ruling, recipients cannot use titles or honorifics associated with Padma Awards in any form, ensuring the pure honor of the accolade.