Republic Day commemorates the establishment of India as a Union of states run by law as enshrined in the constitution. It also marks the day when India’s constitution came into effect in 1950.The day is celebrated all across the country with patriotic fervour, pomp and gaiety.
Republic Day over the years
The most important and breathtaking event of the celebration is the Republic Day parade and show cases the military might, industrial strength and rich mosaic of its cultural diversity. People of Delhi wait for this unique show and the number of people visiting the parade not withstanding cold chilly weather of New Delhi has been growing year after year. Similarly, the number of people watching it live on TV has also been increasing.
The celebration begins with Prime Minister visiting Rajghat where the father of nation Mahatma Gandhi was laid to rest at Rajghat. He also vists the former prime ministers Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi’s samadhis and pay floral tributes on behalf of the nation. Then the Prime Minister visits Amar Jawan Jyoti and pays obeisance to the fallen soldiers.
The main highlight of the day is the parade, which is held in the national capital. The entire country participates in the yearly event that lasts for around three hours. Presided by the President and Prime Minister of India, the Republic Day parade starts from Rajghat.
Every year, Republic Day parade begins from Rajpath in New Delhi, but this was not the organizing centre for parade during 1950 - 1954? In all these years, the parade was held at the Irwin Stadium, Kingsway, Red Fort and Ramleela Maidan. Rajpath was made the permanent place for the parade since 1955. Rajpath was also known by the name ‘Kingsway’ at that time.
Then, the cavalier bodyguards of the President salute our National Flag and at this time, the National Anthem is played with 21 Guns Salute. It must be noted that, the firing is not done with 21 canons instead 7- cannons of Indian army, known as “25- Ponders” are used. The best thing is that the gun salute firing time matches with the timing when the National Anthem is played. These cannons were made in the year 1941 and are involved in all the formal army programmes.
A special camp is organized for all the Tanks, Armoured vehicles and modern equipment’s exhibiting military power of the country near the premises of India Gate. The investigation process for each Cannon and the whitewash work is conducted in 10 stages.
The tableaus involved in the Republic Day parade move at a speed of 5 km per hr so that they are clearly visible to everyone, especially those watching in the television. It is also surprising that the drivers of these tableaus drive them through a small window.
Each and every activity performed on Republic Day parade is pre-organized - from the beginning till the end. Hence a small error and delay could cost very much to the organizers. The army personnel who take part in the parade have to go through four levels of investigation. Not only this, their arms are also carefully checked to ensure that their arms are not loaded with bullets.
This year, around 58 tribal guests from different parts of the country along with 22 tableaux of the states and Central Government departments and performances by school kids will mark the 90-minute parade of Republic Day 2019. A few tableaux on cultural themes will also include folk and traditional dances, as per the Home Ministry office memorandum.
The Republic Day event, which will be held on Saturday in New Delhi, will have South African President Cyril Ramaphosa as the chief guest. In addition, around 26 national award-winning children in open jeeps or vehicles will also take part in the cultural show. 3 groups of children from Delhi schools and 1 group of children from the Eastern zone Cultural Centre will participate in this year’s parade.
Each of the group will perform for about two minutes in front of the Presidential dais at the Rajpath. The complete duration of the Republic Day parade 2019 will be about 90 minutes. The grand finale for the parade comes in form of a flypast which is keenly awaited by one and all.