26th January again dawns upon us, a day when we celebrate the enactment of our constitution, 68 years ago to this day.
One of the key attractions of the Republic Day is the parade on Rajpath in New Delhi, where various attractions include, meticulous march-pasts by regiments of the Indian armed-forces, the showcasing of India’s defence capabilities and tableaux from various states of the country. The ceremony as usual ends with a fly past by our air-force.
This year in an unprecedented move, the chief guests from the parade would be the leaders of 10 ASEAN countries which are: Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.
Besides this, another new addition to the parade is the All India Radio (AIR) tableaux which will feature PM Modi’s popular public outreach program Maan Ki Baat.
While these are commonly known facts about this year’s parade, these are a few lesser known facts about the parade as a whole which you might not have known:
Rajpath hasn’t always been the venue for the celebrations:
Hard to believe, considering how used to we have been to it. But the parade in its present form was only organised since 1955. From 1950-54 celebrations were held at different venues like Irwin Stadium, Red Fort, Ramlila Maidan.
Tickets for the parade
Yes you can get tickets, it’s not all passes. Passes are only for the front row which can be obtained from senior officials. For the rest, there’s reserved or unreserved seating which were priced Rs 500 and Rs 100 respectively. These were on sale from 13th to 25th January at various venues.
The Chief Guest:
France leads the tally with 5 guests, followed by 4 from Bhutan and dignitary from Russia have been invited thrice. Also there have been two dignitaries from Pakistan as well. Gov Gen Malik Ghulam Muhammad in 1955 and Food and Agricultural Minister Rana Abdul Hamid in 1965.
The beating retreat:
Not really a lesser known fact but the Republic Day festivities go on for three days with everything culminating with the Beating Retreat on 29th evening. This was first conceived in 1950’s after Nehru wanted something spectacular to honour the visit of Queen Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh and summoned Major G.A. Roberts who developed the Beating Retreat ceremony. This was then extended as an official ceremony in its current form.
A lot has changed in the country since the first Republic Day, and a lot hasn’t either, but today calls for a celebration of the Indian Democracy, and on that note we wish all you readers a Happy Republic Day.