Delhi Republic Day parade

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Delhi Republic Day parade
Indian Army-Madras regiment.jpeg
Madras Regiment marching in the Republic Day parade
Genre National patriotic parade
Begins 26 January
Ends 29 January
Frequency Annually
Location(s) New Delhi, India
Inaugurated 1950
Most recent 2014
Previous event 26 January 2014
Next event 26 January 2015
Organised by Ministry of Defence
Website
http://republicday.nic.in/

Delhi Republic Day parade refers to the grand parade on Rajpath, New Delhi, held on 26 January every year. It is the main attraction of India's Republic Day Celebrations, which extends for 3 days. The parade showcases India's Defense Capability, Cultural and Social Heritage.

Republic Day Parade[edit]

The Lion Capital at Rajpath decorated
President's Body Guards in their winter ceremonial dress.

To mark the importance of the occasion, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, New Delhi, from the Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (the President's residence), along the Rajpath, past India Gate.[1] Prior to its commencement, the Prime Minister lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, a memorial to unknown soldiers at the India Gate at one end of Rajpath, which is followed by two minutes silence in the memory of unknown soldiers. It is a solemn reminder of the sacrifice of the martyrs who died for the country in the freedom movement and the succeeding wars for the defence of sovereignty of their country. Thereafter he/she reaches the main dais at Rajpath to join other dignitaries, subsequently the President arrives along with the chief guest of the occasion. They are escorted on horseback by the President's Bodyguard.

First, the president unfurls the National flag, as the National Anthem is played, and a 21-gun salute is given as the PBG renders the National Salute. Next, important awards like the Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra are given away by the President, before the regiments of Armed Forces start their march past. The President comes forward to award the medals of bravery to the people from the armed forces for their exceptional courage in the field and also the civilians, who have distinguished themselves by their different acts of valour in different situations. Children who receive the National Bravery Award ride past the spectators on colourfully decorated elephants or vehicles.[2]

Countries invited as chief guests for the Republic Day parade. Erstwhile Yugoslavia (twice invited) has not been depicted in the map.
The unique BSF Camel Contingent during the annual Republic Day Parade.

Nine to twelve different regiments of the Indian Army in addition to the Navy, and Air Force with their bands march past in all their finery and official decorations. The President of India who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. Twelve contingents of various para-military forces of India and other civil forces also take part in this parade.[3] One of the unique sights of the parade is the camel mounted Border Security Force contingent, which is the only camel mounted military force in the world. The crème of N.C.C. cadets, selected from all over the country consider it an honour to participate in this event, as do the school children from various schools in the capital. They spend many days preparing for the event and no expense is spared to see that every detail is taken care of, from their practice for the drills, the essential props and their uniforms. 22 to 30 floats exhibiting the cultures of the various states and union territories of India, including floats of union ministries and state enterprises are in the grand parade, which is broadcast nationwide on television and radio. These moving exhibits depict scenes of activities of people in those states and the music and songs of that particular state accompany each display. Each display brings out the diversity and richness of the culture of India and the whole show lends a festive air to the occasion.[4] Around 1200 schoolchildren present cultural dances as part of the parade.[5]

The parade traditionally ends with dare devil motor cycle riding by motocycle units of the Armed Forces and a flypast by the Indian Air Force jets and helicopters carrying the national flag and the flags of the three services.

Comprising over 25 marching and mounted contingents, various military vehicles, 20 military bands, 30 cultural tableaux and 30 aircraft in addition to cultural performers and 1200 schoolchildren, India's Republic Day Parade in New Delhi is the most spectacular regular parade in the world.

Every part of the country is represented in the parade, which makes the Republic Day parade very popular.

Beating Retreat[edit]

Vijay Chowk (Victory Square) at Rajpath, with Secretariat Buildings in the background, New Delhi, the venue of the Beat Retreat ceremony

The Beating Retreat ceremony officially denotes the end of Republic Day festivities. It is conducted on the evening of 29 January, the third day after the Republic Day. It is performed by the bands of the three wings of the military, the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. The venue is Raisina Hills and an adjacent square, Vijay Chowk, flanked by the north and south block of the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace) towards the end of Rajpath.

Rashtrapati Bhavan and adjacent buildings, illuminated for the Republic Day.

The Chief Guest of the function is the President of India who arrives escorted by the (PBG), a cavalry unit. When the President arrives, the PBG commander asks the unit to give the National Salute, which is followed by the playing of the Indian National Anthem, Jana Gana Mana, by the Army developed the ceremony of display by the massed bands in which Military Bands, Pipe and Drum Bands, Buglers and Trumpeters from various Army Regiments besides bands from the Navy and Air Force take part which play popular tunes like Abide With Me, Mahatma Gandhi's favourite hymn, and Saare Jahan Se Achcha at the end.[2][6][7] 2012

Chief guest[edit]

Since 1950, India has been hosting a head of state or government of another country as the state guest of honour for Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. During 1950–1954, Republic Day celebrations were organised at different venues (like Irwin Stadium (National Stadium), Kingsway (Rajpath), Red Fort and Ramlila grounds). It was only starting 1955 when the parade in its present form was organised at Rajpath. The guest country is chosen after a deliberation of strategic, economic and political interests. During the 1950s–1970s, a number of NAM and Eastern Bloc countries were hosted by India. In the post-Cold War era, India has also invited several Western leaders on a state visit during the Republic Day. It is notable that before India fought wars with China and Pakistan, leaders from these countries were invited as state guests for the Republic Day celebrations. Interestingly, Pakistan Food and Agriculture Minister was the second state guest from that country for Republic Day in 1965, a few days after which the two countries went to a war. Countries which have been invited multiple times include India's neighbours (Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Mauritius), defence allies (Russia/USSR, France and Britain), trade partners (Brazil) and NAM allies (Nigeria, Indonesia and erstwhile Yugoslavia). France and Bhutan have the distinction of being the guest of honour for the maximum (four) number of times followed by three visits each from Mauritius and USSR/Russia. In 2014, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the Chief Guest at Republic Day Parade.[8]

Awards[edit]

Best marching contingents[edit]

Year Best marching contingent among the three services Best marching contingent among paramilitary forces and other auxiliary marching contingents
1997 Border Security Force
1998 Indo-Tibetan Border Police
1999 Indo-Tibetan Border Police
2000 Indo-Tibetan Border Police
2001 Madras Regiment Delhi Police
2002
2003 Madras Engineer Group Delhi Police
2004 Indo-Tibetan Border Police
2005
2006
2007 Jat Regiment Central Industrial Security Force
2008 Rajputana Rifles Central Industrial Security Force
2009 Territorial Army Central Reserve Police Force
2010 Dogra Regiment Central Reserve Police Force
2011 Indian Air Force Indo-Tibetan Border Police
2012 Indian Air Force Border Security Force
2013[9] Indian Air Force and Indian Navy Central Industrial Security Force
2014[10] Territorial Army Central Reserve Police Force

Best three tableaux[edit]

Year First Second Third
1981[11] Goa
1988[11] Goa
1989[11] Goa
1990[11] Goa
1991[11] Goa
1995[11] Goa
2000[11] Goa
2001 Rajasthan Ministry of Railways Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir
2002 Jammu and Kashmir
2003 Goa Assam Uttar Pradesh
2007 Orissa Ministry of Culture Maharashtra
2008 Kerala Karnataka Ministry of Human Resource Development
2009 Kerala Maharashtra Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir
2010 Ministry of Culture Goa Chhattisgarh
2011 Delhi Karnataka Rajasthan
2012 Ministry of Human Resource Development Goa Karnataka
2013[9] Kerala Rajasthan Chhattisgarh
2014[10] West Bengal Tamil Nadu Assam

References[edit]