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26th January 2019: Interesting Facts about Republic Day Parade

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

As we all know that India got Independence on 15th August 1947 but the drafted constitution was implemented on 26th January 1950. It was then that the country became an independent Republic.  The date was selected as it was the anniversary of ‘Purna Swaraj Day’, which was held on 26th January 1930. The constitution gave its citizens the power to govern themselves by selecting their own government.

Republic Day is a national holiday in India. 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.

Let’s learn some Interesting Facts about Republic Day parade

1. We all are aware of the fact that every year, Republic Day parade on 26th January begins from Rajpath in New Delhi, but do you know that 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.

2. Every year, an important political personality like the Prime Minister or President or head of a country is invited as a guest for the Republic Day parade. President of Indonesia, Dr. Sukarno was the Chief Guest on the first parade held on 26th January 1950. And in 1955 when the first parade was held from Rajpath, the guest of honor was the Governor- General of Pakistan, Malik Ghulam Mohammad.

3. The parade event on 26th January starts after the entrance of the President. 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. The first firing is done at the start of the National Anthem and the last after 52 seconds. These cannons were made in the year 1941 and are involved in all the formal army programmes.

4. A special camp is organized for all the Tanks, Armored vehicles and modern equipments 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. The most attractive part of the entire event is ‘flypast’ and the responsibility for this lies on the Western Airforce Command that involves participation of around 41 Aircrafts. All the Aircrafts take-off from different Airforce centres but reach the venue at a fixed time.

9. Last but not the least a song ‘Abide with me’ is played on the Republic Day parade as it was one of the favourite songs of the Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

Let us together spread the message that the tricolor gives. Let us spread peace, humanity and prosperity among the people. Happy Republic Day to All!!

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