As India celebrates 75 years of India’s Independence, New Delhi has witnessed a departure from the past. The revamped Kartavya Path was inaugurated recently. Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked the installation of a sculptural depiction of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose under the Grand Canopy at India Gate with the inauguration of the Kartavya Path.
In 2023, India will celebrate the 75th Army Day. The iconic Army Day Parade that takes place in Delhi may find a new venue. The change, when it takes place, will be another addition to a series of changes brought by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his vision to take the celebrations of national importance outside Delhi — to other parts of India.
“Indian Army has decided to shift the annual Army Day Parade held on January 15 in Delhi outside the national capital. Army Day parade of 2023 will be held in the Southern Command area,” Indian Army officials told ANI.
This year, the Indian Air Force (IAF) Day parade and flypast will be conducted in Chandigarh, say reports. The flypast will be held on October 8 and is expected to unfold over the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh. The parade and flypast have been moved out from the Hindon air base, where the event was previously held.
Held on January 15 every year in New Delhi, the Army Day parade will now be held in the Southern Command area, reports mention, adding that the “government feels that Army Day celebrations should be spread across the country”. The parade may get different venues in the coming years.
The Army Day parade marks the pride and celebration of the Indian Army, the courage, valour and sacrifice of the soldiers, and their collective journey in unity towards protecting and defending India. The day witnesses the honouring of India’s soldiers for their supreme sacrifice in duty and service to the nation. It’s a day when the journey of the Indian Army itself is given a tribute along with the milestone victories, the uniform, the unforgettable heroes.
The Army Day marks the day to commemorate the event when India’s first Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal KM Cariappa took charge of the Indian Army from its last British Commander in Chief, General Sir Roy Bucher in 1949.
India witnessed the transfer of power from the British Army to the Indian Army. The day is of immense significance to the Indian Army and the history surrounding the Indian Army. The celebrations are traditionally conducted at the Cariappa Parade grounds in New Delhi.
The shifting out of the Army Parade from Delhi also indicates that PM Modi could be looking at establishing a connecting between celebrations of national importance and people living in different parts of India.
Last year, when Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat died in a helicopter crash along with his wife and 11 others, the nation saw the moving tribute that came from the people of Coimbatore. People gathered in large numbers, on both sides of the streets, showering petals, joining their hands in respect, giving salutes and shouting the slogans of “Veera Vanakkam”, as the vehicles carrying the mortal remains moved. The gesture from the people of Coimbatore left the entire nation in tears.
These moments reminded India of respect, affection, love and gratitude with which ordinary Indians connect with the Indian Armed Forces. Just as grief unites the nation, so does pride in the Indian Armed Forces. The pride will travel across India when the Army Parade finds a new venue.