This year, the Republic Day will be celebrated on a Thursday and it would be the 68th occasion that the momentous day is observed by people around the country. As many would know, it is one of the secular festivals of the country, which also makes it a proper representative of the country’s secular fabric. It is celebrated in order to commemorate the day when India’s Constitution came into being. Coming as it did in 1950, this was perhaps one of the most important moments in the history of India, which had won Independence only three years back.
When the Indian Constitution came into being – following years of hard work by people who had framed it such as Jawaharlal Nehru and BR Ambedkar to name a few – it signalled the exit of the Government of India Act 1935. Till then, this particular document had been used in order to administer the country.
Why is this year’s event special?
Since the Crown Prince of an emirate will adorn the celebration as the Chief Guest, the two sides of Rajpath will be decorated with potted date palms. Incidentally, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from where the Crown Prince hails, happens to be one of the top producers of date palm across the world. The national fruit of UAE is date palm as well. The country also holds an International Date Palm Festival every year. It is expected that the date palms would act as a positive welcome for the honourable dignitary.
It is also expected that the Republic Day parade will be led by a group of 179 soldiers from the UAE. The National Security Guard (NSG) is expected to debut in this year’s event and the 140 commando team will showcase its exceptional skills during the event. It is expected to sing the NSG anthem – Hain Na Hai Na Hum Hindustan, Hum Rang Rang Hain, Phir Bhi Sang Hain – penned by Gulzar. The anti-hijack team is expected to put in a performance as well as the anti-sabotage team.
The CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Explosives) team will be on show as well. This is a group of commandos who are advanced terror fighters and use radiation protective suits in order to protect themselves and others from the kinds of threats that have been mentioned above. The team of deep divers, who are capable of killing people underwater, will take part in the celebration as well.
Sherpa, an armoured vehicle that comes with bullet proofing and is an anti-hijacking car, will be introduced during the celebration. It can work underwater and also withstand strong blasts, and thus can be considered a significant addition to the NSG unit.
Celebration around the country
The festival itself is celebrated all around the country with great gusto. Apart from the national capital New Delhi where the celebrations are organised under the auspices of the President, in the states and union territories the governors and lieutenant-generals preside over the celebrations.
This is a national festival and no matter where it is being celebrated, there would be one common aspect – the unfurling of the national flag. As it is, the celebrations at Rajpath are marked by displays by various units of the Indian armed forces. The parade is truly grand and a huge one at that, thus justifying its moniker of being the highlight of the celebrations across the country.
Inspirational quotes and slogans
Following are some well-known quotes and slogans for the upcoming Republic Day:
“We are Indians, firstly and lastly.” – B. R. Ambedkar
“Let us together commence a journey of peace, harmony and progress in South Asia.” – Atal Behari Vajpayee
“Let new India arise out of peasants cottage, grasping the plough, out of huts, cobbler and sweeper.” – Swami Vivekananda
“Citizenship consists in the service of the country.” – Jawaharlal Nehru
“India has no dearth of brave young men and women and if they get the opportunity and help then we can compete with other nations in space exploration and one of them will fulfil her dreams.” – Atal Behari Vajpayee
“I feel that the constitution is workable, it is flexible and it is strong enough to hold the country together both in peacetime and in wartime. Indeed, if I may say so, if things go wrong under the new Constitution, the reason will not be that we had a bad Constitution. What we will have to say is that Man was vile.” – B. R. Ambedkar
“Democracy means nothing if people are not able to work the democracy for the common good.” – Chandra Bhushan