India celebrated its first Republic Day on 26th January 1950. The date 26th January is quite significant in India’s history because before India achieved independence, this day was celebrated as the Independence Day. This is also the day when the Government of India Act of 1935 was replaced by the Indian Constitution, which is still regarded as one of the longest of its kind in the world, as the document that needs to be referred to for governing the country.
Why is the 2016 Republic Day Special?
There are several events that are supposed to make this year’s Republic Day celebrations even more special than the previous years. The Indian Government is supposed to launch the action plan for the Start Up India Stand Up India programme on this day. This programme is expected to provide the youth across India with a lot of job opportunities. The government is also supposed to emphasize on keeping statues of great individuals of India and the neighbourhoods clean. Several schools and colleges are also going to stage discussions on the duties of citizens of India.
It is expected that this time around Francoise Hollande, the Prime Minister of France, will be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations. His presence at the Republic Day celebrations this year is expected to add a touch of poignancy, considering the status of both countries as the ones affected by terrorism and the recent events at Paris and Pathankot. It will also convey a message that all such countries stand together in solidarity. Laurent Fabius, the foreign minister of France, had visited Delhi on 20th November 2015 and it is possible that both the countries decided on Hollande’s visit in January at that time.
Schedule for 67th Republic Day Celebrations
This year one of the special aspects of the celebrations is going to be an exhibition of Boita Bandana – a maritime tradition by Odisha. It is expected that a tableau will be used to showcase the same. Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, I&PR Minister, has guided the preparation and design of the same. Pradyumna Kumar Dash, a senior designer of the same department, has designed and conceptualized the tableau. Gajendra Kumar Sahoo of Bibhut Kanungo Art College of Bhubaneswar has also played a role in preparing the 3D model for the tableau along with Dash. Sushanta Kumar Padhi, a music director, has arranged the music for the montage that has received high praise from the national Defence Ministry. It is expected that celebrations would follow the standard style adhered to traditionally for the event. However, the national government has decided to cut off the marching units of some paramilitary forces as well as Delhi Police. This year, only the Border Security Force (BSF) that takes care of the borders shared with Bangladesh and Pakistan, Assam Rifles, which guards the borders with Myanmar, and Railways Police Force (RPF), which is responsible for the national railways, will have marching units. Among the units culled, Seema Sashastra Bal (SSB), CISF, and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) are the major names. Some important people attached to the government have expressed their shock and dismay at these important units being relieved for this year, considering the fact that parade enables each unit of the Indian Army to showcase its unique identity to the nation. The central government has asked the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to send a ladies-only contingent.
Inspirational Republic Day Quotes and Slogans
Following are some really inspirational quotes for Republic Day:
Jawaharlal Nehru: “Citizenship consists in the service of the country.”
Mahatma Gandhi: “You must be the change you want to see in the World”
Swami Vivekananda “Let new India arise out of peasants’ cottage, grasping the plough, out of huts, cobbler and sweeper.”
BR Ambedkar “We are Indians, firstly and lastly.” “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.” “Constitution is not a mere lawyer’s document, it is a vehicle of Life, and its spirit is always the spirit of Age.”
Republic Day Traffic advisory
After the Republic Day dry runs held on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, the Delhi Traffic Police has imposed restrictions on the parade route on Rajpath from Vijay Chowk to India Gate. Commuters are advised to avoid this route. To ensure uninterrupted movement of the parade on Rajpath, restrictions have also been imposed on traffic crossings at Janpath, Rafi Marg and Mansingh Road from 9.00 a.m. to 12 noon on all rehearsal days for upcoming Republic Day celebrations. While Rajpath from Vijay Chowk to India Gate would remain closed for traffic, people working in North/South Block and coming from south Delhi are advised to take South Avenue, Hukmi Mai Road, Dalhousie Road and South Sunken Road. People coming from the north side are suggested to take North Avenue, Brassy Avenue and North Sunken Road.
20 ‘Smart’ cities to be declared this Republic Day
On the 67th Republic Day, India will witness the declaration of twenty cities as the first lot of cities that are on their way to being “smart”. On the contrary, the remaining seventy seven applicant-cities would re-direct to the drawing board in order to enhance their existing potential and plan better so as to qualify in the next phase of selection. Each of the twenty selected cities would receive a sum of Rs. 200 crore on an annual basis for the next five years. Out of this amount, Rs.100 crore would be provided by the Centre and the remaining would come from contribution by the concerned state. As a whole, each of the twenty cities would receive a whopping sum of Rs.1,000 crore in the next five years.
8 Key highlights of this Republic Day
- French president Francois Hollande will be the chief guest.
- French troops will be participating in the Republic Day parade.
- India’s first indigenously developed aircraft carrier Vikrant and submarine Kalvari will be displayed by the Navy tableaux.
- The BSF camel contingent will not be marching down the Rajpath this year.
- The paramilitary forces like ITBP, CISF and SSB will be absent from this year’s Republic Day parade.
- The Army dog squad will join this year’s Republic Day parade after 26 long years.
- A women-only stunt contingent will be demonstrating their motorcycle riding skills for the first time.
- The first ever video of the Indian national anthem will feature dignitaries like Sachin Tendulkar, Baichung Bhutia and Sania Mirza.