As the nation gears up for the 65th Republic Day this year, I fondly remember what this day meant to us as kids! Being a gazetted holiday, this day was heartily enjoyed as a day off from school. But more than that, Republic Day was much awaited for the majestic parade which makes every Indian feel proud. The true spirit of independent India comes alive on this day. The feeling of patriotism and pride of being an Indian fills the hearts of people all over the country.
As an yearly custom, the increase in the number of check posts have started reminding us that yes, Delhi has already started preparing for the Big Day! A number of routes have been closed for tighter security. Parade practices are being held every day to make the event performance flawless. The venue has been vivified with tri-colour flags all over. The sound of the air jets and helicopters overheard are heard as the Air Force prepares for its magnificent show.
In its true essence, the Republic Day commemorates the date of establishment of the Constitution of India as a free nation. The enforcement of its own set of laws for governance was the first big step towards the development of the country. It meant that we were capable and wonderfully efficient in governing ourselves, and that no other nation had the right to rule over India. 26 January also marks the anniversary of the Poorna Swaraj Day, which was celebrated in the year 1930. Ever since then, this day witnesses grand celebrations and festivities all across the country.
The patriotic fervour of the Indian citizens can be felt in the huge crowd that gathers at the India Gate to pay tribute to the martyrs of the independence struggle. The preparations begin months before the actual day. The event begins as the Prime Minister lays a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate. A foreign head of state is welcomed as the Chief Guest by the President. A grand parade of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force follows the Award Ceremony that honors the bravehearts.
A colorful tableaux of the different states of India is a fascinating part of this event. Music and Dance becomes a part of the celebrations as children from various schools participate in the dance competition. The impressively uniformed parade of the military should not be missed. The showering of rose petals by the helicopters of the Air Force forms a magnificent sight. The superfast air jets and fighter planes offer a spectacular show in the air. But the best moment is when the tri-colour national flag is hoisted and the national anthem is respectfully sung in chorus.
Republic Day is a day when the whole nation feels the same thing: a sense of patriotism and pride. 65 years after the day our constitution came into effect, we as a nation have overcome many hurdles and become one of the most powerful nations of the world. A country which was ruled by the British for over 200 years, today stands proud as the third power of the world. It does, indeed, call for a grand celebration. So if you have not yet experienced the parade live, this is your best chance. Visit the India Gate on the 26th January this year as the nation celebrates its 65th Republic Day!