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13 Interesting Facts about Republic Day Parade

Republic Day 2021: On this day President of India addresses the nation. It also shows the huge image of the country's rich cultural heritage and military prowess. On 26 January, 1950, the Constitution of India was implemented in the country that is why we celebrate 26 January as Republic Day every year. 

Every Indian feels pride while seeing the National Flag unfurling on Republic Day. Do you know every year, around 2 Lacs people come to watch the parade of 26th January?

In order to ensure proper conduct of the parade, thousands of soldiers and several other people are actively involved in the process. The formal responsibility to organise the parade lies in the Defence Ministry in which it is assisted by different organisations.

As we know that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event of the Republic Day will be pared down in terms of the number of spectators, the size of marching contingents, and other side attractions. From around 1.25 lakh last year, the spectator size has been reduced to 25,000. This year, the tickets for the general public have been reduced to 4,500, and keeping in mind the social distancing, the size of marching contingents has been reduced from 144 to 96.

Also, the gravity-defying stunts by motorcycle-borne men also did not make the cut. This year, the parade will also be shorter. The parade will end at National Stadium, instead of marching up to the Red Fort. Tableaux will be allowed to perform at Red Fort. The Union Territory of Ladakh will be participating for the first time among the 32 tableaux in the parade. 

On 26 January, 2021, around 100 meritorious students from schools and colleges will be getting a chance to see the Republic Day parade from the Prime MInsiters Box. After the parade, the students will also get the chance to interact with the Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal.

This year, there will be no foreign leader as the Chief Guest of the celebrations of Republic Day parade 2021 due to the global situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

13 interesting facts about the parade of 26th January:

1. As we all know that every year, the organisation of the parade on 26th January is done at Rajpath situated in New Delhi, but do you know that Rajpath was not the organizing centre for the parade from 1950 to 1954? During these years, the 26th January parade was held at Irwin Stadium (now National Stadium), Kingsway, Red Fort, and Ramleela Maidan respectively.

Rajpath became the permanent venue for the parade of 26th January since AD 1955. Rajpath was known by the name ‘Kingsway’ at that time.

Source: CDN Times

2. Every year, the Prime Minister/ President/ or the ruler of any nation is invited as a guest for the 26th January parade. The first parade held on 26th January 1950, President of Indonesia Dr. Sukarno was invited as a guest. However, in 1955 when the first parade was held at Rajpath, The Governor-General of Pakistan Malik Ghulam Mohammad was invited.

Brazil's President Jair Messias Bolsonaro was the Chief Guest on 71st Republic Day of India 2020.

3.The parade event on 26th January begins with the arrival of the President. First of all, the cavalier bodyguards of the President salute the National Flag, and during this time, the National Anthem is played and 21 Guns Salute is also given. But do you know that firing is not done with 21 canons? Instead, 7- cannons of the Indian army, which are known as “25- Ponders” are used for the firing in 3 rounds.

The interesting fact is that the time of gun salute firing matches with the time at which the National Anthem is played. The first firing occurs at the start of the National Anthem and the last firing occurs right after 52 seconds. These cannons were made in 1941 and are involved in all the formal programmes of the army.

Source: BDalbum

Interesting facts about National Flag

4. All the participants of the parade get ready by 2 AM and arrive at the Rajpath by 3 AM. But the preparations for the parade begin in July of the previous year, where all the participants are formally informed about their participation. Till August, they practice parade at their related regiment centres and reach Delhi by December. The participants have already practiced for 600 hours before performing on the 26th January formally.

 5. A special camp near the premises of the India Gate is organized for all the Tanks, Armored Vehicles, and modern equipment showing the military power of India. The investigation process for each Cannon and the work of whitewash is performed in 10 stages mostly but this time maybe it will be different.

Source: Times of India Blogs

6. For rehearsal for the parade of 26th January, each group covers the distance of 12 Kilometres but on the day of 26th January they cover the distance of 9 Kilometres only. Judges are seated all through the way of the parade, who judge every participating group based on 200 parameters, and based on this judgment, the “best marching group” title is awarded.

7. Every activity performed on 26th January parade event is pre-organized, right from the beginning till the end. Therefore, even the smallest error and delay by the fewest minutes could cost heavily to the organizers.

8. Each army personnel who participates in the event of the parade has to pass through 4 levels of investigation. Besides this, their arms are thoroughly checked to ensure that their arms are not loaded with live bullets.

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9. The tableaus involved in the parade move with a speed of about 5 km/hr, so that important people can watch them thoroughly. You will be surprised to know that the drivers of these tableaus drive them through a small window.

Source: Athavan English News  

10. The most fascinating part of the event is “flypast”. Responsibility for “flypast” lies on the Western Airforce Command, which involves the participation of around 41 Aircraft. The Aircrafts involved in the parade take-off from different centres of the Airforce and reach the Rajpath at a fixed time.

Source: Festivals of India

11. The song “Abide with me” is played at every Republic Day parade event as it was the favourite song of Mahatma Gandhi.

12. The army personnel participating in the parade march with indigenously made INSAS rifles, whereas personnel of Special Security Forces march with Tavor rifle made in Israel.

Source: Firstpost

13. According to information obtained through RTI, the expenditure of about 320 crore rupees was incurred in the parade event held in 2014 parade. In 2001, this expenditure was about 145 crores. In this manner, the expenditure made on 26th January parade has increased by 54.51% from 2001 to 2014.

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