What is Army Day?
On 15th of January, 1949, Lieutenant General K. M. Cariappa took over the position of Commander- in- chief from General Sir Francis Butcher. From that day onward, India celebrates Indian Army day every year on 15th of January.
This day is devoted to all those brave heart soldiers who scarified their lives for the sake of our country. India celebrated its 70th Indian Army day on 15th of January, 2023 in New Delhi.
Army day falls on the 15th of January every year. We all know the famous personality late Lt. General Kodandera M. Cariappa from Kodagu, Karnataka.
The man with the astounding personality happens to be the first commander in chief of the Indian Army. The Indian army day is celebrated with a purpose. It is celebrated to mark respect to Mr. Cariappa.
The day is celebrated with great pomp and show at the national capital of India, New Delhi. The day is also celebrated at all the major army headquarters of the country.
Powerful military shows, which are a mark of true respect and patriotism towards the country, were exhibited by the highly coveted Indian armed forces with great vigor.
To understand more about army day, we need to look deeper into the large set-up and operational framework of the Indian Army.
The Indian Army
Every country has its own prestigious army which protects and strengthens the borders of the country and helps in maintaining peace all over the nation.
A perfect example of bravery and outstanding dedication to our motherland, the Indian army is a contingent comprising of men made of steel and always standing by their motto ‘service before self’.
The Indian Army has the maximum number of duty bound soldiers in the world which of course, is a great matter of pride for us.
The strict operational frameworks, rules and services, the benchmarks they have set, etc are among the things that make the Indian Army invincible in the eyes of its citizens.
The Indian Army is considered to be among the best even at high altitudes and guerrilla and mountain warfare. It also controls the highest battlefield in the world, the Siachen battleground.
The third biggest military contingent in the world, the Indian Army operates on the basis of regimental system.
Having about 53 cantonments and 9 army bases spread across India, the Indian Army was formed in the year 1776, under the aegis of the East India Company in Kolkata.
The Indian Army is one of the biggest troop contributors to the United Nations peace making operations.
The highest bridge in the world, the Baily Bridge in Ladakh, was constructed by the Indian Army in 1982. Also, it is one of the few armies in the world that has never initiated war on its own.
The supreme commander of Indian Army is the President of India and is commanded by Chief of Army Staff, a four star general. In the present day the Indian Army has got 1,220,010 active personnel in its large base and 990,960 reserve personnel.
It has its headquarters situated in New Delhi which is under the command of the Chief of Army staff (COAS).
The present day Chief of the Army staff is General Bipin Rawat and Vice chief of the Army staff is Lieutenant General Sarath Chand.
The main duty of Indian Army is to ensure the safety and security of the nation, protecting it from any external threats. It helps in maintaining peace and security within its borders.
The Indian Army is also involved in rehabilitation activities apart from the main course operations. They are termed civilian operations.
They include rescuing lives of common men during natural calamities such as earthquakes, floods etc. Currently, Indian Army is enhancing its capabilities of Special Forces.
The soldiers of Indian Army are considered among the best in jungle welfare. The highest military honor is the Param Veer Chakra.
The troops in Indian Army are organized into 40 divisions in 14 corps. There are various Army training commands (ARTRAC).
The Central command situated in Lucknow, Eastern Command situated Kolkata, Northern Command situated in Udhampur, Southern Command situated in Pune, South Western Command situated in Jaipur and Western Command situated in Chandigarh.
It also has an Army training command in Shimla.
There are also various Infantry regiment such as Parachute regiment, Punjab regiment, Madras regiment, Maratha light infantry, Rajputana rifles, Jat regiment, Rajput regiment, Sikh regiment, Assam regiment, Bihar regiment, Jammu and Kashmir regiment, Naga regiment, 1 Gorkha rifles, 3 Gorkha rifles, 5 Gorkha rifles, 5 Gorkha rifles, 8 Gorkha rifles, 8 Gorkha rifles, 9 Gorkha rifles, 11 Gorkha rifles, Ladakh scouts, Arunanchal scouts, Sikkim scouts and Rashtriya rifles.
Their combat support arms are Artillery, Corps of engineers, and Corps of signals, Army aviation groups and Corps of army air defence. As of 2017, The Indian Army has strength of 49,833 officers and 1,202,257 enlisted personnel.
The Defence Research and Development organization has developed a range of weapons of the Indian Army. Some of them are the Arjun tank, small arms, missiles, radars etc.
The Indian Army wants to modernize the army’s 465 infantry and paramilitary battalions by 2020 under the name F-INSAS. It will launch several weapons like Arjun MK- III, Futuristic battle tank, TATA Kestrel, FICV etc.
Army day 2019
The Army day falls on Tuesday, the 15th of January in the next year 2019. Generally people do not know much about army day celebrations on a very common scale.
To let people know about how our army operates, to inspire and gather more people to enroll into the coveted armed forces of the nation, it is required to exhibit the army achievements to the nation.
We should be proud of our army. We should encourage them to work even more harder to protect the border against infiltrates and illegitimate militant troops.
We talk about safety, peace of mind and harmony. If we ever wondered how we would achieve all this in life, then we need not seek shelter under god.
We should first thank our brave soldiers who are making it possible for us to lead more than normal and peaceful lives in our comfort zones.
Army day parade
Technology plays a vital role in every space of human life and has changed the face of army operations too over the past years. Some of the salient features of the Army day parade are:
The parade is a beautiful rendition of the strength of the Indian army and plays a major role in influencing younger generation to be a part of the great service to the nation.
The achievements in the previous year of operation of Indian army are exhibited through the parade.
The parade and the march past are carried out in the most perfect manner possible leaving no room for even the minutest error to occur anywhere.
The perfect co-ordination of the soldiers sets an example for the youth of today and instills them with values of life. The amount of practice that goes in perfecting the parade is undoubtedly unquestionable.
The same principle needs to be adopted in one’s life to achieve one’ goals and ambitions.
Discipline is the key word of every soldier and he leads a life full of disciplined and focused idealism. Discipline comes naturally to soldiers, by looking at them; even we get a chance to learn good virtues.
Confidence with which they carry n the parade makes one get astonished and therefore, one should not miss the parade at any cost.
The army day parade is carried out at Ned Delhi and all major army headquarters of the country.
Army day celebrations
Various programs take place on this day. ‘Sena medals’ ‘Unit credentials’ are given to soldiers and parades take place. These parades are performed by Indian Army soldiers.
The exhibition of various missiles (Brahmos), tanks (Arjuna), Light helicopters, Army Aviation corps and latest technologies in the combat are displayed.
The parade is watched by many people all around New Delhi and on television.
There are various other machines also displayed by the Indian Army on that day to monitor the opponents or the warring countries.
The soldiers of Indian Army take a pledge on staying dedicated to be a part of the ‘War winning team’.
Army Day also provides knowledge to local people about how the Indian Army operates and how it is involved in guarding the borders.
Being the youth of the nation, we should be focusing on such days and pledge to save our country from any kind of danger.
The Indian Army motivates people to maintain peace and stand to safeguard our country. The Indian Army performs a huge set of dangerous tasks and wars to ensure the safety of its people.
Some of the wars won by India are Kargil war, Siachen conflict, Chola incident, Liberation of Goa, Second Indo- Pak war, Liberation of Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Third Indo- Pak war and Indian- Sino conflict of 1967.
The Indian Army is a great example of selfless service and brotherhood and above all, love for the country is what the Indian Army is all about.
Importance and Significance of the day
Let us now look into the significance of the army day celebrations. If we dig deep into the wounds of history, we would find that India rejoiced on the 15th of January, 1947 after a century long and more of struggle under the British.
It was a day to remember in history. No Indian would ever forget the date of independence. Yet, the enthusiasm of freedom from the British did not last long.
The country had to soon bear the brunt of partition. Lakh of people, belonging to Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities were killed. India was divided into India and the newly created nation of Pakistan.
Both the nations were at war with each other and as a result thousands of people lost their lives. Men were be-headed; women were torched under severe conditions beyond recognition.
Little children too were not spared in the incident; many little ones too lost precious lives in the gory incident.
After the ugly scenes of partition, in the year 1948, the last commander in chief from the British Army, General Francis Butcher left back to his shores from our nation.
The baton had to be passed on dutifully for a responsible officer in India. So, Mr. Butcher appointed Major General Cariappa as the first commander-in-chief of the Indian Army on the 15th of January 1949.
At that time, it so noteworthy to be informed that the army had about ten Gurkha regiments. These regiments had to be placed and stationed accordingly.
So, about six of them were divided between the Indian and Pakistan armies and the remaining four went straight with the British.
From that time till now, millions of soldiers have enrolled themselves in the Indian army and have sacrificed their lives for the welfare of the nation.
They have always placed service before anything less. Their own lives and their families come next to service. For them service is supreme. Such great soldiers of our country should be worshiped.
We celebrate festivals at home every year. If we just go back and think how many soldiers get a chance to get back with their families and celebrate festivals with pomp and show, the numbers would be very few.
For them, service to motherland falls first before any great celebration or religious. Hence the government has dedicated a day to celebrate their service, to encourage them and hold them in the highest esteemed position possible.
Why Army Day is celebrated?
The reason why we are leading a peaceful life within the country is because the soldiers of Indian Army are protecting the border regions of our country.
It guards the border from threats and maintains peace. This day is celebrated to pay homage and to remember those brave hearted Indian soldiers who died fighting for the nation.
They sacrificed their lives in order to protect the country. The Army Day is celebrated at every Army Command headquarters in the country and the National capital, New Delhi.
On this day, tribute is paid to those sacrificed Indian Army soldiers at the eternal flame of ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’ at Indian Gate situated in New Delhi.
The Amar Jawan Jyoti stays active day and night, which is a memorial constructed to pay tribute to Indian soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War and the Third Anglo Afghan War. Since 1971, the flame is been burning continuously. It is the India’s tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
One can also contribute to the Indian Army in many ways. When those soldiers can sacrifice their lives just for the sake of protecting us, we can also be part of their celebrations on army day. We can:
- Watch Army day parade on 15th of January: You will come to know the strength of Indian Army.
- Join the Indian Army. That will be a great contribution to the country.
- Visit the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate.
- Learn to stand for yourself. Be brave like the Indian Army.
- Watch inspiring movies like ‘Border’ and ‘LOC Kargil’ which are about the Indian Army and its contributions.
Feature Image Credit : Pixabay