The whole world knows that the Indian Army is a force to reckon with. A powerhouse that cannot be beat. That cannot be made to back down. And that is a matter of real pride for us as Indians. To have an army that can evoke fear in the hearts of adversaries and a sense of security in the minds of its family is a beautiful thing to have. Not talked about very often but still something to be eternally grateful for. We are truly a lucky lot!
That said, our nation’s army really does deserve a day of its own. Their valour and indomitable spirit deserves to be celebrated. And that is one of the reasons why we have an Indian Army Day!
However, just saying that is scratching the surface! The history and significance of the Indian Army Day is a lot more interesting if you get into it. Allow us to give you a brief overview of this very special day for us as a proud nation.
When is Indian Army Day? (h2)
The title already tells you when is Indian Army Day, does it not?
No, no. No need to go back and look at it. We are more than happy to tell you again. So the Indian Army Day is celebrated on (no points for guessing) January 15th. And that is the same date every year. It is a fixed one. So make a mental note of it because you never know when this knowledge might come in handy.
The history of Indian Army Day
Did you know that last year (2023) marked the 75th Indian Army Day? This year (2024) is the 76th year of us observing this great day. And though that is a matter of pride, it bodes well to know a little bit about the history of Indian Army Day and how it came about.
Let us take you all the way back to 1895. Back on April 1st of 1895 was the foundation of the Indian Army. Of course, back then it was the British Indian Army. After all, it was formed by the British. And was a part of the armed forces of the East India Company.
Now you might be confused as to why Indian Army Day is celebrated on 15th January if it was founded on the 1st of April?
Well, there is a reason for that, which we are about to tell you.
The thing is the army that was founded in 1895 did not belong to independent India. Which means it did not fight for us but for our colonial rulers.
Now we only gained independence in the year 1947, on August 15th as you already know. And that was after nearly 200 years of being ruled by the British.
Now just after independence, things were not very stable on the Pakistan side of things for India. Turmoil and communal riots were common with an influx of refugees coming into India as a result. This dire situation led to a lot of commotion and chaos. An almost anarchic situation, which needed to be controlled at all costs. And soon. It was important because the partition was night and that had to go peacefully. Without bloodshed.
Now at that time, the Indian Army was spearheaded by British General Sir Francis Butcher. The time was ripe for a handover of responsibilities to happen. The Indian Army now deserved an Indian commanding general. And so the handover happened. Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa was announced as the first Indian Army Chief. But that did not happen till 15th January 1949. The reason why he was chosen was because he led the Indian Army during the Indo-Pak War of 1947, thus proving what he was capable of.
This was a historical moment for India. For the first time in history, the Indian Army had an Indian leader. And that happened on 15th January 1949. It is for this reason that 15th January became the date for Indian Army Day celebrations. It is a way to honour this historic milestone.
And that is the history of Indian Army Day.
The importance of Indian Army Day and how it is celebrated (h3)
There is no denying that this day is extremely significant, not just for the Indian Army, but for us as a nation. As per Global Firepower, India’s army ranks as the fourth most powerful army in the world in 2023. China, Russia and the United States are the only three nations ahead of us. It is a matter of serious pride that we are in the top 5 and can stand head-to-head with some of the most powerful nations of the world.
So if it comes to discussing the importance of Indian Army Day, this day not only upholds our history but also serves as a platform to celebrate the prowess of our great army. And the many sacrifices our great heroes have made for our great nation.
Tributes are paid to all valiant martyrs who lost their lives in the line of duty. Other celebrations include hosting a grand parade at Delhi Cantonment’s Cariappa Parade Ground. Awards and medals are also given to our brave soldiers for their commendable feats in the line of service. Apart from this, the military’s prowess is also put on display during the parade.
A moment of great pride took place for India recently during one such Indian Army Day celebration. In the year 2020, Captain Tania Shergill became the first woman to command a parade on this special day. Another interesting thing to note is that in 2023, the 75th edition of the Indian Army Day was actually celebrated in Bangalore, not Delhi. Though the usual celebrations did take place at the Cariappa Parade Ground.
Was it not fun learning about the Indian Army Day? It is amazing to know how efficient, fearless and powerful our Army really is! Something that even kids should know so they can hold their heads high every time our Army is mentioned.
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