Explained: The Army Day parade and why its venue is being changed

Army Day marks Field Marshal Kodandera M Cariappa taking over the charge of the Indian Army from the last British Commander-in-Chief of India General Francis Roy Bucher on 15 January 1949. Since then, the Army Day parade was held at Cariappa Parade ground in Delhi Cantonment

FP Explainers September 20, 2022 21:25:49 IST
Explained: The Army Day parade and why its venue is being changed

The venue for Army Day parade is likely to move out of Delhi next year. PTI File Photo

The venue for the Army Day Parade is being shifted out of Delhi and will be organised at the force’s Southern Command area next year, PTI has reported.

“The annual Army Parade will be held outside Delhi next year. It will be at a place under the jurisdiction of the Army’s Southern Command,” an army source was quoted as saying by PTI.

As per Business Line, the parade will be held at different places annually next year onwards.

However, there is no official confirmation if the change in venue will be continued after the 2023 parade, as per PTI.

What is Army Day and why is it significant? Why is the Army Day parade venue being changed first time since independence?

Let’s examine the topic in detail:

Army Day

The Army Day on 15 January marks the transfer of military power from British to India and is celebrated at all Army Command headquarters.

Besides the annual Republic Day parade on 26 January, the Army Day parade is one of the most eminent events of the Indian Army.

Army Day also commemorates the soldiers who laid down their lives while serving the nation.

Till now, the parade was held at Cariappa Parade ground in Delhi Cantonment with the army chief and other top officers in attendance.

Significance

On 1 April, 1895, the Indian Army officially came into existence, however, it was then known as the British Indian Army.

Explained The Army Day parade and why its venue is being changed

Army Day Parade is held every year on 15 January. AFP File Photo

On 15 January, 1949, the formal transfer of the Indian Army from the British occurred when Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa took over the baton from General Sir Francis Roy Bucher, the last Commander-in-Chief of India.

Cariappa became the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army.

In 1986, Cariappa was accorded the honorary rank of field marshal by the Indian government for exemplary services to the country.

Sam Manekshaw was the first officer to receive this highest rank in 1973.

Every year, the army holds parades and displays its military strength to observe 15 January. Gallantry awards and Sena medals are also bestowed upon Army personnel during the event.

Army’s Southern Command venue

The Army’s Southern Command is headquartered in Maharashtra’s Pune. At the time of independence in 1947, Southern Command had a training, administrative and support role, as per the Indian Army Website.

It is also the only command that has engaged in overseas operations.

Currently, it consists of two corps with their headquarters in Jodhpur and Bhopal.

Among the Command’s static formations are Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa, with its headquarters at Mumbai and the Dakshin Bharat Area with its headquarters at Chennai.

“Southern Command encompasses eleven states and four Union Territories, covering nearly 41 per cent of the country’s landmass,” says the army website.

Explained The Army Day parade and why its venue is being changed

The Indian Army displays its strength and state-of-the-art assets during the parade on 15 January. PTI File Photo

Its formations, establishments and units are spans more than 19 cantonments and 36 military stations, the website adds.

Why shift in venue?

The step is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directive to hold government functions across different states, as per Business Line.

Earlier, it was announced that the annual Air Force Day parade on 8 October will be shifted out of the national capital region this year and celebrated at the Air Force Station in Chandigarh.

While the Air Force Day parade will be carried out in the morning hours in Chandigarh, the fly past and aerial display will be held on the banks of the Sukhna Lake in the afternoon, The Hindu reported.

Explaining the reasons behind the shift of Air Force Day parade, a defence official told the newspaper, “One is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s guidance that major events in National Capital should be moved out to various places across the country to enable more people to witness and engage in them.”

Further, the official said this will also expand the scope of participation and give the opportunity to other institutions across the country. “It is also to showcase our prowess across the country,” the official said.

Notably, the Air Force Day parade was held at Hindon Air Force Station in the national capital region every year, hence limiting the participation of schools and colleges, The Hindu reported.

Similar step

Since 2014, the Combined Commanders Conference (CCC) has been held at different venues across the country.

In 2015, it was held on INS Vikramaditya and two years later at the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun.

It was organised at Air Force Station in Jodhpur in 2018.

In 2021, Modi had addressed the valedictory session of the conference organised by the Ministry of Defence at Kevadia, Gujarat.

With inputs from agencies

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