Rajpath has once again prostrated, to witness the 71st Republic Day. But it is not that Rajpath has become the witness of the parade of 26 January every time. Rajpath also had to wait for five years to live this historic moment. Republic Day was celebrated for the first time in the country on 26 January 1950. But it was not held at Rajpath. The preparations for this celebration had started from 7 January itself. The first Republic Day was celebrated at Irvine Stadium (today’s National Stadium). The country’s first President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, came here and hoisted the tricolor flag and took salute of about 3000 soldiers.
Even then the venue of the parade of 26 January kept changing. Till 1954, it was held at Kingsway Camp, Ramlila Maidan and sometimes Red Fort. In 1955, for the first time, Republic Day celebrations reached Rajpath. It has continued regularly since then.
The Indian Army starts preparing for the Republic Day Parade from August itself. During this, each jawan practices around 600 hours. Its preparation starts in the regiment itself. Then in December, the soldiers come to Delhi and start preparations.
Parade starts from Raisina Hills:
The parade route has been almost the same since reaching Rajpath. The 26 January parade begins at Raisina Hills. After this, the parade passing through Rajpath, India Gate leads to the Red Fort. This journey lasts for about 8 kilometers. The parade begins with a salute to the President. Before the parade begins, the President sits in a 14-horse cart at the India Gate, where the Prime Minister welcomes him.
Tradition will change this time
In 1973, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi started the tradition of paying tribute to soldiers at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate. Which was going on till last year. Amar Jawan Jyoti was prepared in 1971 for the soldiers martyred in the war with Pakistan. But this time Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the National War Memorial prepared last year to pay tribute to the soldiers. The names of the soldiers martyred in the war fought so far have been mentioned here.