Recognizing Courage, Valor and Sacrifice in India

January 14, 2016 | Author: Helena Harris

Courage, valor, sacrifice. These are the themes of the 68th edition of army day, which will be celebrated across the country on January 15th 2016. The event is enthusiastically celebrated in India to mark the date when the first Indian Commander-in-Chief Lieutenant General (later Field Marshal) K.M. Cariappa succeeded the last British Commander-in-Chief of India, General Sir Francis Butcher – a turning point in the history of British/Indian relations.

Army day offers thanks and recognition and gives a salute to those soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the country and its people. It is marked across the country at all army headquarters, with the main focus of the celebrations taking place in the nation’s capital New Delhi. In typically Indian style the event is marked with colour, pomp and pageantry. The day begins with tributes being paid at Amar Jawan Jyoti (or the flame of the immortal soldier) at India Gate in New Delhi. Following this an elaborate parade is held, where the chief of army staff reviews the parade and honours the units and individual soldiers with bravery awards and Sena medals, which are awarded for individual acts of exceptional devotion to duty or courage that have special significance for the army. During the parade serving Indian army personnel pledge to continue to serve and protect the nation from all enemies. The parade also features soldiers marching in their ceremonial attire, as well as mechanised columns showcasing the formidable might of the Indian army.

2016 promises to be one of the most impressive celebrations yet, with a number of different activities taking place in the run up to army day. These events included an army raahgiri, hosted for the public and showcasing the martial arts skills of the Assam Regiment, cultural shows such as Lezim from Maharashtra and Chang Dance from Rajasthan. Soldiers showcased the bayonet training drill, known as Dhawa, and the army aerobics and Malakhamb team showed off their elite gymnastics skills. This year also sees a link between the celebrations and the Make-in-India policy aimed at growing the indigenization of the defence industry to support Indian military requirement with a two day conference held to undertake a comprehensive appraisal of the capability development needs of the army.

Army day is an annual event, which is aimed at giving thanks and recognising the courage, valour and sacrifice of the army. It is an opportunity for everyone to get involved and to show servicemen and women how important their job is in defending the nation.

Helena Harris

Helena Harris