The Indian Army, known for its valiant soldiers who defend the country's borders and safeguard the nation against adversaries, celebrates Indian Army Day annually on January 15. The year 2024 marks the 76th anniversary of this significant day. This celebration is a tribute to the Indian Army's triumphant transition from British control to Indian leadership. The pivotal moment being honoured is on January 15, 1949, when Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa assumed the role of the first Indian Commander-in-chief of the Indian Army from General Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief.
Indian Army Day 2024: Honor and Valor
2024 Celebrations in Lucknow: A New Venue
In a break from tradition, the 2024 Army Day celebrations are set to take place in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, moving away from the usual venue at the Cariappa Parade Ground in Delhi Cantonment. This shift aims to broaden public involvement and enhance inspiration from the Army's contributions. The choice of Lucknow as the host city also highlights its rich military history. The event will feature a grand parade, overseen by the current Commander-in-chief of the Indian Army, General Manoj Pandey, and attended by high-ranking officials and dignitaries.
Theme and Significance of the Event
Each year, Indian Army Day carries a specific theme to emphasize certain aspects of the Army's role and contributions. The theme for Army Day 2024 has not been explicitly stated, but the event continues to be a powerful source of patriotism, particularly among the nation's youth. The celebration not only commemorates the Army's historical milestones but also showcases the might and discipline of the fourth strongest military force globally, following the United States, Russia, and China. The day serves as a reminder of the sacrifices and commitment of the Army personnel in protecting the sovereignty and integrity of India.
Indian Army Day 2024: Central Theme
The focus for Indian Army Day in 2024 is encapsulated in the theme "In Service of the Nation." This theme underscores the core values and essence of the Indian Army, highlighting the soldiers as paragons of steadfast commitment, dedication, and professionalism. Echoing the Army's motto, "Service Before Self," the theme for 2024 reinforces the idea that the welfare and security of the nation are paramount to the Army, serving as an inspiration for the youth to cultivate a deep respect and love for their country.
Significance of Indian Army Day
Also recognized as Bhartiya Sena Diwas, Indian Army Day is a significant occasion that celebrates the bravery and service of Army officers. It is a day to spread awareness and kindle enthusiasm among the nation's youth to join the Indian Army and serve selflessly. The day is dedicated to honouring the sacrifices and commitment of the Indian Army in defending the country against unauthorized invasions and attacks, reinforcing the military-civilian relationship.
Historical Background of Indian Army Day
The Indian Army, initially known as the Royal Indian Army, was established on April 1, 1895, by the British. India gained independence on August 15, 1947, and subsequently, on January 15, 1949, General K.M. Cariappa took over command from the last British Army Official, General Sir Francis Roy Bucher, becoming the first Indian Commander-in-Chief. This momentous event is commemorated annually as Bhartiya Sena Divas. Since that landmark day, India has celebrated this occasion with fervour and patriotism, marking its self-reliance in defence since January 15, 1949.
Memorable Quotes on Indian Army Day
Several notable quotes epitomize the spirit and valour of the Indian Army:
- "We fight to win, and we win decisively. In war, second place is not an option," expressed by General JJ Singh.
- Captain Vikram Batra profoundly stated, "I will either return after raising the Tricolour or wrapped in it, but I will return."
- "We will not retreat a single inch. We will fight to the last man and the last round," declared Major Somnath Sharma.
- Subhas Chandra Bose famously remarked, "History is not made through discussions but by action."
- "If death confronts me before I prove my valour, I vow to vanquish death itself," vowed Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey.
Army Day Greetings from the President and Prime Minister
On January 15, a significant day for the Indian Army, President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed their heartfelt greetings to the army personnel. This day marks the anniversary of a historic event in 1949 when General KM Cariappa became the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, succeeding General Francis Roy Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief.
President Murmu's Commendation of the Indian Army
In her role as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, President Murmu addressed the Army with deep respect and appreciation. “On Army Day 2024, I extend my warmest congratulations to the Indian Army,” she expressed. The President emphasized the vital role played by the Army in securing the nation and praised their professionalism in diverse scenarios including conflicts, counter-insurgency, and natural disasters. She lauded the exceptional leadership and commitment demonstrated by the Army personnel. A significant part of President Murmu's message was dedicated to the brave soldiers who have laid down their lives for the country. “We recall and honour the sacrifices of these bravehearts. The nation stands in solidarity with their families, acknowledging their courage and fortitude,” she stated.
Prime Minister Modi's Message to the Army
Prime Minister Modi also extended his greetings, recognizing the Army as a pillars of strength and resilience. He appreciated the Army’s role in various scenarios, including external threats and assistance during natural calamities. “As a disciplined and powerful force, the Indian Army has earned global recognition,” he noted.
Indian Army Day 2024, marked by the theme "In Service of the Nation," stands as a powerful testament to the unyielding spirit and dedication of the Indian Army. As we commemorate this significant day, we not only honour the legacy of bravery and sacrifice of our soldiers but also rekindle a sense of patriotism and unity among the citizens. It's a day that reminds us of our Army's vital role in safeguarding our nation's sovereignty and inspires future generations to uphold these values. Let's take a moment to reflect on and appreciate the immense contributions of our soldiers who serve with unparalleled valour and commitment.
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