Celebrated in Delhi since 1949, why is Bengaluru the pick for 'Army Day' this year?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday extended his best wishes to all army personnel, veterans and their families on the occasion of Army Day.
“On Army Day, I convey my best wishes to all army personnel, veterans and their families. Every Indian is proud of our Army and will always be grateful to our soldiers. They have always kept our nation safe and are widely admired for their service during times of crisis," he said.
Every year on January 15, India celebrates its Army Day. But this time, something is different as the occasion is being celebrated outside of Delhi. This is why:
WHY IS ARMY DAY CELEBRATED?
Army Day commemorates the day on which Field Marshal Kodandera M. Cariappa (then Lieutenant General) took over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from the last British Commander-in-Chief of India, General Fransis Bucher in 1949.
It has been celebrated in India since 1949, but this time it is being celebrated in Bengaluru.
WHY IS THIS?
“Army Day celebrations from this year have been moved out of the national capital and would be held at the various field commands in the country to facilitate a deeper connection with civil society," Station Commander of the Southern Command Brigadier Lalit Sharma had earlier said.
According to PTI, the Army Day is being held outside of the national capital for the first time as part of the government’s initiative to move major events away from the National Capital Region and into other parts of the country, to increase representation and connect with larger parts of the country.
This year, the Indian Air Force (IAF) also moved its annual fly-past and parade from Hindon Air Base near Delhi to Chandigarh.
According to Parade Commander Major General Ravi Murugan, Karnataka was the first state to host the event because Major General K M Cariappa took command of the Indian Army from General Sir Francis Roy Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief, in 1949, becoming the first Indian Commander-in-Chief post-independence.
Cariappa is one of only two Army officers to have been promoted to Field Marshal. Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and Southern Command Station Commander Brigadier Lalit Sharma were the other two.
According to an Indian Army press release, the conduct of this historical event in Bengaluru is in recognition of the valour, sacrifices, and services of the people of southern States for India, as well as an apt tribute to Field Marshal K M Cariappa, who hails from Karnataka.
After nearly 200 years of slavery under British rule, India gained independence on August 15, 1947. During India’s independence, the country was experiencing communal riots, with refugees arriving from Pakistan and some people migrating to Pakistan.
Because of this anarchic atmosphere, many administrative problems arose when the army was called in to control the situation so that peace could be maintained during the partition.
At the time of Indian independence, British General Sir Francis Butcher was in command of the Indian army. As a result, this was the appropriate time to hand over full control of the country to Indians; thus, on 15 January 1949, Field Marshal K. M. Cariappa became the first Indian Army Chief of Independent India.
Because this opportunity was so significant for the Indian Army, it was decided to commemorate this grand day every year in India as Army Day, and this tradition has continued ever since.
Every year, army parades and other military displays are held at all Army Command headquarters and the national capital.
WHO WAS CARIAPPA?
Field Marshal K. M. Cariappa was born in Karnataka in 1899, the son of a revenue officer named Kondera. In the 1947 Indo-Pak war, Cariappa led the Indian Army on the western border.
Sam Manekshaw was the country’s first Field Marshal, appointed in January 1973. The second person to be named Field Marshal was ‘Konderera M. Cariappa,’ who was appointed on January 14, 1986.