Here’s wishing all fellow countrymen, wherever they might be, a Happy Republic Day.
The chief guest for the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi is Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan. This will be the first Republic Day Parade where the Prime Minister of India will not be in attendance. In Mr. Manmohan Singh’s absence (he’s recovering from a bypass surgery), Defence Minister A.K. Antony will perform the PM’s customary duties.
There will be no Bharat Ratna or Param Vir Chakra awarded this year but the Ashok Chakra – the country’s highest peacetime gallantry award – will be posthumously conferred upon 11 defence and police personnel, including ATS chief Hemant Karkare, Addl. Commisioner Ashok Kamte, Inspector Vijay Salaskar and ASI Tukaram Omble, the four cops who lost their lives on the first night of the Mumbai attack & NSG commandos Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and Havildar Gajender Singh who lost their lives during the subsequent rescue operations. Read the full list of Ashok Chakra awardees here. The Padma Awards (Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri) have also been announced and will be presented to a total of 133 eminent personalities; read the full list here.
There was a query over at the FreeHyderabad Forums as to whether people preferred Republic Day or Independence Day, to which my preference was the latter. True, both are equally important events in Indian history – we remember the former as a day of freedom from British rule and the latter as they day India became a Constitutional Republic…which it wouldn’t have become if it were not for the Independence.
That was my reason and I’d like to hear yours in the comments. Without getting overtly sentimental and jingoistic, can you tell me which day is more important for you – Republic Day or Independence Day? Once again, wishing all Indians a Happy Republic Day. Long Live the Republic of India.
Pic courtesy NavsDesign