What makes Army Day 2020 different?

What makes Army Day 2020 different?

With the country and its army ready to celebrate the 72nd Army Day, let us take a look as to what does this day means for our nation and what makes this year's celebrations different from the rest.

 Army chief Manoj Mukund Naravane inspects the guard of honour during the Army Day Parade at Cariappa Ground, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (PTI Photo)

"If death strikes before I prove my blood, I swear I'll kill death", said Capt. Manoj Kumar Pandey, PVC, and a Kargil war hero. The sheer courage, determination, and confidence is what make Indian Army the fourth strongest army in the world (Global Fire Power Index, 2017), a feat which in itself calls for a celebration.

With the country and its army ready to celebrate the 72nd Army Day, let us take a look as to what does this day means for our nation and what makes this year's celebrations different from the rest.

Why do we celebrate?

While the Indian Army was founded by the British on 1st April 1895, its command was handed over to an Indian for the first time, post-independence, on 15th January 1949, to Field Marshal K. M. Kariappa, who got the honour to become the first Army Chief of Independent India.

Kariappa, or Kipper as people fondly called him, was just 49 when he took charge of the mighty Indian Army and played a key role in the separation of the Army between India and Pakistan during the partition.

Thus, 15th January, since then, signifies the transfer of power of the Indian Army to the hands of an Indian citizen and since then, the tradition of celebration continues

What makes this year's celebrations special?

The country has recently seen the appointment of the First Chief of Defense Staff, General Bipin Rawat. While the Army chief takes a salute along with the chiefs of other divisions of the Armed Forces, namely the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy, this year would see a fourth person, Rawat, taking a salute with the other three.

This would also make Rawat the first person to take the salute and inspect the Army Day Parade with two different designations, formerly as the Army Chief and now, as the Chief of Defense Staff.

Captain Taniya Shergil, who was commissioned into the Corps of Signals two years ago, would be the Parade Adjutant of this year's parade, making her the first lady officer to become one in the history of the parade.

Apart from such specials, this year's celebration would see the usual display of military hardware, the distribution of gallantry awards and unit citations and the traditional reception ('At Home' as the Army calls it) hoisted by the current COAS, General Manoj Mukund Navrane, which will be attended by the President, the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and current and former top officers of the Armed Forces. 

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