India is eagerly preparing to commemorate its 75th Republic Day on January 26, 2024, a momentous occasion marking the adoption of the Constitution in 1950. At the heart of the celebrations lies the spectacular Republic Day Parade that unfolds on Kartavya Path, formerly known as Rajpath, in New Delhi. This ceremonial boulevard, stretching from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, holds deep historical significance, having witnessed India’s struggle for independence. Let’s delve into the reasons behind choosing Kartavya Path for this grand celebration.
The Evolution of Kartavya Path: Kartavya Path, previously named Rajpath, was initially known as Kingsway, a pivotal axis in New Delhi constructed after the capital shifted from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911 during the British Raj. This stretch played a vital role in India’s journey to independence, evolving from colonial rule to becoming a sovereign democratic republic. After independence, Kingsway was renamed Rajpath, and Queensway, running perpendicular to it, became Janpath.
The Symbolic Transformation: In a historic move in September 2022, Rajpath underwent a significant transformation and was renamed Kartavya Path. The inauguration of this revamped Central Vista Avenue was carried out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This change symbolized a shift from Rajpath being a symbol of power to Kartavya Path representing public ownership and empowerment. In his address during the inauguration, PM Modi highlighted that Kingsway or Rajpath, once considered a “symbol of slavery,” had been consigned to history, paving the way for a new narrative of public responsibility.
Historical Significance of Kartavya Path: Kartavya Path has been a silent witness to India’s struggle for freedom, having experienced both the shackles of colonial rule and the triumph of a democratic nation. Over the last seven decades, it has not only celebrated Republic Day but has also seen the dawn of Independence. The transformation of this path from Rajpath to Kartavya Path is a testament to India’s journey towards freedom and self-governance.
Republic Day Parade on Kartavya Path: The Republic Day Parade is the highlight of the celebrations, showcasing India’s military prowess with marching contingents from the army, navy, and air force. The parade also features impressive displays of military equipment and captivating performances by motorcycle teams. The inclusion of diverse cultural elements makes it a vibrant and inclusive celebration of India’s unity in diversity.
International Guest of Honor: In a special acknowledgment of India’s global ties, President Emmanuel Macron of France has been invited as the chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations in 2024. This reflects the significance of diplomatic relations and mutual respect between India and France.
Time and Venue Details: The Republic Day Parade on Kartavya Path is set to commence at 10:00 am, with the starting point at Raisina Hill near Rashtrapati Bhavan. The parade then proceeds along Kartavya Path, passing through India Gate and concluding at the Red Fort, covering a distance of over five kilometers. The event kicks off officially at 9:30 am.
Inclusivity and Public Participation: With a seating capacity of 77,000, the venue ensures widespread public participation, with 42,000 seats reserved for the general public. This inclusivity reflects the essence of democracy, allowing people from all walks of life to come together and witness the celebration of India’s democratic spirit.
Conclusion: As India marks its 75th Republic Day on Kartavya Path, the celebration goes beyond a mere display of military might. It symbolizes the nation’s journey from colonial subjugation to a vibrant, democratic republic. The renaming of Rajpath to Kartavya Path signifies a shift in perspective, emphasizing public ownership and collective responsibility. The Republic Day Parade becomes a spectacle of unity, showcasing the rich tapestry of India’s culture and diversity. As the world watches, India stands proud on Kartavya Path, epitomizing the values of freedom, democracy, and responsibility.