Why is Army Day Celebrated in India?

Until the independence of India, the head of Indian Army used to be the British. Army Day is observed on 15 January every year in India, in recognition of Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa's taking over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India, on 15 January 1949.
Feb 18, 2019 16:33 IST
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According to the Global Fire Power Index 2017, India's army is considered world's fourth strongest army. According to this power index, America, Russia and China have better army than India. India's neighbour Pakistan is ranked 13th in this list.

The Indian army was originated from the forces of the East India Company, which later known as the 'British Indian Army' and eventually after Independence it is known as National Army.

The Indian Army was founded almost 123 years ago by the British on April 1, 1895. Indian army was established on 1st April, but Army Day in India is celebrated on 15th January.

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Let us know the reason behind this.

History behind Army Day

India attained independence on August 15, 1947 after the slavery of British rule for almost 200 years. At the time of Indian independence the country was experiencing communal riots and refugees were coming from Pakistan and some peoples were migrating towards Pakistan.

Due to this type of anarchic atmosphere many administrative problems started arising then the army had to come forward to control the situation so that peace can be ensured during partition.

At the time of Indian independence the command of Indian army was in the hands of the British General Sir Francis Butcher. So this was the right time to handed over the full control of the country in the hands of the Indians; hence Field Marshal K. M.  Cariappa became the first Indian Army Chief of Independent India on 15 January 1949.

Since this opportunity was very remarkable for the Indian Army, it was decided to celebrate this grand day every year in India as Army Day and since then this tradition has been continuing.

Hence the transfer of power of the army in the hands of an Indian citizen on 15 January is marked as Army day in the country.

It is celebrated every year at all the Army Command headquarters and national capital by organizing army parades including many other military shows.

On this day, salute is given to all those brave fighters who have given up everything to protect the motherland and maintain the integrity of the nation.

In the celebration of Army Day, parade is organised every year at the Cariappa Parade Ground of Delhi Cantonment. Its salute is taken by the Indian Army Chief. In the year 2018, the 70th Army Day was celebrated, in which Parade's salute was taken by General Bipin Rawat.


image source:business standard

The 71st Indian Army Day is celebrated on 15th of January, 2019 in the national capital Delhi.

It will be the first time in the history that a woman officer will lead an Army contingent on Army Day parade. Lt. Bhawana Kasturi has become the first woman officer leading a contingent comprising of 144 male officers.

Indian Army had also organised painting, photography, video making, and slogan writing competition on the occasion of Army Day 2019. The best entries will be featured on the Indian Army Facebook Page and will also be awarded with prize money.

About Field Marshal K. M. Cariappa

Field Marshal K. M. Cariappa was born in 1899 in Karnataka and his father Kondera was a revenue officer. Cariappa led the Indian Army on the western border in the Indo-Pak war in 1947.


Image source:thehindu (के. एम. करिअप्पा)

Sam Manekshaw was the first Field Marshal of India, and he was awarded this title in January 1973. The second person to receive the title of Field Marshal was 'Konderera M. Cariappa', who was given the rank on 14 January 1986.

Hopefully after reading this in the article, you must have understood why the Army Day in India is celebrated on January 15 only.

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