Indian Army Day is celebrated every year on January 15 in honour of Field Marshal Kodandera M. Cariappa, who took over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from the last British Army Chief, General Francis Butcher, on this day in 1949. This year India will celebrate the 75th anniversary of Indian Army Day.
The day is celebrated by organising various parades, presentation of medals and cultural military shows in New Delhi and all Army Command Headquarters.
*History of the day *
The Indian Army was officially formed on 1 April 1895 by its first British counterpart, Chief Francis Butcher, in 1949. Later on 15 January 1949, the British Commander-in-Chief handed over the command of the Indian Army to him. Field Marshal K.M.Cariappa was the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army.
Along with countries like USA, China and Russia, our country’s military is one of the largest armed forces in the world with the ultimate agenda of “Serve others before self”.
In the year 2023, the country will celebrate its 75th anniversary of Indian Army Day on January 15 to commemorate the proud day when the Indian Army got its first Indian Commander in Chief Kodandera M. Cariappa who was assigned to lead and manage the operations of the army. The historic Indian Army Day is celebrated to commemorate the time when Field Marshal Kodandera M. Cariappa succeeded British Army General Roy Butcher in 1949 and accepted his new role as the first Commander-in-Chief of independent India.
Almost 200 years later, India became an independent country in 1945 after gaining independence from the British rulers. During that time, the country was facing a lot of chaos and riots as many refugees and people were migrating from Pakistan. This administrative breakdown forced the need for a military offensive to control the situation so that peace could be established during the partition. During independent India, the reins of the country’s army were controlled by British officer Francis Butcher. It was when British General Field Marshal Kodandera M. Cariappa was entrusted with the command of the country’s army. Hence, to recognise his role in the management of the Indian Army, Happy Indian Army Day is celebrated. In other words, we are celebrating the day when the control of the national army is handed over to an Indian citizen.
This day is celebrated by all the Army Command Headquarters in New Delhi to honour the soldiers of the Indian Army who lived, survived and died protecting the freedom and honour of the country. After paying homage, there are grand celebrations across the country.
To celebrate this day, various parades including a military show are organised at Kariappa Parade Ground in Delhi Cantonment every year. It represents the army’s strength, bravery, courage and dedication to the country.
Gallantry awards and Army models like Paramveer Chakra and Veer Chakra etc. are awarded to soldiers for their acts of bravery and courage. On this occasion, the Indian Army Chief took a salute from the parade. In honour of the brave Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the country, this day is celebrated.
Although the country gained independence from British rule in 1947, two years later in 1949, it did not have the official reins of the Indian Army. Finally, on 26 January 1950, the constitution of the country was made. was declared, and India became a republic country. This day reminds us that freedom was not just a one-day battle but a long process.
Significance of the day
This day is celebrated in many army command headquarters in New Delhi to honour the day when K.M. Cariappa became India’s first Commander-in-Chief after independence. This day has national significance as it honours the true warriors of the army who lost their lives defending the country. Salute to their brave actions on the battlefield for the defence of the country.
More about Marshal K.M. Kariappa
Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Kariappa, whom K.M. Known as Cariappa, became the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army after the country gained independence from British rule.
He was born in 1899 in Karnataka. His father Kondera worked as a revenue officer. Along with Sam Maneksha, Cariappa is one of the army officers who earned the five-star title of Field Marshal. However, Cariappa’s legacy is more than just being the first Indian commander-in-chief or being one of the five-star army generals.
Before taking charge as Army Chief, he led the country’s army westward during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. He played an important role in recapturing various areas of Kargil. He married Muthu Machia, daughter of a forest officer, in Secunderabad in March 1937. They have a son named Casey Cariappa, born on 4 January 1938 and a daughter named on 4 January 1938.
He was awarded the “Order of the Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit”. In 1993, he died in Bangalore at the age of 94. Indian Army Day is celebrated to recognise the efforts of this man of principal. He was known for his compassion and discipline. He inspired generations by demonstrating high standards of patriotism.
Our Indian Army has a rich history of contributing to global welfare and security issues both before and after independence. Indian Army Day is celebrated to salute the bravery and courage of the soldiers of the Indian Army fighting to protect the country on the battlefield. The day is marked by parades at military establishments across the country.