India has had a tumultuous history given the fact that it was ruled by the British for decades. This said there have been many incidents that occurred, both good and bad, that Indians still revisit, be it the Civil Disobedience Movement, Jallianwallah Bagh massacre, India’s independence, or it’s republic day. One such key event in the history of India is Army Day which is celebrated on 15th January every year.
15th January holds immense significance for India just as the Independence and Republic Day, however, not many Indians know why.
India celebrates the Indian Army Day on January 15 of every year to honor the bravery, strength, courage, and sacrifices of the Indian army and its army men both living as well as dead for protecting the country and its citizens. On this day the Indian general, KM Cariappa took charge of the Indian army as the commander in chief in 1949. This day marks the transfer of power from the British to independent India.
Since then, our Indian Army, following the motto, “Service Before Self”, has put the protection of our country at the forefront. Along the way, it has also made us proud by accomplishing some of the greatest achievements and victories.
Let’s have a look at some of the most prominent ones:
- The Indian Army is the fourth-largest army in the world with 3 million active military personnel, after US, Russia and China.
- As per the Defence of Japan 2019 report, India has become the world’s largest ground force leaving China behind.
- The Indian Army is the only one to handle the highest battlefield of Siachen Glacier, which is above 5000 meters from the mean sea level.
- Till now, India has fought 5 wars namely, the Indo-Pak war in 1947, the Indo-China war in 1962, the Indo-Pak war in 1965, the Indo-Pak war in 1971 and, the Kargil war in 1999, none initiated by India.
- The Indian army has also undertaken several operations putting up a tough fight with the enemies as well as the terrorists, be it the very recent surgical strikes like the Balakot airstrike of 2019, Operation Vijay, of 1999, or Operation Meghdoot, of 1984.
- The Indian Army started inducting women officers in 1992 initially commissioning them for 5 years. In February 2020, the Supreme Court of India granted ‘Permanent Commission’ (PC) to female officers belonging to the ‘Short Service Commission’ (SSC) in the ‘Service Arms’ and ‘Combat Support Arms’ streams with the same terms as applicable to male officers.
- In 2020 again, the Ministry of Home Affairs decided to start inducting transgenders into paramilitary force.
- Increasing the might of the Indian Army, India now has powerful aircraft like the Rafale Jets and Tejas Aircrafts in its armory.
Today India is celebrating its 73rd Army Day to honor every person of the Indian Army for their sheer selfless and courageous service to us, the citizens of the country. Let’s take a moment to thank these bravehearts because of whom you and I can live freely and safely.