Indian Army Day and its Significance
Indian Army Day is observed every year on 15 January. Indian Army Day is celebrated on 15 January every year in India, in recognition of Field Marshal Kodandera M. Cariappa‘s (then a Lieutenant General) taking over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Fransis Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India, on 15 January 1949.
Parades and other shows are held in the national capital New Delhi, as well as at all headquarters. India celebrated its 73rd Indian Army Day in New Delhi on 15 January 2021. On Army Day, we salute the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country and its citizens.
History of Indian Army Day
Indian military might date back to the Indus Valley Civilization that flourished between 3300 B.C. to 1300 B.C. Successive dynasties used their military strengths to fight wars and expand their territory throughout the sub-continent. Maurya, Satavahana, Gupta, Vijayanagara, Chalukya, and Chola were some of the most famous of these dynasties.
They were followed by a series of wars between central Asian armies, which the Mughals, thought to originate from Uzbekistan, eventually won. They continued to expand on the subcontinent. When the East India Company was set up, the territory was divided into presidencies, and each had its own army unit. These were Madras, Calcutta, and Bombay. Independent, regional kingdoms, like Mysore, were able to defeat the British Army at war. They held on to their territory until Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, was finally defeated in 1799.
One million Indians volunteered to fight in the British army during the First World War, and 90,000 of them died. Almost half of the officers in the battles during World War II were Indian. As the Indian Independence movement gained traction in 1946, Indian soldiers’ loyalties became conflicted. The British-led army and navy units saw many mutinies and resignations. The ‘Indianization’ of the armed forces under the British continued until the country became independent, but the final transfer took place on 15 January 1949. In 1949, Field Marshal Kodandera M. Cariappa took over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Fransis Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India.