R-Day: First parade on ceremonial boulevard after Rajpath renamed to Kartavya Path

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 26-01-2023 19:23 IST | Created: 26-01-2023 19:23 IST
R-Day: First parade on ceremonial boulevard after Rajpath renamed to Kartavya Path
  • Country:
  • India

As India celebrated its 74th Republic Day on Thursday, it was also the first time the parade was held on the revamped Rajpath that was renamed the Kartavya Path last year.

India became a Republic on January 26, 1950, and since 1951, all Republic Day celebrations have been held on this historic avenue that was officially known as Rajpath till early September 2022.

The Central government then rechristened it and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on September 8 inaugurated the Kartavya Path, the stretch of road from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.

And, with this year's Republic Day parade, the historic precinct of Delhi and the history associated with it has also turned a page.

For people in India who have grown up in post-Independence era, Rajpath had become synonymous with Republic Day celebrations, thanks to the annual ceremonial parade that it hosted every January 26 with many heads of state and other eminent personalities gracing the event as a chief guests.

But, January 26, 2023 was in many ways both an ordinary and an extraordinary day for India.

Ordinary as it was yet another Republic Day celebration, but extraordinary as the venue was referred to in writing and verbally by commentators of the event and many others as 'Kartavya Path', a new identity the boulevard has been lent by the government.

However, the Central government's rechristening of Rajpath to Kartavya Path last September had drawn mixed reactions from the public, and criticism from a section of scholars and historians, who have alleged that it was an ''attempt to erase history''.

On the day of its inauguration, Modi had said Rajpath symbolised India's ''slavery'' and it has now been consigned to history, as he dedicated the revamped avenue to people and also unveiled a statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate.

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, earlier had said that the new stretch will be more pedestrian-friendly because of the new red granite walkways spreading 15.5 km, replacing 'bajri' sand that lined the ground earlier.

Four new pedestrian underpasses have been built at busy junctions to segregate vehicular traffic from pedestrian movement, making the street safe to cross, it had said.

The revamped stretch of Kartavya Path and the verdant lawns surrounding them were thrown open to the public on September 9, 2022, after two years, triggering selfie craze in the inital days.

The ceremonial boulevard of the national capital running from the Raisina Hill complex to India Gate began its journey as Kingsway, a majestic central axis in the heart of New Delhi that was built here after the imperial seat of the administration was shifted to Delhi from Calcutta (now Kolkata) as announced by British monarch King George V in 1911.

Soon after Independence, Kingsway was renamed to Rajpath and Queensway running perpendicular to it was rechristened as Janpath.

The very first Republic Day celebrations were held at Irwin Amphitheatre (now Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium) in 1950, near the India Gate complex.

From witnessing the dawn of Independence to playing host to annual Republic Day celebrations for over seven decades, the historic Rajpath in India's power capital had seen the colonial rule and basked in the glory of a free, democratic nation.

And, with the ceremonial parade on Thursday hosted on Kartavya Path, a chapter in the history of the Republic if India has also come to a close.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback