India celebrated its 70th Republic Day on January 26, 2019 with a grand military parade and exhibition of its history, cultural diversity and strategic weaponry at Rajpath in New Delhi.
- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s presence as Chief Guest was significant in view of the parade highlighting Mahatma Gandhi’s contribution to India’s freedom struggle. Gandhiji had joined the struggle after a 21-year stay in South Africa.
Mohan se Mahatma
- Indian Railways showcased its tableau in prestigious Republic Day Parade 2019 with the theme “Mohan se Mahatma”.
- On this 70th Republic Day, the tableau of Indian Railways illustrated an evolutionary journey of Mahatma Gandhi and Indian Railways. Indian Railways Tableau depicted the “transformation of Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi to Mahatma Gandhi”.
- The incident in 1893, when the young Mohan Das was thrown out of a “European only” compartment at Pietermaritzburg railway station in South Africa, acted as a catalyst for him to practice ‘Satyagrah’. He later emerged as ‘Mahatma’ for this nation.
- The front portion of tableau shown a steam engine on whose top was perched a bust of Mahatma Gandhi which was similar to the bust installed in June 2018 at the Pietermaritzburg railway station of South Africa.
- The first coach of middle portion showcased the young Mohan Das being thrown out from the compartment in South Africa, the second coach of the middle portion depicted Gandhiji with his wife, Kasturba Gandhi, meeting people at railway station as Gandhiji travelled in third class compartment across the length and breadth of India by train after his return to India from South Africa in 1915.
- In the rear portion of the tableau, Mahatma Gandhi was shown collecting donations for the ‘Harijan Fund’ during his train journey to Bengal, Assam and South India, carried out between November 1945 to January 1946.
- The side panel showcased, how Indian Railways has spearheaded Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of ‘SWADESHI’ as shown in Indian Railways journey starting from the era of steam engines, to indigenously made and State-of-the-art ‘Train-18’, an engineless train made under ‘Make in India’ project of Government of India.