As India celebrates its 74th Republic Day on January 26, showcasing the Atmanirbhar Bharat, Made-in-India spirit, the British Indian diaspora is equally geared up for the big day.
iGlobal takes a look at how Republic Day 2023 is being celebrated by the diaspora living bridge in different parts of the UK.
The grand Republic Day venue this year will London’s iconic Guildhall, where the Indian High Commission in London will commemorate the day in all its vibrant glory.
The Nehru Centre, London, the cultural wing of the High Commission of India in the UK, will be celebrating on January 25 with a programme involving Indian societies of top British Universities, like Kings College London (KCL), University College London (UCL), and many other significant diaspora organisations. Participating groups will be basing their performances on Indian cultural elements, including but not limited to Indian Classical dance and music.
"The Consulate is organising a Flag hoisting ceremony on January 26, Thursday, at 9.30 am at the premises of the Consulate itself. Further, a Reception Dinner is also being hosted in the evening at the Edinburgh City Chambers," shares the Vice-Consul of CGI Edinburgh, Nitin Kumar.
The Bhavan in London, the “home of Indian arts”, will celebrate the event on February 9 this year at a gala event, with Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami as the Chief Guest of Honour. The celebration will be replete with cultural vibrancy, patriotic songs and dances.
Indian Diaspora in the UK (IDUK) commemorated their first-ever Indian Republic Day celebration with the theme of "Bringing People Together". The founder members of the team, Hirdesh Gupta, Ajay Murudkar, Alok Gupta, and Sanket Tamboli, coordinated a patriotic evening on January 23 at the Slough Hindu Temple, with a flag hosting ceremony and community cultural performances. The evening concluded with a devotional aarti and dinner in the presence of the Mayor of Slough and community leaders such as Lord Rami Ranger and Virendra Sharma MP, among others.
"The Indian Diaspora must play an active role in UK politics; the young generation should be motivated and join politics irrespective of the party they like," Sharma said at the event.
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Hindu Cultural Association, Dudley, has planned its Republic Day celebrations for January 28, with cultural shows, live singing, dance performances, poetry reading, and food at Mata Da Mandir. Their theme this year covers the tastes of India.
The IIT UK committee celebrated Republic Day, also marking Lohri and Pongal, on January 22 at the Indian Gymkhana Club in Isleworth. They were joined by Laxmi Narayanan, First Secretary (Income Tax Overseas Unit) – Indian High Commission. The celebrations included band performances by fellow IITians, dhol music and dance around a bonfire.
The Yog Foundation UK will present the eighth season of the Vande Mataram & Vasant Festival, celebrating India's Republic Day, on January 28 at Townley Grammar School in Bexleyheath. The programme itinerary includes the Vasant Festival, celebrating the traditional onset of spring with a delightful cultural dance performed by the youth of Yog, followed by a special Sarasvati Vandana recital and aarti. There will be a children's fancy dress event, 'Heroes of India’, promoting awareness about the inspiring Indian freedom struggle heroes among the younger members of the diaspora.
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Republic Day marks the adoption of India's Constitution and the country's transition to a republic on January 26, 1950. Every year, the celebrations marking the day feature spectacular military and cultural pageantry.
In New Delhi, armed forces personnel march along the Kartavya Path in an elaborate display of military might. The celebrations, inaugurated with a grand parade, are held in the capital, New Delhi, from Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan, along the Kartavya Path, past India Gate and onto the historic Red Fort.
*Info: Republic Day 2023