Republic Day Current Affairs - 2019

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to be chief guest at Republic Day 2020

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to be Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations in 26 January 2020.

Key Highlights

Prime Minister Modi met Bolsonaro on the sidelines of 11th BRICS Summit, which is being held in Brasilia, Brazil. During the meeting, PM Modi invited the President of Brazil to be chief guest at Republic Day in 2020 which was accepted by Bolsonaro with pleasure.

Both leaders agreed to comprehensively enhance strategic partnership between the two countries as well as discussed other areas of cooperation including space and defence sectors.

India-Brazil: Both countries look forward to discuss matters relating to trade in upcoming visit. The Brazilian President informed PM Modi that a large business delegation will accompany him to India,

PM Modi has also outlined areas for potential investment from Brazil, including in areas of animal husbandry, agricultural equipment, post-harvest technologies and biofuels. He also welcomed decision of the Brazilian President to grant visa-free travel to Indian citizens.

Previous Invitees at Republic Day celebrations

In 2016, former French President François Hollande was the chief guest. In 2017, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of United Arab Emirates (UAE) took part in the Republic Day celebrations as chief guest. The year 2018 Republic Day celebrations was historic as leaders of 10 ASEAN nations attended the event as chief guests. In 2019, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was the chief guest and he was also the second South African president, after Nelson Mandela, to attend the grand event as its chief guest.

About Jair Bolsonaro

He is a 38th president of Brazil. Initially, he joined the politics as a city councillor in Rio De Janerio. Before joining Social Liberal Party (PSL) in 2018, he was the member of Christian Democratic Party (CDP). In 2018, he was nominated as the presidential candidate of PSL and became the front-runner after the arrest of Lula Da Silva in April 2018. He then took over the office as the President of Brazil on 1 January 2019.

Beating Retreat Ceremony

The Beating Retreat Ceremony marks the conclusion of Republic Day celebrations. Through this ceremony, the defence forces which had come to the national capital to be a part of Republic Day celebrations are sent back to their barracks by the President.

The Beating Retreat Ceremony is held every year on January 29th  at Vijay Chowk. Traditionally the bands of the three wings of the military, the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, and pipe bands from the Army participated in the Beating retreat ceremony. From 2016 bands of the Central Armed Police Forces and the Delhi Police are also participating in the event.

The bands play traditional Indian tunes like ‘Herana Heran”, ”Mushkoh Valley”, ”Tejas”, ”The Great Marshal”, ”Namaste India”. A popular western tune ”Abide with me” would also be played by the bands. The ceremony comes to a conclusion with the popular tune ”Sare Jahan se Acha”. Once the bands conclude ”Sare Jahan se Acha”, the Raisina Hill complex would be lit up in the riot of colours.

Genesis in India

Beating Retreat is a centuries-old military tradition, at the sounding of retreat, the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield, returning to their camps at sunset.

The Beating Retreat Ceremony was started in the early 1950s when the government had asked Indian army to design a ceremony for the display by the massed bands.