This week India will celebrate its 71st Republic Day. June 26th is a very historic day for the people of India and the most prominent national holiday. It is a day where they celebrate the enactment of the Constitution, which was put in place in 1950. This was significant because India officially became an independent republic. Many businesses and shops will close and families will gather around their TVs to watch the annual Republic Day Parade.
The Republic Day parade is held in New Delhi, India every year. It is the time that India will display its military might, with each branch and division playing a part in this. The parade goes from the Rashtrapati Bhawan to India Gate, about 2.9 kilometers. The people are very patriotic and take great pride in their country. When the national anthem is sung, everyone stands with their arms to their sides, showing great reverence. It is a very solemn time.
Interestingly, the hymn Abide with Me is sung during the parade. They sing it because it was Gandhi’s favorite song. They sing these lyrics:
“I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless
Ills have no weight and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting?
Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still if Thou abide with me”.
Sadly, they have no idea of the God they ask to abide with them. They sing a powerful, truth-filled song proclaiming the power of death and the grave destroyed. They sing of triumphing only if Christ is near. They sing of not being afraid of anything because of God’s precious blessings. They sing these truths with no knowledge nor true understanding of God’s goodness. Pray that the people of India will come to know the salvation Christ offers and pray that God will use us to lead them to Christ.