04 Oct 2008 :A grand parade was held at Army Parade ground to commemorate 59th Raising Day of Territorial Army in Delhi today. Raksha Mantri Shri AK Antony inspected the parade, reviewed a colorful march past and addressed the gathering.
The origin of the Territorial Army can be traced back to 1857 when it was raised as “Volunteers” who were recruited only from the Europeans & Anglo-Indians. Later on this name was changed to Indian Defence Forces in 1917.
On 01 October 1920, the Indian Territorial Army Force bill was passed resulting in the reorganization of the force into two separate wings, namely, the Auxiliary Force & the Indian Territorial Force. While the former was meant only for the Europeans and Anglo-Indians, all other Indian citizens could join the latter.
After the attainment of Independence in 1947, the need was felt to have a sizeable reserve force of trained citizens to support the regular army in times of need. The Territorial Army Act 1948 was passed by the Indian Parliament resulting in the constitution of the present Territorial Army. The Territorial Army was raised by Sir C Rajagopalachari, the first Governor General of free India on 09 Oct 1949.
India’s Territorial Army is active in numerous fields of activity with the Infantry Battalions assisting the regular Army during war and insurgency operations. Other specialised units are the Ecological Task Forces,Railway Engineer Units, the Oil Sector Units and the General Hospitals.
Territorial Army has participated in various Wars and insurgency operations including Indo-China War 1962, Indo Pak War 1965, Indo – Pak War 1971, Op – Pawan (Srilanka) 1987 – 87, OP Vijay (Kargil) OP Parakram, OP Rakshak, OP Rhino, OP Bajrang and OP Hifajat.
While complimenting the troops Shri AK Antony said “Today, as the Raksha Mantri of India, it fills me with immense pride to review a parade of exceptional standard.
Any Nation in its march towards progress and development, needs a strong security force. However, Nations cannot affort to maintain a large standing Army. Herein lies the importance of the ‘Citizen Army’ and your role.
On 24th Sep 2008 Lt Col (Hony) Kapil Dev, Padmashree, Padmavibhusan, Padmabhushan and Arjuna Awardee has joined in an honorary capacity and as a Brand Ambassador for the Territorial Army. He has thus joined the group of many eminent personalities from different fields who have donned the uniform of the Territorial Army. These eminent personalities, whether as active or as honorary members of this unique force, have not only enriched it operationally but, have also contributed immensely in enhancing its popularity amongst the youth.
I am indeed happy to note that the Army has revived the Prime Minister’s TA Day Parade. It gives an excellent opportunity to the countrymen to see you all in this magnificent uniform performing with military precision.
Major General KVS Lalotra Additional Director General of Territorial Army welcomed Raksha Mantri. General Deepak Kapoor, Chief of Army Staff, Air Chief Marshal FH Major, Chief of Air Staff and Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Chief of Naval Staff were present amongst many eminent citizen in a large audience.