Air Force Veteran Remembers India’s 1st Republic Day

Air Commodore DK Ahuja was only 12 when his family came to India after Partition from Lahore.

2 min read
Hindi Female

After meeting his book-club friends to discuss the Gita and human consciousness, Air Commodore Daya Krishna Ahuja settles down with a cup of tea to recall what he remembers of the first Republic Day.

His memory of the events is foggy for it was the year that he was to take the first, most important exam of his life – the class 10 boards. Talking to The Quint, this is what he recalls of that day.


The white-haired octogenarian was 12 when came to India from Lahore and settled in Punjab with his family in 1948, a year after Partition.

I was 15 when the Republic Day happened and it was a very important year for us. I was to take the boards that year. To mark the occasion, our school gave us brass plates which had “Republic Day” embossed on them in Hindi. 
Air Commodore, DK Ahuja

He also remembered fondly the play that he was a part of, which was performed at the Municipal Corporation Town Hall in Delhi.

I was part of this play called “Aman ka Devta: Gandhi” and played one of the three agents of the devil. We were portraying the ideals of godless people and the idea was to pay compliments to Gandhi. I think the play must have been a hit with the people because we were then asked to perform in villages around Delhi! 
Air Commodore, DK Ahuja

Air Commodore Ahuja also remembers several politicians attending the plays they enthusiastically conducted.

He ended with a laugh, stating how long ago it was that he was a teenager, when the country and its democracy were just as young.


(We Indians have much to talk about these days. But what would you tell India if you had the chance? Pick up the phone and write or record your Letter To India. Don’t be silent, tell her how you feel. Mail us your letter at We’ll make sure India gets your message.)

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Topics:  Delhi   Punjab   India 

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