The Immoral Regiment March was held at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) in New Delhi on May 7, 2017. The event was the highlight of the celebrations of the 72nd Anniversary of the Victory over fascism in the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), and jointly organised by the Indian Association of Russian Compatriots (IARC), the Representation of ROSSOTRUDNICHESTVO and the Embassy of the Russian Federation in India. Side by side with this was the display of the International Children’s Paintings Exhibition “The World through the Child’s Vision”.
The function was attended by Russian compatriots and their children living in India, employees of the Russian Embassy and other Russian organisations. According to Ms. Elena Barman, Chairman, IARC, this was the third Immoral Regiment March organised in the RCSC. Citing the importance of the Paintings Exhibition, she said that more than 70 drawings of children of compatriots from the Indian cities New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai as well as from Nepal and South Korea were exhibited.
Both adults and children came along with photographs of their relatives, who participated in the Great Patriotic War. Boys and girls performed a soldier’s dance, amicably sang the song “May there always be sunshine”. They talked about the members of their families who fought for the freedom of their Motherland.
Mr. Anatoly Kargapolov, Charge d’ Affaires of the Russian Federation in India, addressing the gathering, said: “We have gathered here to honour the memory of our parents, grandparents, and all those who forged a victory for us. The representatives of the Russian-speaking diaspora, including from the Republics of the former USSR, which became independent states, together with us keep the memory of those who brought this victory”.
The Immoral Regiment March was held for the first time in 2012 in Siberia’s Tomsk. In 2013, some Russian, Kazakh and Ukrainian cities joined the campaign. In 2015, the event became nationwide. On May 9, 2015, when the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany was celebrated, the Immortal Regiment marched through the streets of 500 cities across the world with some 12 million people carrying photographs of their ancestors who fought in World War II. Russian President Vladimir Putin joined the march in Moscow with a portrait of his father.
Groups of people carrying portraits of family members affected by World War II are appearing worldwide in the runup to Victory Day celebrations. What started as a local tradition in Russia has grown into a global phenomenon.