India marks January 26 as its Republic Day every year. Indian independence from the British Raj was achieved in 1947, but it wasn’t until January 26, 1950, when the Indian Constitution took effect and India was proclaimed a republic and an independent state.
All around the nation, Republic Day is celebrated with great fanfare. The yearly procession that starts at Rajpath in Delhi and concludes at the India Gate is the primary event of the Republic Day celebrations. At Rajpath in New Delhi, the country’s president hoists the flag on this day. The ceremonial event also features parades and airshows by the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force.
History Of Republic Day
India became independent on August 15, 1947. A committee was established to write a permanent constitution for independent India a few days later, on August 29. The committee’s chairman was Dr. BR Ambedkar. The committee wrote the constitution and sent it to the Constituent Assembly on November 4, 1947.
After much deliberation and a few adjustments, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two handwritten versions of the accord on January 24, 1950, one in Hindi and one in English. The constitution went into force on January 26, 1950. On that day, Dr. Rajendra Prasad started his first term as President of the Indian Union.
Also read, History of the Constitution of India
Significance Of January 26
On January 26, 1950, the Preamble to the Constitution of India, a statement presenting the key principles of the Constitution came into effect. The governing principle of the Indian Constitution is “of the people, for the people and by the people”, which signifies that the power is vested in the hands of the citizens of India. Republic Day marks the celebration of the empowerment of Indian citizens to select their own government. It is a national holiday which commemorates the process of establishment of the Indian Constitution.
Some Interesting Facts –
1. Every year, heads of different countries are invited as chief guests for the celebration. The first-ever chief guest was President Sukarno who was the first President of Indonesia.
2. The Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi is a three-day affair that comes to an end on January 29 with the Beating Retreat. This takes place on Raisina Hill where the Air Force, Army, and the Navy display their individual bands in splendour. The flag is then brought down while the hymn, “Abide with me” is played. The celebration comes to an end with a bugle call, after which all the bands retreat to the tunes of “Sare Jahan Se Acchcha”.
3. The Indian Constitution, till date, is the longest among all constitutions that exist. When it was created, it had 395 articles and 8 schedules in 22 parts. Today, it has 448 articles, 12 schedules, in 25 parts. A team led by Dr B.R. Ambedkar took nearly 35 months to draft the entire constitution.
The constitution was handwritten in Hindi and English and was signed by 308 parliament members on January 24th, 1950 – two days before it became effective.
4. The Indian Air Force was created by the British Empire and was then called the Royal Indian Air Force. The Indian Air Force did not lose the Royal prefix until the nation became a Republic on January 26, 1950, at which point it became a separate organisation.
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