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Everything You Need To Know About India’s Republic Day

India will be celebrating its 75th Republic Day on January 26, 2024. The 2024 Republic Day theme is “India Mother of Democracy” and “viksit Bharat” (Developed India). Republic Day marks the occasion when the Constitution of India came into effect on January 26, 1950, replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India. The Indian National Congress announced Purna Swaraj (full independence) on January 26, 1930, in opposition to the British government’s dominion status in the country. This is why January 26 was chosen for the implementation of the Constitution.

Also Read, India’s Republic Day: History And Celebrations

How Is Republic Day Celebrated?

Republic Day is celebrated across India with a lot of excitement. At Kartavya Marg (formerly known as Rajpath) in the country’s national capital – New Delhi, magnificent parades by regiments of the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, police, and paramilitary forces are held. There is also a display of India’s Defence prowess with latest missiles, aircrafts, and weapon systems. Beautiful tableaus, representing the beauty of all the states of India are also showcased during the parade. There are also skyshows by the Air Force.

Some Fun Facts About Republic Day Celebrations

The first Republic day parade was held in 1950. It took place at the Irwin Amphitheater (now Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium). Three thousand Indian military personnel and over 100 aircrafts participated in the first parade. Indonesian President Sukarno was the chief guest of India’s first Republic Day parade.

From 1950 to 1954, the Republic Day Parade was held at Irwin Stadium (now known as Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium), Kingsway (now known as Kartavya Marg), Red Fort, and Ramleela Maidan.

The first Republic Day parade at Rajpath (now known as Kartavya Marg) was organised in 1955. Pakistan’s then Governor General Malik Ghulam Muhammad attended the event as chief guest. It was the first of the only two times that a Pakistani leader was given the honour.

The Republic Day parade starts after the arrival of the President of India. The President’s cavalier bodyguards salute the National Flag first.

The Republic Day parade starts from the Rashtrapati Bhavan (which is the home of the President) and moves on to India Gate.

21 gun salutes are given every year when the President of India hoists the national flag on Republic Day at India Gate. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first President to hoist the flag.

On Republic Day, bravery awards are also given to deserving candidates. Bravery awards including the Veer Chakra, Maha Veer Chakra, Param Veer Chakra, Kirti Chakra, and Ashoka Chakra are given during the celebrations.

Every year the preparations for the parade begin in July of the previous year!

This year’s Republic Day parade will feature two all-women contingents from the Defence forces marching. The Defence officials have said that “One contingent, consisting of 144 personnel, will comprise all women soldiers, with 60 from the Army and the remainder from the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy”.

Did You Know?

The Beating Retreat ceremony has its roots in an old custom from the 1600s. It is held annually on January 29 at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi. The custom of announcing the troops’ homecoming dates back to King James Il, who gave the command for his soldiers to beat drums, lower flags, and stage a parade to mark the conclusion of a battle day.

Watch Full Video On, History And Celebrations of India’s Republic Day | Facts About Republic Day

India’s Republic Day: History And Celebrations

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

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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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