Republic day or “Ganatantra Diwas” in India signifies the adoption of Indian constitution on 26th January, 1950 to become a truly Sovereign, Democratic and Republic nation. The main attraction of Indian Republic day celebrations is the grand parade that takes place along Rajpath road, New Delhi from the Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s House) to the historic Red Fort passing through India Gate. The celebrations usually begin with the event of Indian Prime Minister commemorating Indian army soldiers for all their sacrifices to the nation by offering a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, near India Gate.
How the event is celebrated?
As the constitutional head and the Commander in Chief of Indian Armed forces, the president first unfurls the national flag and then accepts the national salute given by the military. Over years, there is a practice of inviting head of state or government of another country as chief guest and the decision is based on diplomatic, strategic, or international geo-politics. Before the commencement of march past by the regiments of Armed forces, important awards in the category of civilian, patriotic and bravery are given away by the president to the deserved individuals. There will be many programs focusing on the history and culture of India by the three armed forces and a massive parade will happen with different exhibits that reflect the might and capabilities of various sectors. On the third day i.e 29th of January, the celebrations come to an end with the spectacular performance of ‘Beating Retreat’ by the military bands which include Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force. One of the most enchanting christian song ‘Abide with me’ is played during this ceremony which is said to be Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite.
Important things to know about Republic day:
- Even though India was declared independent from the British rule on 15th August, 1947, it attained true independence or Purna Swaraj only after 894 days i.e on January 26th, 1950. After independence, India had no constitution of its own, and it entirely depended on the modified colonial Government of India Act of 1935, till it turned into republic in 1950.
- Even though, India was declared independent in 1947, it was a Dominion under Governor General Mountbatten and George VI as head of the state. After it became republic in 1950, elections were held and Dr. Rajendra Prasad became the first President of free India. On this day, the Government of India also adopted National Emblem, consisting of Lion head which is taken from the Ashoka Pillar near Sarnath.
- The first republic day celebrations were held at Irwin stadium and President sukarno of Indonesia was invited as the chief guest. More than 100 military aircraft participated in the parade and the new Indian awards Param Vir Chakra, and Maha Vir Chakra were announced for the first time. To mark the victory of real independence, the “Royal” prefix was dropped from the Indian Air Force which was previously known as Royal Indian Air Force.
- The Constitution came into a legal circulation at 10:18 AM on the 26th of January, 1950 with 8 Schedules and 395 Articles. The Indian constitution is said to be the longest in the world and was drafted by a committee led by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The committee includes other famous personalities like Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, TT. Krishnamachary, Gopalswami Iyengar, DP Khaitan, Sir Benegal, Kanyalal Munshi and Md Saadullah
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