It has been more than 75 years of independence for India. We have been fortunate enough to call India a Democratic country. Today marks the 74th anniversary of Republic Day.
Whenever you ask someone about what Republic Day stands for, instead of telling its significance they will translate it and say, Gantantra divas (गणतंत्र दिवस ). So, today I will tell you about the day and the significance it holds in the history of India and the struggle for freedom.
Why 26th January date =>
Because on December 31, 1929, on the bank of the Ravi River in Lahore, Indian National Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru declared total independence (Purna Swaraj) by hosting a flag on January 26, 1930.
Why Republic Day is significant:
The British colonial Government of India Act (1935) was replaced as the country’s governing document by India’s constitution, which was formally ratified in 1950. The Preamble to the Constitution of India, a statement outlining the Constitution’s main principles, went into effect on January 26, 1950.
Republic means that the Head of the state is elected by the people of India, that is general will. The word is derived from the Latin expression Res Publica which means not a private affair. India is a Republic democracy, unlike the UK which is a monarchial democracy.
The emergence of India as the Republic Country:
- While India obtained independence from the British Raj in 1947, the Indian Constitution did not take effect until January 26, 1950, making it a sovereign state and designating it a republic.
- BR Ambedkar was the father of India’s constitution. The constitution was developed and delivered to the Constituent Assembly on November 4, 1947, with him leading the committee. Before finally adopting the Constitution, the Assembly met for approximately two years in numerous sessions. On January 24, 1950, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two handwritten versions of the agreement: one in Hindi and one in English, after much discussion and a few modifications.
- The Constituent Assembly of India approved the Indian Constitution on November 26, 1949, which is why India celebrates Constitution Day every year on November 26.
- The first president of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, came into office on January 26, 1950.
On this Day:
The country’s President hoists the flag at Rajpath in New Delhi on this day. The ceremonial event also includes parades and airshows by the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force, all of which highlight India’s cultural and social heritage.
The parade also pays tribute to the valiant Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, police, and paramilitary forces who have defended our country. During the parade, the military forces frequently display the latest weaponry, aircraft, and technology.
Importance of Republic Day in the Country:
Republic Day honours India’s spirit of independence and self-determination. The day also honours Indian residents’ democratic right to pick their government. This day is observed as a national holiday in India to commemorate the establishment of the Indian Constitution.
In 1965, Hindi has declared the official language of India on this date. Before 26th January, India was the dominion of the UK and on this day, India become a sovereign nation and republic.
Interesting Facts about Republic Day:
- The Republic Day parade was staged at Irwin Stadium (now National Stadium), Kingsway, Red Fort, and Ramlila grounds between 1950 and 1954.
- Rajpath has hosted Republic Day events since 1955. The Kingsway was once known as Rajpath in honour of India’s then-emperor, George V. After independence, the route was renamed Rajpath, which also means King’s Way in Hindi.
- Every year, the president of a given country is asked to attend the Republic Day parade as the principal guest. In 1950, Indonesian President Sukarno was the first chief guest to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations. Presidents of Uzbekistan (Shavkat Mirziyoyev), Turkmenistan (Shavkat Mirziyoyev), Kazakhstan (Kassym-Jomart Tokayev), Kyrgyzstan (Sadyr Japarov), and Tajikistan (Emomali Rahmon) are among the chief guests this year.
- The President’s arrival on the 26th of January starts the parade. First, the President’s cavalier bodyguards salute the National Flag, followed by the playing of the National Anthem and the firing of 21 guns. The firing is done with seven Indian army cannons known as “25- Ponders,” which are fired in three rounds.
- The firing of the gun salute coincides with the playing of the National Anthem, which is an interesting fact. The first shot is fired at the opening of the National Anthem, and the last shot is fired 52 seconds later.
- Each member of the army who takes part in the march must go through four layers of investigation. Aside from that, their arms are extensively inspected to guarantee they are not carrying live bullets.
- The parade’s tableaux move at a speed of about 5 km/h so that key persons can keep a close eye on them. Twelve states and union territories, as well as nine ministries and departments, have been chosen to display their tableaux this year. Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand are among them.
- The “flypast” is the most intriguing aspect of the event. The Western Airforce Command is in charge of the “flypast,” which entails the participation of roughly 41 aircraft. The parade’s aircraft take off from various Airforce bases and arrive at the Rajpath at a predetermined time.
- The song “Abide with Me,” which was Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite, is played at every Republic Day procession event. The national government, however, has withdrawn it this year.
- According to information obtained through RTI, the parade event in 2014 cost approximately 320 crore rupees. This cost was estimated to be around 145 crores in 2001. In this way, from 2001 to 2014, the amount spent on the 26th January parade climbed by 54.51 per cent.
- The National Flag is lowered and the National Anthem is sung at precisely 6 p.m., bringing the Republic Day celebrations to a ceremonial close.
Enjoy the country’s freedom, but never forget the responsibility it bestows on us: to safeguard and make the country better. Happy Republic Day.