The Republic Day of India is celebrated on January 26 with a parade and a homage to the Indian armed services. Special festivities on this anniversary are essential since it is on particular date that the Indian Constitution was finalised, and India would not be the wonderful country without a proper constitution. Here’s a look at the significance of this day and how it might be observed.
India went through many struggles and trials before attaining the status of a successful nation and granting its people freedom. India had gone through different phases of domination from being ruled by Muslim Mughal kings to dominated by the British. The country had witnessed many battles and the formation of the Constitution in 1950 was a source of immense pride.
The Constituent Assembly enacted the Indian Constitution on November 26, 1949, and it went into power on January 26, 1950. This marked the conclusion of India’s transition to an independent republic with a democratic government system. The date of January 26 was also chosen to commemorate Republic Day since it was on this date in 1929 that the Indian National Congress (INC) issued the Declaration of Indian Independence. This was in contrast to the British’s pledge of ‘dominion’ status.
The Indian Independence Act 1947, an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament that divided up British India into the two new individual Dominions of the British Commonwealth, gave India its freedom on 15 August 1947 as presidential system to be head of the state and Earl Mountbatten as governor-general. The country, however, lacked a permanent constitution, and its laws were built on the modified British Government of India Act 1935.
On August 29, 1947, a declaration was sent for Drafting Committee to design a permanent constitution, with Dr. B R Ambedkar as chairman. While India’s Independence Day commemorates the country’s independence from British rule, the Republic Day commemorates the implementation of the country’s constitution. The committee created a draft constitution, which was delivered to the Constituent Assembly on November 4, 1947.
Before adopting the Constitution, the Assembly convened for 166 days in open sessions during a two-year, 11-month, and 18-day period. On January 24, 1950, after much deliberation and considerable moderation, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two handwritten copies of the document – one in Hindi and one in English. It went into force across the country two days later, on January 26, 1950. On that day, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was pledged in as the first president of independent India. Under the new law’s transitional provisions, the Constituent Assembly was renamed as the Parliament of India.
Republic Day embodies the genuine spirit of India’s independence. On this day, military parades, displays of military equipment, and the national flag are major symbols. The Indian national flag is a horizontal tricolour with equal proportions of deep saffron at the top, white in the middle, and dark green at the bottom. The chakra is represented as a navy-blue wheel in the centre of the white ring which has 24 spokes.
In India, Republic Day is a national holiday. Schools, on the other hand, mark the day with patriotism and excitement, with students and instructors organising cultural activities and shows to make the occasion unforgettable.