26th January is celebrated as Republic Day in our country. On this day in 1950, the constitution of our country was formally adopted and India became a fully sovereign state. The fundamental law of the country, the Constitution was enacted out of the diligence and hard work of great men like Mahatma Gandhi and the numerous freedom fighters who fought and sacrificed their lives for the Independence of our country. So, the 26th of January was declared a National holiday and has been recognized and celebrated as the Republic Day of India, ever since.
After Independence, the country did not have any self-made official Constitution, instead, its laws were based on modified colonial acts. So, establishing an official constitution for our own country was the utmost task in front of the Government of India. Our constitution is the result of the hard work and struggle of the esteemed members of the Constituent Assembly under the Presidency of Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Dr. Ambedkar was the Father of our Constitution. After deeply studying the various constitutions of the other countries, our founding fathers framed our Constitution and it is the lengthiest constitution in the world. It reflects upon the dedication and foresight of these great men. That is how the Constitution came into being. It took two years, eleven months, and eighteen days to complete the Constitution. Though it was enacted and adopted by the constituent assembly on 26th November 1949, it came into force on 26th January 1950.
It is to be noted that January 26 had a great significance in India’s struggle for Swaraj. The Congress Session at Lahore on December 29, 1929, had passed a resolution declaring Purna Swaraj (Complete Independence) as India’s goal. It was also decided that the 26th of January should be observed all over India as the Purna Swaraj Day. The complete Independence Day was for the first time celebrated on January 26th, 1930. It continued to be so observed until 1947. On achieving Independence, August 15 became our Independence Day.
January 26th, however, marked a great event in India’s struggle for freedom. It was, therefore, in the favour of all that January 26 should be selected as the Date of Commencement of the new Constitution.
Therefore, this day is celebrated as a day of national significance with great joy and pride.
Today, people across the country celebrate Republic Day with much zeal, fervour, and great excitement, especially in the capital, New Delhi. The ceremony commences with the President’s speech to the nation. He unfurls the National Flag as the National Anthem is played and twenty-one gun salutes are given. The President gives away the medals of bravery like Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra to the people from the armed forces for their exceptional courage in the field and also to the civilians, who have distinguished themselves by their exclusive acts of valour in various situations.
The Prime Minister honours the sacrifice of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the country by laying a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, a memorial to all the brave soldiers at the India Gate, followed by two minutes of silence in the memory of the sacrifice of the soldiers.
Every year a grand parade is held in the capital, Delhi, from the Rajghat, along the Vijaypath to mark the importance of this occasion. The various regiments of the Indian Army, the Indian Navy, and the Indian Air force perform their drill in all their regalia and official trinkets. The President of India, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salutation. Even the horses of the cavalry are attractively ornamented for the occasion. It is followed by a breathtaking fly-past in the sky by the Indian Air Force pilots making the parade more fascinating. The N.C.C cadets selected from all over the country consider it an honour to participate in this event. Several school children from various schools in the capital perform various dance forms in the parade. They spend many days preparing for the event.
The parade is followed by a pageant of spectacular displays from different states of the country. Each display of jhankis, folk dances bring out the diversity and richness of the culture of India and the whole show lends a festive air to the occasion. Another important aspect of the Republic Day celebration is the presence of a chief guest. Since 1950, India has been inviting the head of state of another country as the guest of honour. The guest is chosen after deliberation on strategic, economic, and political interests.
The parade and the ensuing pageantry are telecast on the National Television and are watched by millions of viewers in every corner of the country.
The Beating Retreat Ceremony officially marks the end of Republic Day festivities and it is conducted on 29th January, the third day after the Republic Day parade. The bands of the three wings of the military: the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force perform the ritual.
The patriotic ardour of the people on this day brings the whole country together with all her cultural diversities. Every part of the country participates in the occasion, which makes Republic Day the most popular of all the national holidays of India.
Q1. When was the Constitution of India adopted?
Ans. The Constitution of India was finally adopted and enacted on 26th January 1950.
Q2. Who drafted the Constitution of India?
Ans. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar drafted the Constitution of India.
Q3. How is Republic Day celebrated in the capital of India?
Ans. In Delhi, the capital of India, this day is celebrated with great fervour and excitement. The ceremony starts with the President’s speech to the nation followed by the speech of the chief guest who is the head of the state from another country. The President then unfurls the National Flag and the National Anthem is played. The parade begins with the different regiments of the Indian Army Forces making the salutation to the President who is the Commander-in-chief. The Bravery awards are given to the suitable army people and to the citizens who have shown their acts of bravery during critical situations. All states display their culture through folk dances and jhankis. Various schools participate in the ceremony.
Q4. What do you mean by Purna Swaraj?
Ans. Purna Swaraj means Complete Independence. Indian National Congress demanded Purna Swaraj from the British government.