Republic Day of India: January 26 is celebrated as the Republic Day of India. It commemorates the day the Indian Constitution came into effect. While the Constitution had been adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949, it came into effect on January 26, 1950. This day was specifically chosen because it was on January 26, 1929, that the declaration for Purna Swaraj had been proclaimed by the Indian National Congress.
Every year, Republic Day is celebrated at the Rajpath with tableaus from different states and institutions participating in the Republic Day parade. Apart from the parade, several awards like Padma Awards, Bharat Ratna and Kirti Chakra are also presented on the day. Every year, the parade has a chief guest. This year, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is attending the event as the chief guest.
History of Republic Day
When India attained Independence from British rule on August 15, 1947, India did not have its own Constitution and thus, had no option but to continue running on British policies. However, since British policies were made to oppress the countrymen, following the policies for long would render the struggle for freedom useless. As a result, after several meetings between leaders, a drafting committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Dr BR Ambedkar.
The herculean task of drafting the Constitution and subsequent amendments took two years, but finally, the Constitution was prepared and adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949, which is known as Constitution Day. On January 24, 1950, 308 members of the Constituent Assembly signed two hand-written copies of the Constitution, one each in Hindi and English, and two days later, on January 26, it came into effect. On the same day, the first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, took the oath of office, and the Constituent Assembly became the Parliament of India in accordance with the Constitution.
Some facts about Republic Day
The Indian Constitution is the longest written constitution in the world, containing 444 articles.
The first Republic Day parade at Rajpath was held in 1955. Before that, the parades had taken place at erstwhile Irwin Stadium, Red Fort, Ramlila Ground and Kingsway.
During the hoisting of the National Flag by the President of India on the Republic Day, a 21-gun salute is given to the President as well as the Tricolour.
The original copies of the Indian Constitution are preserved in the Parliament House Library in helium-filled cases.