The Republic Day of India is celebrated on 26th January every year.
The Republic Day is a national holiday of India. It celebrates the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on the 26th day of January 1950.
The Constitution replaced the Government of India act of 1935 as the governing document of India thus making the nation an independent republic.
The Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on the 26th day of November 1949. 26th January was chosen as the date for Republic Day as it was on this day in 1929 when the Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) was proclaimed by the Indian National Congress.
It was done with the mindset of making India the Independent Republic with a democratic government system opposing the dominion status offered by the British Regime.
History of Republic Day
India achieved Independence from British Domination on the 15th day of August 1947 following the Indian Independence Movement. The Independence came through the Indian Independence Act of 1947, an Act passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdoms that partitioned British – Ruled India into the two new independent Dominions of the British Commonwealth (presently known as The Commonwealth of Nations).
India did not yet have a permanent constitution; instead, its laws were modified and based on the Government of India Act 1935. On the 29th day of August 1947, a resolution was moved for the appointment of The Drafting Committee with the aim of drafting a permanent constitution, with Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar as the Chairman of the Committee.
While India’s Independence Day celebrates its freedom from British Rule, the Republic Day celebrates the Constitution of India coming into force. A Draft Constitution was prepared by The Drafting Committee and submitted to the Constituent Assembly on the 4th day of November 1947.
The Assembly met in its sessions and made it open to the public for a total of 166 days. The Constituent Assembly was commissioned for a period of 2 years 11 months and 18 days before it adopted the Constitution of India.
After many deliberations and some modifications, all the 308 members of the Constituent Assembly signed Two-Hand – Written Copies of the document (One each in Hindi and English) on the 24th day of January 1950. Two days later which was on the 26th day of January 1950, the document came into effect throughout the whole nation.
On that same day, Dr Rajendra Prasad became the First President of India and began his first term in office as The President of the Indian Union. The Constituent Assembly then transitioned to become the Parliament of India under the Transitional Provisions of the new Constitution.
Celebrations for the Republic Day
The Republic Day Celebration is held in New Delhi which is the National Capital of India, at the Rajpath before the President of India. On this proud and auspicious day Ceremonious parades take place at the Rajpath, which are performed to pay tribute to India;
Its unity in diversity and rich cultural heritage. It is a tradition for each and every State of India to participate in the Republic Day parade by sending delegates to perform in the Ceremony.
Delhi Republic Day Parades
The Delhi Republic Day parade is held in the National Capital, New Delhi and it is organized by the Ministry of Defense, Government of India.
The Parade Commences from the Gates of The Rashtrapati Bhavan (The President’s official residence), on Raisina Hill on Rajpath past the India Gate, this event is the main attraction of India’s Republic Day Celebrations and lasts for three days.
The parade showcases India’s Defense Capabilities, and its Cultural and Social Heritage.
About Nine to Twelve different Regiments of the Indian Army in addition to the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force with their bands march past in all their finest and official decorations.
The President of India, who is the Commander – in – Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. Twelve Contingents of the Para – Military force of India and The Police force of India also take part in this ceremonious parade.
The Beating Retreat
The Beating Retreat Ceremony is held after The Republic Day festivities have officially ended. It is conducted on the evening of the 29th day of January, the third day after the Republic Day.
It is performed by the bands of the three wings of the Indian Military Forces, the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.
The venue where the Beating Retreat is held is Raisina Hill and on an adjacent square, Vijay Chowk, which is flanked by the North and South block of the Rashtrapati Bhavan towards the end of Rajpath.
The Chief Guest of the function is the President of India who is escorted by the (PBG), a Cavalry Unit. When the President arrives, the PBG commander asks the unit to give the National Salute, which is followed by the playing of the Indian National Anthem, Jana Gana Mana, by the Indian Military Forces.
The Indian Army develops the ceremony of display by the massed bands in which Military Bands, Pipe and Drum Bands, Buglers and Trumpeters from various Army Regiments besides bands from the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force take part which plays popular tunes like Abide With Me which was Mahatma Gandhi‘s favourite hymn, and Saare Jahan Se Achcha at the end.
Award Distribution at The Republic Day
On the evening of The Republic Day, the President of India distributes Padma Awards to the civilians of India every year. The Padma Awards are the second-highest Civilian Awards in India after the Bharat Ratna.
These awards are given in three categories, viz. Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, in the decreasing order of importance.
- Padma Vibhushan is awarded for “Exceptional and Distinguished Service“. Padma Vibhushan is the Second – Highest Civilian Award in India.
- Padma Bhushan is awarded for “Distinguished Service of a High Order“. Padma Bhushan is the Third – Highest Civilian Award in India.
- Padma Shri is awarded for “Distinguished Service“. Padma Shri is the Fourth – Highest Civilian Award in India.
While being Second Highest National Honors, the Padma Awards do not include cash allowances, or any kind of benefits, or special concessions in rail or air travel.
As per a judgment given by the Supreme Court of India on December 1995, no titles or honorifics are associated with the Bharat Ratna or any of the Padma Awards; The Honorees cannot use them or their initials as suffixes, prefixes or pre – and post-nominal attached to the awardee’s name.
This includes any such use on letterheads, invitation cards, posters, books etc. In case of any misuse, the awardee will have to forfeit the award, and he or she will be cautioned against any such misuse upon receiving the honour.
The Decoration comprises a Sanad (Certificate) issued under the hand and seal of the President of India and a Medallion. The recipients are also given a replica of the medallion, which they can wear during any Ceremonial or State functions etc. if they desire.
A commemorative brochure giving out brief details in respect of each award winner is also released on the day of the investiture ceremony.
Interesting Facts About The Republic Day of India
- The first Republic Day Parade at Rajpath was held in 1955.
- The Constitution of India is the Longest Hand – Written Constitution in the world. It has a total of 448 Articles.
The best aspects and provisions were taken from other countries’ Constitutions. The ideas of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity were taken from the French Constitution while the Five Year Plans were adopted from the Constitution of Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR).
So, here in this article, I have tried to provide as many details as possible about the Republic Day. Still, if you think that I have missed anything, do let me know by dropping a comment below.
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