Republic Day honours the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.
The Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950 with a democratic government system, completing the country's transition towards becoming an independent republic. 26 January was chosen as the Republic day because it was on this day in 1930 when Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) was proclaimed by the Indian National Congress as opposed to the Dominion status offered by British Regime.
History of Republic Day
India achieved independence from British Raj on 15 August 1947 following the Indian independence movement noted for largely peaceful non-violent resistance and civil disobedience led by Mahatma Gandhi. The independence came through the Indian Independence Act 1947 (10 & 11 Geo 6 c 30), an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that partitioned British India into the two new independent Dominions of the British Commonwealth (later Commonwealth of Nations). India obtained its independence on 15 August 1947 as a constitutional monarchy with George VI as head of state and the Earl Mountbatten as governor-general. The country, though, did not yet have a permanent constitution; instead its laws were based on the modified colonial Government of India Act 1935. On 28 August 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed to draft a permanent constitution, with Dr B R Ambedkar as chairman. While India's Independence Day celebrates its freedom from British Rule, the Republic Day celebrates the coming into force of its constitution. A draft constitution was prepared by the committee and submitted to the Assembly on 4 November 1947. The Assembly met, in sessions open to public, for 166 days, spread over a period of two years, 11 months and 18 days before adopting the Constitution. After many deliberations and some modifications, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two hand-written copies of the document (one each in Hindi and English) on 24 January 1950. Two days later, it came into effect throughout the whole nation.
The main Republic Day celebration is held in the national capital, New Delhi, at the Rajpath before the President of India. On this day, ceremonious parades take place at the Rajpath, which are performed as a tribute to India; its unity in diversity and rich cultural heritage.
Delhi Republic Day parade
Main article: Delhi Republic Day parade
Delhi Republic Day parade is held in the capital, New Delhi. Commencing from the gates of the Rashtrapati Bhavan (the President's residence), Raisina Hill on Rajpath past the India Gate, this event is the main attraction of India's Republic Day Celebrations lasting three days. The parade showcases India's Defence Capability, Cultural and Social Heritage.
Nine to twelve different regiments of the Indian Army in addition to the Navy, and Air Force with their bands march past in all their finery and official decorations. The President of India who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. Twelve contingents of various para-military forces of India and other civil forces also take part in this parade.
Main article: Beating Retreat
The Beating Retreat ceremony is held after officially denoting the end of Republic Day festivities. It is conducted on the evening of 29 January, the third day after the Republic Day. It is performed by the bands of the three wings of the military, the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. The venue is Raisina Hill and an adjacent square, Vijay Chowk, flanked by the North and South block of the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace) towards the end of Rajpath.
The Chief Guest of the function is the President of India who arrives 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 Army. The 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 Navy and Air Force take part which play popular tunes like Abide With Me, Mahatma Gandhi's favourite hymn, and Saare Jahan Se Achcha at the end.
Republic Day parade chief guest
Since 1950, India has been hosting head of state or government of another country as the state guest of honour for Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. During 1950–1954, Republic Day celebrations were organised at different venues (like Irwin Stadium, Kingsway, Red Fort and Ramlila Grounds). It was only starting 1955 when the parade in its present form was organised at Rajpath. The guest country is chosen after a deliberation of strategic, economic and political interests. During 1950s–1970s, a number of NAM and Eastern Bloc countries were hosted by India. In 1968 and 1974, India played host to two countries on the same Republic Day.
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
- 1.^ On each of these occasions, Lady Edwina Mountbatten from United Kingdom was also the official guest for the parade.
- 2.^Duke of EdinburghPrince Philip also accompanied Queen Elizabeth II during the parade.
- 3.^ Danish Prime Minister attended Republic Day in Madras (Chennai).
- 4.^ No invitations were sent out possibly due to the demise of Prime MinisterLal Bahadur Shastri on 11 January 1966 in Tashkent. The new government headed by Indira Gandhi was sworn on 24 January 1966 (only two days before the Republic Day).
- 5.^ For the first time, the President of India (S. Radhakrishnan) could not take the salute at the Republic Day parade due to ill-health. Zahir Shah arrived on 28 January.
- 6.^ Attended only the Beating Retreat
5 times (France, UK)
4 times (Bhutan, Russia/USSR)
Thrice (Indonesia, Mauritius)
Twice (Brazil, Japan, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore,Phillipines Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam)
Essay on Republic Day (26 January) for students and teachers
January 23, 2018
“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom”.
It is with these historic words that Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru welcomed the freedom that India and Indians had earned after decades of struggle and sacrifice. Despite gaining freedom India did not become the great democracy that it now is. It remained a constitutional monarchy with King George VI as its head of state. It is nearly two and a half years later, on 26 January, 1950, when the Constitution of India came into effect that India became the most populous democracy in the world; it is on this day that our nation became the Republic of India. It is this momentous occasion that we celebrate on 26 January each year – India’s Republic Day.
Why Do We Celebrate Republic Day?
It is on this day that the Constitution of India came into effect. The Constitution of India took 2 years, 11 months and 18 days to get drafted. On 26 January, 1950, the adoption of the Constitution of India took place by the people. It is on this day, the country was transited as becoming an Independent republic.
The importance of the Republic Day of India goes well beyond the fact that it is one of the three national holidays of the country. It is the day which marks the adoption of the Constitution of India by the people. The pledge in the preamble to our constitution talks of India as a “sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic, republic”. Each of these is an ideal that forms the foundation on which this nation is built. Republic Day reminds us of the elevated values enshrined in this sacred document that we call our Constitution.
The Republic Day is a day of national pride. The grand display of military pride serves as a reminder that the security of our territorial sovereignty comes at the cost of many sacrifices. The development that we achieve each year takes us further ahead on the path that our freedom fighters had dreamed of. It is a reminder that we may claim with dignity the Fundamental Rights that our Constitution guarantees but at the same time we are also bound to perform the Fundamental Duties that this very Constitution prescribes.
Republic Day Celebrations
Each year we look forward to our Republic Day with great excitement and enthusiasm. The arrival of the President, the unfurling of the flag, the 21 gun salute, the marching regiments, the state tableaus, the performances by school children – each of these is leaves us full of pride, each of these lend meaning to our Republic Day. There is, however, much more to the Republic Day celebrations. The President’s visit to the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the start of the day is a homage to all those who sacrifice their lives at the altar of patriotism. The gallantry awards awarded on this day are meant to teach us the value of courage and valour. The appearance of young children, recipients of the National Bravery Award, is meant to inspire us into selfless acts.
The Republic Day is also an exercise in direction setting for the country as a whole. We look forward to the Chief Guest – usually a dignitary, a head of state or government from a friendly country. This is of great significance. It tells us of the diplomatic, economic, and military relations between that country and our own. This year we are set to witness an unprecedented occurrence. The heads of 10 South East Asian countries – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – are set to attend the Republic day celebrations as Chief Guests. It speaks of the great importance that India places on building relationships with other countries in the continent.
When we are asked “What is Republic Day?” we can merely choose to refer to the parade and the fact that it is a national holiday. We can, on the other hand, choose to reflect on the deeper significance of the day, the various conventions that are followed, and the importance of the Constitution which is an all-encompassing document which embraces India’s diversity and upholds equality, justice, and liberty.
This year when we talk about our Republic Day let it be from a place of deep personal commitment to the national building process. Our nation may be vast but we are its building blocks and our Republic Day brings with it a reminder to strengthen ourselves and dedicate ourselves to bringing our country its due pride. Let this be our dream, our ambition, and our pledge on 26 January this year.
Republic Day Wallpapers
Writing a Great Republic Day Speech
Republic Day Celebration in India
About National Flag of India
National Symbols of India
Chief Guests at the Republic Day 2018
Essay on Republic Day for students and teachers
India became the most populous democracy in the world; it is on this day that our nation became the Republic of India. It is this momentous occasion that we celebrate on 26 January each year – India’s Republic Day.