Republic day is an important landmark in Indian history. On January 26th each year, Indians celebrate the Constitution of India.
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.
On 29 August 1947, the Constituent Assembly set up a Drafting Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar to prepare a draft Constitution for India. Its a day celebrated as the gazatted holiday in India.
BACKGROUND OF REPUBLIC DAY –
India became independent of the United Kingdom on August 15, 1947. India did not have a permanent constitution at this time. The drafting committee presented the constitution’s first draft to the national assembly on November 4, 1947. The national assembly signed the final English and Hindi language versions of the constitution on January 24, 1950.
India’s constitution came into effect on Republic Day, January 26, 1950. This date was chosen as it was the anniversary of Purna Swaraj Day, which was held on January 26, 1930. The constitution gave India’s citizens the power to govern themselves by choosing their own government. Dr Rajendra Prasad took oath as India’s first president at the Durbar Hall in the Government House, followed by a residential drive along a route to the Irwin Stadium, where he unfurled India’s national flag. Ever since the historic day, January 26 is celebrated with festivities and patriotic fervor across India.
Republic Day represents the true spirit of the independent India. Military parades, displays of military equipment and the national flag are important symbols on this date. India’s national flag is a horizontal tricolor of deep saffron (kesaria) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. The ratio of the flag’s width to its length is two to three.
A navy-blue wheel in the center of the white band represents the chakra. Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. Its diameter approximates to the white band’s width and it has 24 spokes.
Original Preamble (1949/50 -1976) –
Current Preamble (1976) –
Current preamble was amended by 42nd Amendment, 1976 and came into effect from Jan 03, 1977.
CHIEF GUEST on Republic Day 2018 –
Intelligence agencies have issued a high-level warning of a possible terror-threat to leaders from 10 ASEAN countries who will be chief guests at India’s 69th Republic Day celebrations this Friday. A massive security cover has been put into place in Delhi and adjoining areas ahead of the yearly celebrations. For the first time ever, as many as 10 world leaders will be chief guests at the event marking India’s Constitution coming into effect. Here is the list of guest coming to India on republic day (2018) :
Indonesia President – Joko Widodo
Vietnam PM – Nguyen Phuc
Myanmar State Councillor – Aung San Suu Kyi
Laos PM – Thongloun Sisoulith
Malaysia PM – Najib Razak
Philippines President – Rodrigo Duterte
Singapore PM – Lee Hsien Loong
Cambodia PM – Hun Sen
Thailand PM – Prayut Chan-Ocha
Sultan of Brunei – Hassanal Bolkiah
Because of high-level foreign dignitaries, the pressure on security agencies is more than ever before. Delhi Police has also been told to identify suspicious people in these localities and conduct thorough background checks as part of the overall precautionary measures already being put into place.
Much effort is put towards organizing events and celebrations that occur on Republic Day in India. Large military parades are held in New Delhi and the state capitals.
Representatives of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force and traditional dance troupes take part in the parades. A grand parade is held in Rajpath, New Delhi and the event starts with India’s prime minister laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, to remember soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their country.
India’s president takes the military salute during the parade in New Delhi while state governors take the military salutes in state capitals. A foreign head of state is the president’s chief guest on Republic Day. Awards and medals of bravery are given to the people from the armed forces and also to civilians. Helicopters from the armed forces then fly past the parade area showering rose petals on the audience. School children also participate in the parade by dancing and singing patriotic songs. Armed Forces personnel also showcase motorcycle rides.
The parade concludes with a “fly past” by the Indian Air Force, which involves fighter planes of flying past the dais, symbolically saluting the president. These leave trails of smoke in the colors of the Indian flag. There are many national and local cultural programs focusing on the history and culture of India. Along with this, chief guests are also invited.
Children have a special place in these programs. Apart from nationally celebration, kids in schools performs drama, dancing on national songs. Children’s rally observed in almost all schools.
Many children receive gifts of sweets or small toys. A prime minister’s rally also takes place around this time of the year, as well as the Lok Tarang – National Folk Dance Festival, which occurs annually from January 24-29.
Celebration in Public –
Republic Day is a gazetted holiday in India on January 26 each year. National, state and local government offices, post offices and banks are closed on this date. Stores and other businesses and organizations may be closed or have reduced opening hours. Few stores decorates their shops using flags. Public transport is usually unaffected as many locals travel for celebrations. Republic Day parades cause significant disruption to traffic and there may be increased security on this date, particularly in areas such as New Delhi and state capitals.
SHORT FLASH ON CONSTITUTION OF INDIA –
The Constitution of India is the major law in India. The constitution is the framework for political principles, procedures, and powers of government. It’s also the longest constitution in the world with 448 articles, 22 parts, 12 schedules. The constitution was written on 26 November 1949, and was made the center of law in 26 January 1950.
A Constitution is a set of rules and regulations guiding the administration of a country. The recommendations of the Motilal Nehru Committee and the decisions taken by the meeting of National Congress at Karachi prepared for the formation of a Constituent Assembly.
The first meeting of the new constituent Assembly was conducted on 9th of December, 1946. The next meeting conducted in 11th of December, 1946 under the chairmanship of Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Participants included Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, and Sarojini Naidu. Dr. B.R Ambedkar, chairman of the Drafting Committee, is often called the father of the Indian Constitution.
The 389 members of the Constituent Assembly formed many committees to examine in detail all the issues relating to the country. Dr.B.R.Ambedkar was the Chairman of one of the most important committees, i.e., the Drafting Committee. Other members of the committee were N.Gopalaswamy Iyengar, Alladi Krishnaswamy etc.
The Constituent Assembly, which came into existence on 11th of December 1946, had 145 meetings and framed a draft constitution. During these discussions, the various laws proposed by the British Government in 1909, 1919 and 1935, the British Parliamentary system, the American Bill of Rights, the Social Directive Policies of Ireland were studied and some parts of those were written in the Constitution. Finally, the Indian Constitution was approved on 26th of November, 1949 and came into effect on 26th of January, 1950. This day (January 26) is celebrated as the ‘Republic Day’ in India.
Below is a list of all articles in chronological order of the constitution.
Part I – Union and its Territory
Part II – Citizenship.
Part III – Fundamental Rights.
Part IV – Directive Principles of State Policy.
Part IVA – Fundamental Duties.
Part V – The Union.
Part VI – The States.
Part VII – States in the B part of the First schedule(Repealed).
Part VIII – The Union Territories
Part IX – The Panchayats.
Part IXA – The Municipalities.
Part X – The scheduled and Tribal Areas
Part XI – Relations between the Union and the States.
Part XII – Finance, Property, Contracts and Suits
Part XIII – Trade and Commerce within the territory of India
Part XIV – Services Under the Union, the States.
Part XIVA – Tribunals.
Part XV – Elections
Part XVI – Special Provisions Relating to certain Classes.
Part XVII – Languages
Part XVIII – Emergency Provisions
Part XIX – Miscellaneous
Part XX – Amendment of the Constitution
Part XXI – Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions
Part XXII – Short title, date of commencement, Authoritative text in Hindi and Repeals
Republic Day is an extremely important day for our country for various reasons. Some of the main reasons that would help highlight the significance of this day are elaborated as under :
Emergence of the Largest Democratic Nation: On this day, India emerged as the largest democratic Nation, along with the longest written constitution. The citizens of India officially gained the power to live independently and help govern their own country. When the beginning is good, the journey progresses smoothly and without any turbulence.
Indian Constitution came into existence: Republic Day is when the constitution and governmental existence came into being. Indian government thus became a distinct entity and came out of the shadow of the British government.
First President: Honorable Dr. Rajendra Prasad took the historic oath to be the very first president of independent India on this very day. This ceremony was history personified.
Self-guided: Until the Republic day, India was still running under the laws set by the British government. So technically, an independent India was not self-guided until the actual Republic Day.
Every Indian citizen should realize the inherent importance of Republic day. We as citizens of a free country should feel proud to be an Indian and pay respect to all those who helped our country get stronger, and better! Special remembrance should be paid to all the freedom fighters and soldiers, who made and are making unbeatable sacrifices for all of us to breathe ‘free’. Republic Day celebrations should not be imposed on people. Patriotism apart, paying respect to the country is a sign of a responsible citizen.
So let us pledge to uphold our country’s honour at all times and respect its past, work on its present and hope for a bright and progressive future.
Let us all come together to celebrate the freedom of our country and the birth of our very own constitution on this day. Recall the sacrifices and rejoice their victory! Freedom of our motherland and its autonomous functioning came after a lot of bloodshed and hardships. Thus, it should be the responsibility of us citizens to preserve its glory forever!
Happy Republic Day !
Sources: Images are taken from google, used only as symbolic purpose and the texts from wikipedia.