Republic Day of India
The original text of the Preamble to the Constitution of India. The Constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950 (1950-01-26).
Observed by India
TypePublic
SignificanceAdoption of the Constitution of India
CelebrationsParades, speeches and cultural events
Date26 January
Next time26 January 2025 (2025-01-26)
FrequencyAnnual
First time1950; 74 years ago (1950)

Republic Day is a national holiday in India commemorating the adoption of the Constitution of India, and the country's transition to a republic which came into effect on 26 January 1950.

The constitution replaced the Government of India Act 1935 as the governing document of India, thus turning the nation from a dominion into a republic post its independence from the British Raj in 1947. The constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26 November 1949 and came into effect on 26 January 1950. The date was chosen as the Indian National Congress proclaimed Purna Swaraj (complete independence) on this day in 1930.

Republic day is commonly associated with parades, political speeches, cultural events and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of India.

Background

India achieved independence from the British Raj on 15 August 1947 following the success of the Indian independence movement which was led by Congress under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. This was enacted through the Indian Independence Act 1947, an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that partitioned British India into the two new independent dominions of the British Commonwealth.[1] India became a constitutional monarchy with George VI as head of state and the Earl Mountbatten as governor-general. Without a standalone constitution, its laws were based on the existent Government of India Act 1935 and governed by the Constituent Assembly of India.[2]

On 29 August 1947, a seven member drafting committee was appointed to draft a permanent constitution, with B R Ambedkar as chairman.[3] A draft constitution prepared by the committee was submitted to the Constituent Assembly on 4 November 1948.[4] After the draft was discussed and debated, the constituent assembly adopted the constitution on 26 November 1949.[5] The major part of the constitution came into effect on 26 January 1950 with Rajendra Prasad becoming the first President of India and the constituent assembly became the Parliament of India under the transitional provisions of the new constitution.[6][7] The date was chosen as the Indian National Congress proclaimed Purna Swaraj (complete independence) on this day in 1930.[8]

Customs and celebrations

On the eve of the Republic Day, the President addresses the nation.[9] On the republic day, the President of India unfurls the national flag in the national capital New Delhi with the Governors and Lieutenant Governors unfurling the flag at the respective states and union territories.[10][11]

Parade

Further information: Delhi Republic Day parade

First president Rajendra Prasad readies to take part in the first Republic Day parade on Rajpath in New Delhi, in 1950

The main Republic day celebrations are held in New Delhi, at the Kartavya Path, a ceremonial boulevard that runs from Rashtrapati Bhavan on Raisina Hill through India Gate.[12] The event is hosted by the President of India with ceremonious parades and cultural events.[13] The Delhi Republic Day parade held during the same is organized by the Ministry of Defence.[14] The President who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute from various units of the army, navy, air force, para-military and police forces.[15]

Chief-guest

Main article: List of chief guests at Delhi Republic Day parade

Every year, a head of state or government of another country is invited as the state guest of honor for the Republic day celebrations in New Delhi. The guest country is often chosen on the basis of strategic, economic and political interests. French President Emmanuel Macron was the chief guest at the celebrations that marked India’s 75th[16] Republic Day.[17]

Beating retreat

The Beating Retreat ceremony, conducted on the evening of 29 January marks the end of Republic day festivities. It is performed by the bands of the three wings of the Indian armed forces at Vijay Chowk.[18] The President of India is escorted by the President's Bodyguard and post a ceremonial salute, the Indian National Anthem, Jana Gana Mana is played. Military bands then play popular tunes like Abide With Me and Saare Jahan Se Achcha at the end.[19][20][21]

Awards

On the eve of Republic Day, the President of India distributes various civilian Padma Awards.[22] These were instituted in the year 1954 and are awarded in three categories in decreasing order of precedence.[23]

The decoration comprises a certificate and a medallion and unlike national honors, the awards do not include cash allowances, benefits, or special concessions.[24] A commemorative brochure giving out brief details in respect of each award winner is also released on the day of the investiture ceremony.[25]

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ "Indian Independence Act 1947". The National Archives, Her Majesty's Government. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Introduction to Constitution of India". Ministry of Law and Justice of India. 29 July 2008. Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
  3. ^ "Constituent Assembly Debates (Proceedings)". Retrieved 25 January 2024.
  4. ^ Draft constitution, introduction (PDF) (Report). Government of India. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  5. ^ "In pomp and splendour". The Hindu. 24 January 2019. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  6. ^ Constitution of India (PDF) (Report). Government of India. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  7. ^ "Republic Day, January 26: History, Significance & Celebration". The Times of India. 25 January 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Purna Swaraj resolution". Britannica. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  9. ^ Wangchuk, Rinchen Norbu (25 January 2021). "5 Pre-Republic Day Speeches by Presidents That Told Us How to Preserve the Republic". The Better India. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Flag unfurling on republic day". Hindustan Times. 26 January 2024. Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  11. ^ "Tamil Nadu governor Ravi unfurls tricolor on Republic day". Deccan Herald. 26 January 2024. Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  12. ^ "Rajpath to make way for Kartavya Path: How India is stepping away from its colonial past". Firstpost. 6 September 2022. Retrieved 27 December 2023.
  13. ^ "Republic Day 2020: History, significance and interesting facts". Hindustan Times. 24 January 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  14. ^ "Republic day 2024". Live Mint. 26 January 2024. Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  15. ^ "Republic day parade". Hindustan Times. 26 January 2024. Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  16. ^ "Republic Day 2024: Chief guests over the years". Zee Business. 26 January 2024. Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  17. ^ "List of all Chief Guests on Indian Republic Day Parades (1950–2021)". Jagran Josh. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  18. ^ "Republic Day Beating Retreat Ceremony 2017 at Vijay Chowk, New Delhi". DNA India. 29 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  19. ^ "Curtain Raiser – Beating Retreat Ceremony 2011" (Press release). Government of India. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  20. ^ "Beating Retreat weaves soul-stirring musical evening". The Times of India. 29 January 2011. Archived from the original on 1 February 2011.
  21. ^ "Martial music rings down the curtain". The Times of India. 30 January 2011. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012.
  22. ^ "Republic Day Celebration 2021 - Awards Recipients - Know India: National Portal of India". Government of India. Archived from the original on 10 September 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  23. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  24. ^ Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No. 1219: Padma Awards (2015) (Report). Lok Sabha: Government of India. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  25. ^ "Govt announces names of 118 Padma Shri awardees on Republic Day eve". India Today. 25 January 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2021.