Saturday, 2 December 2017

Why Do We Celebrate Republic Day?

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26th January 2018 will be celebrated as India's 69th Republic Day. The first Republic Day was celebrated in the year 1950. Republic Day is the most peaceful and patriotic celebration for all Indians. 26th January is celebrated as republic day because that is the day when our constitution was enforced, back in 1950. The Constitution of India was drafted by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. It was on this day that the constituent assembly took an oath which is imbibed in the Constitution as the Preamble

Original text of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution, as on 26th January 1950.
Original text of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.

History of Republic Day in India

The Constitution of India is basically a governing document which replaced the preceding Government of India Act, 1935. The Constitution of India was drafted after much discussion in the Constituent Assembly.  The Constituent Assembly of India was a body of 389 individual representatives from different parts of the country. The idea of a constituent assembly was first proposed by C. Rajagopalachary, in the year 1939, based on adult franchise. This proposal was accepted by the British in the year 1940. 

Official seal of the constituent assembly of India
Original seal of the Constituent Assembly of India
The Constituent Assembly of India, which was elected for an undivided India, met for the first time on the 9th of December 1946. After much discussions, the constitution of India was drafted, by the drafting committee, which was headed by Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar. The constitution was adopted by the assembly on 26th November 1949, but it was decided that 26th January would be the day the Constitution would be enforced. 

Constituent Assembly of India
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How is Republic Day celebrated?

Republic Day is celebrated at Rajpath, India Gate, in the presence of the Honorable President of India. Various defense forces, States, government and children from various schools perform in the ceremonial parade every year to celebrate the Republic Day of the country. This shows the integration of the people of the country despite all the diversity that it has. These celebrations continue for three days till 29th of the month. 

Image of the first Indian republic day celebrations in 1950.
First Celebration of Republic Day at Raisina Hill.
To this day, celebrations are held at Raisina Hill.

The celebrations end with a very special event called The Beating Retreat. Military bands of all three wings of the Indian defence, i.e., Indian Navy, Indian Army and the Air Force take part in the ceremony. The whole ceremony is conducted at Raisina Hill, President's House, in the presence of the honorable President, Prime Minister, all military chiefs, chief guest(s) and other dignitaries.

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