We would like to begin with wishing everyone reading this a very Happy and Prosperous 68th Republic Day. As always, we are proud to be citizens of a country that is known for its diversity and cultural ethnicity across the globe.
26th January is celebrated as the Republic day, marking the replacement of the Government of India Act of 1935 with the Constitution of India. This date was specially selected for the purpose of bring the Constitution into force because on the same date, in 1930, the Declaration of Indian Independence, called the Purna Swaraj, was put into motion by the Indian National Congress.
10 lesser known facts about 26th January:
- India boasts of having the world’s longest constitution. It was drafted by a team comprising of intellectual personalities. The team included Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, Gopalswami Iyengar, TT. Krishnamachary, DP Khaitan, Sir Benegal, Kanyalal Munshi and Md Saadullah led by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. It took 2 years and 11 months to draft the Indian Constitution
- At the time of commencement, the constitution had 395 articles in 22 parts and 8 schedules. Constitution of India now consists of 442 Articles divided into 22 parts and 12 Schedules
- The Republic Day celebrations are centered mainly in the National Capital city of New Delhi. While it is the Prime Minister who is the central character of the celebrations, it is the President who takes the military salute as the Commander in Chief of Indian Armed forces, in Delhi. The Governors take the respective salutes in their respective states
- The President, on this special day, is accompanied by a foreign head of state as the official guest
- The Prime Minister honors thousands of Indian Soldiers who died fighting for the Nation. He places a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti on the India Gate as a mark of respect to them
- The President unfurls the flag with the 21 gun-salute that involves firing of arms and canons as a naval and military honour. The National Anthem is sung at this time
- The parade and other celebrations take place in Raj Path and almost all the vents happen within the stretch of Rashtrapati Bhawan to India Gate. The parade begins with winners of gallantry awards saluting the President in open military jeeps, followed by the display of various tanks, missiles and other equipment added to the arsenal of the military. After this, is the march-past of different regiments of the armed forces, police, Home Guards and National Cadet Corps. The President of India, being the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. This is followed by a vibrant parade comprising tableaux from different States and cultural dances by patriotic school children
- It is on this day that many prestigious bravery awards like the Veer Chakra, Maha Veer Chakra, Param Veer Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Ashoka Chakra are presented to deserving men and women of courage. It is indeed a moment of great pride
- The Republic Day function lasts for 3 days, and ends with a ‘Beating Retreat’ on 29th January held at Vijay Chowk with the bands of Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy performing. This ceremonial performance of the bands of the Indian Defence Forces was started in early 1950’s by a certain Major Roberts of the Indian Army
- The Christian hymn, ‘abide with me’ is one of the most popular tunes played at the function. It is also said to be Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite
Many people watch the parade on their TV sets and a patriotic moment engulfs the entire country. Every Indian heart fills with pride when we see the National Flag unfurling on Republic Day. 26th January brings out the patriot in us but not everybody knows how much significance the day holds for us.
Lets pledge to remember that we are, and will always be, Indians – firstly and lastly. Jai Hind !!