26 January 1950
On 26 January 1950, India became a republic when the Constitution of India came into effect.
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India’s Republic Day – Background
- On 26 December 1950, the Constitution of India replaced the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of the country.
- India had gained independence from Britain on 15th August 1947 through the passing of the Indian Independence Act in the British Parliament.
- Through this Act, India became a dominion under the British Commonwealth with the British monarch George VI as the sovereign.
- On 28 August 1947, the Drafting Committee was formed with Dr. B R Ambedkar as its Chairman to draft a permanent constitution for the country.
- A draft constitution, prepared by the Committee, was submitted to the Constituent Assembly in November of the same year. The Assembly had been formed in 1946 for this purpose.
- This Assembly met over the course of almost 3 years in different sessions to discuss and debate the draft, and make changes and adopt a constitution acceptable to all.
- The constitution was passed and adopted by the assembly on 26 November 1949. Know in detail about the Constitution of India on the linked page.
- The Constitution came into force on 26 January 1950 and this day is celebrated as Republic Day throughout the country. This was the day that India, the ancient civilisation, a potpourri of different cultures and kingdoms became a modern republic.Chcek out the themes on the Republic Day on the given link.
- 26 January was chosen as the date for this occasion because this was the day in 1930 when the Indian National Congress had demanded Complete Independence or Purna Swaraj, as opposed to the Dominion Status.
- On this day, every year, the grand Republic Day Parade is held at the national capital New Delhi at the Rajpath. The parade showcases India’s military might, defence forces and cultural heritage. The salute is taken by the President of the country, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
- The parade starts from the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President’s (formerly the Viceroy’s) official residence.
- A state guest is invited on this occasion to witness the republic day parade. This has been followed from 1950. The guest on the republic day is chosen after a lot of deliberation keeping in mind political and economic considerations. Last year in 2017, the UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was invited. In 2018, ten heads of the ASEAN states have been invited. This includes the heads of state of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
- From 1950 to 1954, the parade was held at different venues in New Delhi. From 1955, it has been happening at Rajpath only.
- Every state capital also sees similar parades on this day.
- 29 January sees the Beating Retreat ceremony which concludes the republic day celebrations. This is conducted by the three armed forces wings namely, the army, the navy and the air force.
- 2021 marks the 72nd Republic Day for India.
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Aspirants should remember the details. Republic Day essay though directly is never asked in UPSC Exam, however, some key facts about Republic Day can be used in answers or other essays.
Also on this day