On January 26, 1950, India’s Constitution came into effect, and the country became a republic. The 26th of January was chosen for a particular reason: it represented a pivotal moment in India’s struggle for independence from British rule.
Why was 26 January chosen to be India’s Republic Day?
The Indian National Congress (INC) party was established in 1885 and it grew to become one of the most important and prominent political parties in pre-independence India. The very first session of the Indian National Congress was held in 1885.
1929 Congress Session
In 1929 the Congress session was held at Lahore in 1929. This session was very significant because in this Lahore session the prominent party Indian National Congress, took the resolution of Poorna Swaraj or complete independence. In this, the Indian tricolour flag was hoisted by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru on the bank of the Ravi river.
Highlights of this session:
- The Congress convention began in Lahore in December 1929 and Pandit Nehru was the president of the convention. He mentioned in this session that “there’s only one goal ahead of us, which is full freedom.”
- The declaration of Purna Swaraj was propagated at the INC on 19th December 1929. In this session, members agreed that the Congress and Indian nationalists should fight for Purna Swaraj, or that they should rule itself entirely independently.
- The Congress approved a motion for complete Independence and also the President of Congress hoisted the flag of Complete Freedom on the bank of the Ravi on the midnight of 31 December 1929, in front of huge crowds.
- This was the day when for the first time the nationalists unfurled the tricolour
- Congress hence decided to observe 26th January 1930 as the total independence or Purna Swaraj Day.
Poorna Swaraj Day becomes Republic Day
When India’s Constitution was adopted on November 26, 1949, many people thought it was appropriate to commemorate the document on a day related to national pride. The best choice was the Poorna Swaraj day, which happened on January 26. Since then, it has been known as Republic Day in the nation.