The Indian Republic day is celebrated every year on 26th January. It is on this day that the Indian constitution came into effect replacing the Government of India act of 1935. After gaining independence from the British rule on 15th August 1947, on 29th August in the same year a Drafting committee was formed to draft a permanent constitution for India. Dr B R Ambedkar was the chairman this committee. This task completed on 24th Jan 1950. And two days later, on 26th January 1950 Dr Rajendra Prasad was sworn in as the first president of India, thus celebrating our first Republic Day.

Why was 26th Jan selected?

On 26th January in the year 1929 on the banks of River Raavi (now in Lahore, Pakistan) the Congress party under the leadership of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the Indian flag and gave the call of Poorna Swaraj- Complete Freedom.

What happens on this day?

The main function is held in New Delhi. A parade showcasing the military prowess of the Indian army, navy and the air force is held on Rajpath. This parade also has glimpses of India’s rich and diverse cultural heritage in the form of tableaus and dances.  The President of India takes the salute of this parade. Every year a head of state from some foreign country is called as the chief guest. This year the President of Brazil will be the chief guest. On the eve of this day, the Padma Awards are announced. These are given in three categories- Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri- in decreasing importance. The celebrations conclude on 29th January with Beating Retreat, held at Vijay Chowk. This is a military call for the troops to go back to their camps.

There are parades held at every state capital too, where the governor of the state takes the salute.

Some trivia-

  • The national anthem is for 52 seconds.
  • The Indian flag is also called ‘tiranga’ or three coloured flag.
  • The parade in New Delhi is led by the senior most army officer commanding the Delhi Area.
  • The chief guest for the first republic day parade was President Sukarno, Indonesia’s first president.
  • India’s constitution was handwritten in Hindi and English and was signed by 308 members.
  • This is the third time that Brazil has been invited. (1996, 2004 and 2020)
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