Indian Republic Day

18 January 2017

Freedom is a favorite subject for writers, poets, philosophers and thinkers. All of them have given alluring meanings for it so much so that you are in love with the very word. But out there in the real world, freedom hasn’t been very poetic. Nations had to struggle and sacrifice their citizens to truly taste freedom. The ironical thing here is, once you obtain freedom from something, the next immediate question is what is that freedom for? Freedom for is equally important as freedom from. This is where the importance of a constitution lies. And this is why January 26 1950, is a significant benchmark in Indian History. The freedom acquired from British on August 15th 1947 was made used for implementing the constitution on January 26th 1950. Effectively, from this day, Indians have the right to vote and the power to choose their government. The struggle of centuries finally came to a conclusion.

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India still followed the modified colonial government of India Act of 1935 up until 1950. Almost two weeks after it’s independence, on 28th August 1947, a drafting Committee was appointed to draft a permanent constitution for the country. Dr . B. R. Ambedkar was the chairman of the committee. The committee prepared a draft constitution and submitted it to the assembly on November 9 1947. The Assembly met, on sessions open to public for 166 days spreading over 2 years and 11 months. After careful consideration and modification, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two hand-written copies of the document on January 24 1950. Two days later, on January 26th, India, officially became Republic and Dr. Rajendra Prasad was chosen as the first President. Dr. Rajendra Prasad took his oath at the Durbar Hall in the Government House, Delhi. It was then followed by a five-mile presidential drive to Irwin Stadium, where he hoisted the national flag accompanied by a twenty-one gun salute. Needless to say it was a jubilant celebration and sixty six years down the line, it is still celebrated in all its glory.

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Today, stupendous efforts are taken by the government to organize the celebrations of Republic Day. A massive Parade is held in the capital state Delhi, from the Raisena Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan, along the Rajpath past India Gate and on to the historic Red Fort. But the event begins by the Prime Minister laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti in India Gate, to remember the brave soldiers who gave their life protecting the country. After a 21 gun salute, the national flag is hoisted by the President of India in Rajpath and national anthem is sung. Then awards such as Paramvir Chakra, Ashok Chakra and Vir Chakra are presented to the various gallantry award winners. The parade begins when winners of Gallantry awards salute the President in open military jeeps. It is followed by the display of various tanks, missiles and other equipments added to the arsenal of the military. Then, different brigades of Army, Navy and Air Force march past in all their splendour and the President takes their salute. Indian Air Force Helicopters fly past the parade displaying their stunts and showering rose petals on the audience beneath. Children who won National Bravery Awards ride past the spectators on colourfully decorated elephants. Different traditional and cultural programs are performed by professionals from different states to display the culture and history of the nation. A foreign head of state is President’s chief guest for the event.

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Besides the national level celebration, there are parades and celebrations in each state and they are presided by State Governors. In Educational Institutions, offices and government organizations, flags are hoisted early in the morning and various cultural events are organized. 

The growing grace of Republic Day Celebration is a testimony on how India takes pride in its rich and vast culture