India Celebrated its 75th Republic Day 

On 26th January, India celebrated its 75th Republic Day. On 26th January 1950 India, which became an independent nation on 15th August 1947, became a republic. 

On India’s Independence Day, our country’s freedom from British’s colonial rule is being celebrated, while Republic Day in India is celebrated to commemorate India’s becoming a republic state through the coming into effect of India’s Constitution. 

At the beginning we should understand that a republic is different from that of a democracy. In a republic, the head of the state (in India’s case it is President) is not hereditary but is elected. For example, the UK is a democracy and not a republic (there the head of the state is either queen or king; presently its head of the state is Charles III, who is the king of the UK) whereas China is not a democracy (they have dictatorship with very restrictive freedom for people and the ruling party CCP enjoys total power without people’s verdict) but a republic. 

Today, India is both a democracy and a republic but during 15th August 1947-26th January 1950, India was a constitutional monarchy with George VI as our head of state and the Earl Mountbatten as Governor-general. The constitution replaced the Government of India Act 1935 as the governing document of India, which transformed our nation from a dominion into a republic state. 

Getting our Constitution 

The Constitution of India, which is the longest-written Constitution in the world, was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26th November 1949 and it came into effect on January 26th, 1950, marking the completion of India’s transformation into a sovereign democratic republic.. In India, Republic Day is also the day when the President of India became the nominal head of the Indian Union. 

Choosing 26th January as Republic Day has historical significance. On 26th January 1930, the Indian National Congress promulgated the Declaration of the Independence of India (Purna Swaraj) while opposing the dominion status offered by the British government.

The August Parade 

The annual parade is the major characteristics of the Republic Day celebrations. In Delhi, India’s Republic Day parade is being organised in its most august form where defence prowess, the cultural heritage and diversity of India being showcased with stately grandeur. In Delhi, the Republic Day parade commences with the unfurling of the Indian flag by the President of India. The parade marches from the Rashtrapati Bhavan on the Kartvya Path to India Gate and from there it marches to Red Fort.

In this parade, several regiments from Indian Army, Navy and Air Force march with their bands. The President of India, serving as the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, receives the salutation. 

Attractive tableaux of various states showcasing the rich and diverse cultural facets of the states of India, are also integral part of the vibrant parade. Motorcycle stunts and spectacular flypast by the Air Force personnel are other important features of the show exuding with grandeur and national pride.

For the 75th Republic Day, the French President Emmanuel Macron was the Chief Guest.  In this year’s Republic Day celebrations in Delhi, the scintillating air show and the amazing motorcycle stunts by some women personnel from CRPF, BSF and SSB were the highlights. 

Celebration of Women Power 

More than 260 women displayed jaw-dropping stunts on motorcycle through varied formations, which included Chandrayaan, Sarvatra Suraksha, Abhivadan and Yog Se Siddhi. In fact, in this year’s Republic Day celebrations, women power was a major focus and ‘Viksit Bharat’ and ‘Bharat-Loktantra ki Matruka’ were the main themes. 

An all-women tri-services contingent took part for the first time in the Republic Day parade which comprised women troops of the Indian Army’s military police and women from the two other armed forces.

But much beyond the celebrations and showcasing of our military might, our Republic Day is also the occasion for our citizens and our Union government and the state governments to pledge to unwaveringly uphold not only the apparent laws but also the latent values enshrined in our Constitution. Then only we can become a republic in both letter and spirit.

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