What is the significance of Republic Day in India?
While India celebrated its freedom from British colonisation on August 15, 1947, it established itself as a sovereign state on January 26, 1950. In other words, this is the day the Indian constitution came into being 67 years ago.
The chief architect of the Constitution of India, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, headed the drafting committee that prepared the ‘draft constitution’ in November 1947. It took more than the next two years for the constitution to finally see the light of day.
The Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution on January 26, 1950, a date specially chosen to coincide with the anniversary of ‘Purna Swaraj Diwas’. January 26, 1930 was marked as ‘Purna Swaraj Diwas’, or the day the nation would attain complete freedom from its colonisers by the Congress. The members of the drafting committee felt that the birth of the constitution should be observed on a day that held some significance in their fight for independence. When India was ultimately granted freedom by the British in 1947, but on August 15 and not January 26, the date was instead assigned to celebrating India’s Republic Day. This was the day the Indian Independence Act was consequently repealed and India was established as a democratic republic, no longer a dominion of the British Crown.
How is Republic Day celebrated in India?
Much like the Independence Day celebrations in India, Republic Day too is celebrated with grand parades in New Delhi and the different state capitals. The Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, artistes and performers from across the country participate in the parades to showcase the diversity of cultures. The President and state Governors receive the military salutes during the parades with the ‘fly past’ by the Indian Air Force officially concluding the parade in the national capital.
What to expect from Republic Day 2017?
India receives a foreign head of state every year as its guest on the occasion of Republic Day. While former US President Barack Obama was the chief guest in 2015, French President Francois Hollande graced the occasion in 2016.
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will be the chief guest at this year’s Republic Day parade. Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE armed forces today at the airport. A contingent of the UAE armed forces will march with the Indian armed forces at the Republic Day parade in Delhi.