Republic Day is celebrated when India’s Constitution came into existence on January 26, 1950 and replaced the Government of India Act (1935). The Indian Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution on November 26, 1949 and came into force on January 26, 1950 with democratic government system completing the transition of the country to become independent republic. The day of 26th January was decided because the Indian National Congress declared the Indian Independence (Pooorna Swaraj) on that day in 1930 against the Dominion status of the British. It is among the three national holidays in the country, along with Gandhi Jayanti and Independence Day.
History of Republic Day
On August 15, 1947, India achieved independence from the British after the Indian independence movement known for peaceful non-violence resistance by Mahatma Gandhi. The Indian Independence Act 1947 led to the independence of the country. The Parliament of the United Kingdom partitioned the country into two new independent nations – India and Pakistan. Hence, India obtained independence on August 15, 1947. Though the nation didn’t have a permanent constitution, the laws were based on Government of India Act 1935.
When Independence Day is celebrated for the freedom from British Rule, the Republic Day is celebrated in India when it came into force of its constitution. The committee prepared the draft which was later submitted on November 4, 1947 to the committee. The Assembly met and opens to the common public for about 166 years and spread up to 2 years, 11 months and 18 days before Constitution. After some modifications and several deliberations, 308 Assembly members signed two handwritten document copies (in English and Hindi) on January 24, 1950. After 2 days, it came into force in front of whole country.
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The Importance of Republic Day
Before independence on 15th August, 1947, India was just a colony for the British. On January 26, 1950, Indian people felt the true freedom from British rule. On that historic day, the Constitution was officially enforced and India became a secular, sovereign, democratic and secular country. Dr. Rajendra Prasad took the oath as the first president of India after independence at Durbar Hall in the Government House Delhi. Then, it was followed by Presidential drive along the route of 5 miles towards the Irwin Stadium where the National Flag is hoisted with 21 gun salute.
First Republic Day Speech
Dr. Rajendra Prasad gave his first speech on this day. He said that we should rededicate ourselves to this peaceful day to realize our dream which has influenced the father of the nation and other soldiers and captains of freedom struggle, dream of building a co-operative, classless, happy and free society in his country. We have to remember that it is more than a day of dedication than that of rejoicing. It is the dedication to the glorious task of making peasants and workers of thinkers and toilers completely happy, free and cultured. These days, nobody gives any attention to the inherent importance of India as a republic. We have the power to control ourselves by choosing our own government.