Story Behind India’s Republic Day

Story Behind India's Republic Day

Happy Republic Day to all Summachar readers! On this occasion let’s go through some interesting trivia that would make you appreciate the day even more.

Crux of the Matter

72nd Republic Day
India celebrates its 72nd Republic Day today to commemorate the Constitution coming into effect on this date in 1950. India didn’t have a Constitution after Independence, with its laws meanwhile being based on the modified version of ‘Government of India Act 1935’ (established by the British).

Setting Up The Constitution

  • 9 December 1946: The 1st meeting of the Constituent Assembly of India occurred.
  • 29 Aug 1947: Drafting committee formed – Dr B R Ambedkar was the Chairman.
  • Constitution completed on 26 November 1949 – final draft after 2 years, 11 months, and 17 days of the 1st meeting. Originally written in Hindi and English.

Why 26 Jan And Not 26 Nov?

  • India’s independence date (15 August 1947) was forced by Lord Louis Mountbatten.
  • Forced as 15 August was the 2nd anniversary of Japan’s surrender to the Allies after World War II.

On 26 January 1929, Indian National Congress had declared “Poorna Swaraj” (complete self-rule). This date was decided for independence and celebrated as ‘Poorna Swaraj day’ from 1930 onwards. India thus wanted at least 1 date based on its own traditions and also wanted to commemorate the ‘Poorna Swaraj’. Thus, 26 January was chosen as the date.

What’s Different This Year?

  • 1st Republic Day without Chief Guest as British PM Boris Johnson cancelled due to Covid surge.
  • No motorcycle stunts – total audience allowed also reduced.
  • Flight lieutenant Bhawana Kanth would become the 1st female fighter pilot to participate in the parade.
  • Bangladesh Armed Forces contingent will participate in the parade – commemorating 50 years of its Liberation War where India played a key role. A foreign contingent would take part in India’s Republic Day for the 3rd time – previously done by France (2016) and UAE (2017).

Some More Trivia

  • Republic Day celebrations officially run from 26 January to 29 January. Celebrations end with the ‘Beating Retreat’ ceremony.
  • Indian Constitution is the longest in the world with 448 articles. It is also the longest handwritten Constitution – written by Prem Behari Narain Raizada.

Major borrowed features in India Constitution

  • Britain: Bicameral Parliament with 2 houses and the Prime Minister post.
  • France: Concept of “liberty, equality and fraternity” in the Preamble.
  • Soviet Union: 5-year plans.
  • Germany: Suspending Fundamental Rights during ‘emergency’.