India has celebrated its 71st Republic Day on January 26 marking it with grand celebrations in the national capital and all across the nation. Republic Day is celebrated to honor the historic date when the country completed its transition towards becoming an independent republic after its constitution came into effect.
Republic Day marks India’s adoption of a republic constitution (with a president rather than a monarch) on January 26, 1950, after gaining of independence from British rule in 1947. Understandably, this makes it an occasion that’s close to the hearts of all Indians. India fought a long and hard battle for freedom from the British empire. Known as the Indian Independence Movement, the battle spanned 90 years, starting from the large-scale Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the British East India Company in the northern and central parts of the country. During the later decades of the movement, Mahatma Gandhi (who is affectionately referred to as the “Father of a Nation”) led a successful strategy of non-violent protests and withdrawal of cooperation against British authority.
In addition to many deaths and imprisonments, independence came at a price — the 1947 Partition of India, in which the country was split along the line of religious majorities and Muslim-dominated Pakistan came into being. It was deemed necessary by the British due to growing conflicts between Hindus and Muslims, and the need for a unified secular democratic republic. What’s important to note is that although India officially gained independence from the British on August 15, 1947, it still wasn’t entirely free of them. The country remained a constitutional monarchy under King George VI, who was represented by Lord Mountbatten as the Governor General of India. Lord Mountbatten appointed Jawaharlal Nehru to be the first Prime Minister of independent India.
In order to move forward as a republic, India needed to draft and implement its own Constitution as the governing document. The work was headed by Doctor Babasaheb Ambedkar, and the first draft was completed on November 4, 1947. It took almost three years for the Constituent Assembly to finally ratify it though. This occurred on November 26, 1949, but the Assembly waited till January 26, 1950, to put the new Constitution of India into effect.
The Republic Day is a national holiday of India, which is celebrated to mark the day when India officially adopted the Constitution of India. This national holiday honours the date 26 January 1950, when India’s Constitution came into effect by replacing the Government of India Act. This day commemorates the historic moment when India became the Independent Republic after years of struggle.
India has no dearth of brave young men and women and if they get the opportunity and help then we can compete with other nations in space exploration and one of them will fulfil her dreams. Let’s salute India’s Republic Day.