January 26 is celebrated as the Republic Day of India. It was the day the Constitution of India, prepared by drafting committee headed by BR Ambedkar, came into force and replaced the existing Government of India Act, 1935. The Constitution was formed taking into consideration the ethnic communities, multiple religions, and regional tribes. Thus, completing the journey of becoming a sovereign democratic republic.
Why 26th January?
Ever wondered, if India got freedom on August 15, 1947, why it took 2 years 11 months and 18 days to declare India as a republic? On the occasion of 68th Republic Day, let’s solve the mystery.
It may come as a shock, but Indian leaders were in favour of Dominion Status which states that the Monarch of the United Kingdom would continue to be the constitutional head of India.
1927: Bhagat Singh along with few other leaders came forward with ‘complete freedom’ initiative. This idea inspired young Congress leaders including Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose.
1928: A resolution was passed by the Indian National Congress for ‘Dominion Status’ but the British rejected the proposal stating that India is not capable for the Dominion Status.
1929: During the Lahore session, the Congress chose Jawaharlal Nehru as the President and demanded Purna Swaraj i.e. complete independence.
1930: To celebrate the occasion, last Sunday of January (which surprisingly fell on 26th ) was fixed. Hence Independence day was celebrated with Nehru hoisting the flag on the banks of Ravi river in Lahore.
1947: On August 15, India gained complete freedom from the British.
1949: Indian Constitution was formed by November 26. Those part of the first Independence Day celebration (January 26, 1930) came to a decision to celebrate the Republic Day on January 26. Hence, waited for two months for the same. And this is how the Republic Day is celebrated on January 26.
How to celebrate?
Republic Day is celebrated in honour of the efforts of several constitution makers who made sure the smooth transformation of India into a constitutional democracy. To celebrate the day when the largest democracy in the world was created, a series of events are organised in Delhi, the national capital. The events include the lighting of government buildings in the National Capital Region for a week, a grand parade from Rashtrapati Bhawan to India Gate involving all the three wings of the armed forces, performances by tribal and folk groups representing the state they belong to, among others.