Importance of Republic Day: Why is it celebrated
New Delhi, Jan 26: Every year on this day India celebrates the Republic Day and every citizen's chest swells with pride upon seeing the grand parade at Rajpath. It is a day which marks the adoption of the Constitution and it was on this day in 1950 that India truly became democratic republic.
The Constitution is of immense importance in India post-independence history. While many nations who got freedom from the colonial rule became unstable and fell prey to political turmoil, India stood ground and the democracy thrived. Many western thinkers at the time of independence thought that India may disintegrate, many thought that the cultural diversity was so much that it may not be possible for us remain as one country. But now that we have stood united for over 70 years, such critics have been silenced.
This shows the Indian Constitution has proved enormously resilient. What stands out however in India's constitutional story is its acceptability and resilience on one hand and adaptability and dynamism on the other.
The Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950 with a democratic government system, completing the country's transition towards becoming an independent republic. 26 January was chosen as the Republic day because it was on this day in 1930 when Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) was proclaimed by the Indian National Congress as opposed to the Dominion status offered by British Regime.
History of Republic Day:
India obtained its independence on 15 August 1947 as a constitutional monarchy with George VI as head of state and the Earl Mountbatten as governor-general. The country, though, did not yet have a permanent constitution; instead its laws were based on the modified colonial Government of India Act 1935. On 28 August 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed to draft a permanent constitution, with Dr B R Ambedkar as chairman.
While India's Independence Day celebrates its freedom from British Rule, the Republic Day celebrates the coming into force of its constitution. A draft constitution was prepared by the committee and submitted to the Constituent Assembly on 4 November 1947.
The Assembly met, in sessions open to public, for 166 days, spread over a period of two years, 11 months and 18 days before adopting the Constitution. After many deliberations and some modifications, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two hand-written copies of the document (one each in Hindi and English) on 24 January 1950. Two days later which was on 26 January 1950, it came into effect throughout the whole nation.