The origin of Republic day goes back to pre- independence days of 1929, when the Indian National Congress during its Lahore session under the President ship of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru passed a resolution declaring ‘Complete Independence’ as the goal of the nation and decided to celebrate 26th January every year as the Independence day throughout the length and breadth of the country.
From then on till the dawn of independence on Aug. 1947, the nation celebrated 26th January as Independence Day. Later, when India wanted a day to mark its official birth 26th January, the independence day of the pre-independence days was chosen. On this day, 26th January 1950 Indian constitution came into force and India was proclaimed to be a sovereign, democratic and a republic’
Since then 26th January every year has been celebrated as the Republic day in our country. A republic is a state, where the head of the state is elected and that the office is not hereditary.
Republic day is a national festival celebrated all over India with great pomp and grandeur. The main Republic day celebration takes place in New Delhi, the capital of India. A grand Republic day parade is organised on this day. A special guest, normally a high foreign dignitary is invited well in advance to be the chief guest for the function.
The ceremony begins in the morning of 26th January with the laying of a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyothi at the India Gate by the Prime Minister, as a mark of gratitude to the martyrs who have laid down their lives for the country. At exactly 8.00 a.m. the president reaches the Rajpath along with the Chief Guest. They are welcomed by the Prime Minister and the defence Minister.
On reaching the specially erected podium, the president unfurls the national flag. The Republic day parade begins soon after this. The march is led by heroes of war, the members of armed forces who have received gallantry awards followed by the young boys and girls who have won National Bravery Awards for that year.
Soldiers from different wings of the armed forces, units of paramilitary and police forces march to the tune of the military band. The President takes the salute. A colourful march-past by helicopters and aeroplanes makes the ceremony most spectacular. Folk dances by cultural troupes and various performances are put up by school children to keep the audience spellbound.
The tableaux of states depicting the cultural wonders of the states follow the school children. The procession lasts for several hours and finally ends up at Red Fort. Hundreds of people from far off places come to watch the charming show of military might and national glory.
In the evening, the Raisina Hill, where the Rashtrapathi Bhavan is situated is illuminated, presenting a glittering sight. The Republic Day celebrations last three days and come to an end on the evening of 28th January with the Beating of the Retreat ceremony. It is an impressive ceremony put up by our armed forces. Grand Republic day celebrations are also organised in various state capitals, district headquarters and at the Block and Panchayat levels which are attended by the general public.
Republic day marks the birth of our nation. It is a great day for all of us. It is a day of remembrance, thanksgiving, and rejoicing. It is a day to remember and keep alive the fond memories of national heroes who have shed their blood for the freedom of our nation.
It is also a day of national pledge when we decided to make our country, sovereign, democratic, and republic. A great deal more remains to be done, to achieve this pledge. It is up to you and me to redeem this pledge and make our nation truly democratic and republic.