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Friday, January 25, 2008


It feels really happy and gives a sense of patriotism on this day, when India became a Republic, 58 years ago. Watching the Republic Day Parade, live from New Delhi, it felt really refreshing and rejuvenating. The various cultural and patriotic programmes were very colorful and pleasing to the eyes. I'm sure, the chief guest, Hon'ble President of Russia, Mr. Vladimir Putin, must have enjoyed it the most. The parade gave a glimpse of the various cultural and geographical diversity India has. The parade showed the different military and defence power we have, the different dance forms in India, the different sates of India and their cultures, and very colorful dances by the school children from Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kolkata, etc.

Republic Day – 58 years in india

Every year the 26th of January is celebrated as the Republic Day in India. Today is India's 58th Republic Day. While India gained political independence from the British empire on August 15, 1947; we formally adopted a democratic constitution and became a Republic on January 26, 1950. There is a curious bit of history behind this date. The Indian constitution was drafted by the Constituent Assembly, which was the body of elected representatives that governed India since independence. The Constituent Assembly passed the Indian Constitution on November 26, 1949. January 26 was deliberately chosen as the formal date of adoption of the constitution because it was on that day in 1930 that the Indian National Congress had symbolically declared "Poorna Swaraja" - complete independence- from Britain.

In some ways the Republic Day is more important than Independence day in my opinion. It was on this day that we chose the path we would take as a nation. We committed ourselves to the ideals of a liberal democracy. We chose to become a nation governed by laws - not men. Half a century later much remains to be done to fully achieve a true democracy in India. Politics in India is still dominated by caste equations, religion based vote banks and by parties which - while participating in the democratic process - are themselves highly un-democratic and governed by "supremos" and "high commands". When we adopted the constitution, we decided that India would be a "Sovereign Socialist Democratic Republic". The word "Secular" was added to that list later in 1976. Most of the socialist policies implemented since independence have been counter-productive and have posed a great impediment to progress in India. After India began dismantling some of those policies in the 1990s, India has seen significant economic growth. Secularism too has a long way to go in India.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Republic Day (India) Celebrations

To mark the importance of this occasion, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, New Delhi, from the Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace), along the Rajpath, past India Gate and on to the historic Red Fort. The different regiments of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force march past in all their finery and official decorations. The President of India who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. The parade also includes vibrant displays and floats and traditionally ends with a flypast by Indian Air Force jets.
Celebrations, though on a much smaller scale, are also held in state capitals, where the governor of the state unfurls the national flag. If the Governor of the state is unwell, or is unavailable for some reason, the Chief Minister of the state assumes the honor of unfurling the National Flag of India.

Republic Day (India)

The Republic Day of India is a national holiday of India to mark the transition of India from a British Dominion to a republic on January 26, 1950 and the adoption of the Constitution of India. It is one of the three national holidays in India. This is not to be confused with the Independence Day on August 15th.

Although India obtained its independence on August 15, 1947, the Constitution of India came into effect only on January 26, 1950. During the transition period from 1947 to 1950, King George VI was the head of state. C. Rajagopalachari served as the Governor-General of India during this period. Following January 26, 1950, Rajendra Prasad was elected as the first president of India.

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