The 26th of January marks as one of the most important days in the yearly calendar for every Indian. Celebrated as the Republic Day of India, it was on 26th January, 1950 that the country truly became a sovereign nation. Its significance in our daily lives is more than it being just a holiday. In fact, it wouldn't be wrong to say that this day is the reason for whatever we are today. Everything we have as a free-state today is because of this red-letter day. If today we have certain rights as citizens of India, it is because of the Constitution that was formed with utmost care. We might want to blame government for everything that goes wrong, but the Constitution remains flawless. It is the backbone of the country that holds it together. As such, Republic Day is celebrated with a lot of national fervor, zeal and enthusiasm.
Although we officially received independence from the British Raj by 1947, we had still no rules to live by. It was necessary to lay down certain laws for our land to create a livable society. Hence, 26 January 1950 was the day we when the Constitution of India was brought to force. The Constitution was drafted with Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar heading as the chairman of the Drafting Committee. It was not a simple thing to write the law that could be accepted by the diversity of India. The procedure started on 4 November 1947, when the first draft of the Constitution was submitted to the Assembly. It took 2 years, 11 months and 18 days with 166 open public sessions, for the assembly to adopt the final Constitution. This set of rules and regulations were passed as the law of the land on 26 November 1949 and were brought to complete effect on 26 January 1950. As such, this day is marked as the freedom attained in its entirety to the nation.
Celebrations and Rituals
The most important celebration of Republic Day is the Republic Day Parade. It is held at the India Gate in Delhi. The parade starts from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to Rajpath then to India Gate and finally ending at the Red Fort of Delhi. Patriotic songs are played. Jhaanki from all states with colorful vibrancies are displayed. There are cultural performances by the students and professionals. The President of India, along with other prominent leaders and dignitaries preside over the whole show. After all the rituals of the Republic Day, the national anthem is played with gun salutes to the National flag. Awards of honor like Veer Chakra, Param Veer Chakra and Maha Veer Chakra and so on are given to soldiers by the President of India. This program is aired live on Doordarshan, the national network of the country. In many schools colleges and government organizations, the national flag is hoisted early in the morning; followed by cultural programs. For schools, the government provides sweets to be distributed after the cultural programs are over. Parents are invited to these functions where their children perform on stage.
As mentioned earlier, Republic Day is celebrated on the 26th of January. It is an occasion that every nook and corner of the India celebrates. Be it a village, town, or city every place is drenched with the hues of the tri color. Most people wear flags as badges. Celebrities also come on stage under different banners and perform to honor the occasion.
Republic Day celebration in India is one of the most important festivals of India. It is the most popular Indian national holiday too.