Why do we celebrate the Republic Day on January 26?
Republic Day parade is preceded by the Prime Minister laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti and taking a moment of silence to commemorate martyrs.
India had achieved independence from Britain on August 15, 1947 (which is celebrated as Independence Day), but for its first three years the country remained governed largely by the colonial Government of India Act of 1935.
Shortly after Independence, a constituent assembly elected by provincial assemblies went about drafting a constitution that would govern the newly independent nation.
Dr BR Ambedkar was appointed the chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution. He later began to be known as the father of the Indian Constitution.
After more than two years, the constitution of India was completed and it was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26 November 1949 and became effective on 26 January 1950.
January 26 was chosen as the official enactment date as a nod to the Purna Swaraj (complete self-rule) declaration of independence by the Indian National Congress in 1930 — considered the first concrete step toward independence from Britain.
The document lays down the framework that demarcates fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens.
It is the longest written constitution of any country.
With it, the country was officially known as the Republic of India — a “sovereign socialist secular democratic republic” that “secures all its citizens justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity,” according to its preamble.
The original 1950 constitution is preserved in a helium-filled case at the Parliament House in New Delhi. The words “secular” and “socialist” were added to the preamble by 42nd amendment act in 1976, during the Emergency.
The main event for Republic Day is a massive parade held in New Delhi, which includes cultural, historical, and military displays. The parade is preceded by the Prime Minister laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti and taking a moment of silence to commemorate martyrs.