New Delhi: India is celebrating its 71st Republic Day today (January 26) marking it with grand celebrations in the national capital and all across the nation. The Republic Day is celebrated to honour the historic date when the country completed its transition towards becoming an independent republic after its constitution came into effect.
While the Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, it came into effect on January 26 — a day when Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) was proclaimed by the Indian National Congress back in 1929, as opposed to the Dominion status offered by the British Regime.
When the country became independent on August 14, 1947, it still didn’t have a permanent constitution; instead, its laws were based on the modified colonial Government of India Act 1935.
Two weeks later, on December 29, a Drafting Committee was appointed to draft a permanent constitution, with Dr BR Ambedkar as its chairman. 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.
The day is celebrated across India with a lot of fervour. The main Republic Day celebration is held in the national capital, New Delhi, at the Rajpath before the President of India.
This year, amid the presence of Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro in the national capital to represent the 71st Republic Day Parade of India as a chief guest, the country is all set to showcase its military might, cultural diversity, social and economic progress on display at the majestic Rajpath.
The 90-minutes parade will commence with President Ram Nath Kovind taking the 21-gun salute. The march will begin at 1000 hours from Vijay Chowk to the Red Fort, via the traditional route of Rajpath.