Republic Day is
India's great national festival. The Constitution of India has
been in effect since January 26, 1950, a date celebrated
annually as Republic Day in India. It is a national holiday in
India. To mark the importance of this occasion, It is celebrated
every year on January 26, in New Delhi with great pomp and
pageant and in capitals of the States, as well as at other
headquarters and important places with patriotic fervor.
It was the Lahore Session of the Indian National Congress at
midnight of December 31, 1929 - January 1, 1930, that the Tri-Colour
Flag was unfurled by the nationalists and a pledge taken that
every year on January 26, the "Independence Day" would be
celebrated and that the people would unceasingly strive for the
establishment of a Sovereign Democratic Republic of India.
pledge was successfully redeemed on January 26, 1950, when the
Constitution of India framed by the Constituent Assembly of India
came into force, although the Independence from the British rule
was achieved on August 15, 1947. It is because of this that August 15 is celebrated as Independence Day,
while January 26 as Republic Day.
To mark the
importance of this occasion, every year a grand parade is held
in the capital, from the Raisena 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 Armed Forces, takes the salute.
In the States, the
Governors take the salute, and in Taluqas and administrative
headquarters on same procedure is adopted. At Vijay Chowk in New
Delhi, three days later (i.e. 29th January) the massed bands of
the Armed Forces "Beat the Retreat" in a majestic manner.
The Republic Day celebrations have rightly become world
famous as one of the greatest shows on earth drawing thousands
of eager sight-seers from all over the country and many parts of
the world. No other country can draw on such a wealth of tribal
traditions and cultures, so many regional forms of dances and
dress. And, no other country in the world can parade so many
ethnically different people in splendid uniforms as India's
Armed Forces. But they are all united in their proven loyalty to
the Government elected by the people and in their proud
traditions and legendary gallantry.