Headline : When India became republic
Why in News?
- India is celebrating its 69th Republic Day.
History of Republic day
- Republic Day in India is a day to remember when India’s constitution came into force on January 26, 1950, completing the country’s transition toward becoming an independent republic.
- India acquired its long cherished independence on 15th August, 1947, after British government decided to lay down all claims of the Indian dominion.
- Post-independence, it was vital for India to frame a set of guidelines to abide by.
- Behind all these rosy and promising state of affairs, there was underlying the extreme dark side of post-independence India, in the terrible fate of Partition of India into India and Pakistan.
- Indian government post-independence was to behave in a secular and sovereign manner, taking decisions pertaining to economy, foreign relations, border security and the likes.
- Keeping these sublime facts to mind and looking towards establishing India as a respected free nation worldwide, the country adopted its one of a kind Constitution on 26th November, 1949.
- The Constituent Assembly of India adopted the Constitution of India, drafted by a colossal committee, headed by the enigmatic B.R. Ambedkar.
- India from then onwards became a federal, democratic republic after its Constitution came to effect on January 26, 1950, the day which was declared henceforth as Republic Day.
- The date of 26th January was chosen in honour of the Purna Swaraj declaration of independence of 1930.
Constitution of India
- It is a document constituting the fundamental political principles, procedures, powers, duties of Government institutions and the fundamental rights, directive principles and duties of the citizens of the country.
- It is the longest written Constitution in the world and there have been several amendments subsequently to this living document.
Solemnization of Republic Day
- Republic Day is marked with paying tributes to the Armed Forces through military parades in
- New Delhi at Rajpath and other State capitals.
- Regiments of Indian Army, Navy and Air Force march past in all their finery with the President of India, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces taking the salute.
- It is a day dedicated to honour all those brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the Nation with medals and bravery awards.
- It is a time for our Armed Forces to display the country’s artillery and any new additions to it during the year.
- The vibrant tableaus are displayed; each of them showcasing the cultural intricacies of their State during the Republic Day parade is a feast for eyes.
- Our immortal principle of “Unity in Diversity” is best represented in this enriching parade of State-wise tableaus.
- Our tricolor- National Flag is hoisted in the Capital and in State Capitals on this day enumerates the struggles of our innumerable fellow country-men who have sacrificed their lives to get us a country free of bondage from foreign force.
Guest of Honour
- Guest of Honour for the occasion is usually a Head of a State of another country and the selection of the guest depends on the strategic, economic and political interests of India each year.
- It is directed towards building up good relations with countries in the world and strengthening the already existing cordial relationships with certain other nations.
- Inviting the then American President, Barack Obama in 2015, initiated an era of trust between the two nations while inviting the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed in 2017 deepened our ties with United Arab Emirates in terms of infrastructure investment, trade and geopolitics along with restraining the lurking terror threat in the world.
- This year, for the first time in the history of India, the leaders of all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries will be Chief Guests on the Republic Day.
- The list includes heads of the states of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
- Beating the retreat is the splashy concluding ceremony at Vijay Chowk that marks the end of Republic Day celebrations held in the evening of the third day of Republic Day, on 29th of January every year.
- The retreat with the Chief Guest as President of India is a witness to a brilliant display of Military Bands, Pipe and Drum Bands, Buglers and Trumpeters from various Army, Navy and Air Force Regiments.
- The tunes to the like of Sare Jahan Se Achcha fill the air with nationalistic fervor and coagulate the dutifulness in the minds of Indians.
Post Independence struggle
- In spite of various measures being taken to uplift the country after independence, dark forces still hovered around, in the form of the Jammu & Kashmir issue and its delimitations, one of the primary causes that lead to the Indo-China War in 1962.
- Additional Kashmir conflicts erupted in the form of Indo-Pak War in 1971, wherein Pakistan had dangerously come down onto Indian control line-ups, forcing Indian Army to take dire measures.
- The 1971 Indo Pak War was won by Indian brave hearts.
- Industrialisation and commercialisation of technology and general goods product was another domain that was laid primary emphasis by the post-independence Indian government to verily influence foreign trade and import.
- Despite the narrow basis and the class constraints on the democratic system in a developing capitalist society, it is creditable that parliamentary democracy has retained its vitality over the years.
- This is mainly due to the people and their struggles and democratic movements.
- One of the major achievements of independent India is the parliamentary democratic system that was instituted along with a Republican Constitution.
- The Constitution provided the scope for people’s participation and a voice in politics, which reflects the aspirations of the Indian people in their struggle for national independence.
- The participation of ordinary people in the elections at all levels is marked by sustained enthusiasm.
- But the political system cannot be said to have transformed the lives of people.
- The assurances of securing their livelihood, abolition of poverty and the structures of exploitation providing equity with economic growth were still a long way to go.
The current Government is taking up many new socio-economic, political and cultural reforms for the citizens of India. Few of them are:
- Focussing on the issue of unemployment through encouraging start-ups with Make in India initiative
- Welfare of farmers
- Swachch Bharath initiative
- Women empowerment
- It is very apt that as citizens of a country with myriad cultures, we assure to remain united and acknowledge the sacrifices made by the soldiers in the Armed Forces, empathize with their integrity and contribute our bit for the betterment of our society and our Nation.
- This re-assurance to the self and to the fellow countrymen is the minimum we could do as responsible citizens of one of the largest democracies of the world.
Section : Polity & Governance