India celebrates its Republic Day on the 26th. January, to mark the day when it became a sovereign republic. While India gained its independence from the British in 1947, it took three long years for the Indian Constitution to came into effect and India became a republic sovereign state.
The country celebrates Republic day with a lot of enthusiasm and ardour. In the national capital New Delhi, Indian Army, Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force come together for a magnificent display of strength and valour. The defence forces, police and paramilitary forces march together at Rajpath. The defence ministry showcases its latest weaponry, along with tableaus from each state and union territory, exhibiting the diverse beauty of the country.
India: A Sovereign, Democratic and Republic Nation
Though India won its independence from the British on 15th. August 1947, it declared itself a Republic, Sovereign and Democratic state on 26th. January 1950. Republic day celebrates the replacement of the Government of India Act (1935) to the Indian Constitution.
The Indian Constitution
The Constitution of India- the largest written constitution of the world, was drafted by a seven-member constituent assembly under the leadership of Dr B R Ambedkar. It took an ardour two years, eleven months and seventeen years to draft the 395 Articles and eight schedules of the Indian Constitution.
What is a Sovereign State?
The Preamble of India declares the country as a Sovereign state free from any dependency. Sovereign India is independent to take her own decisions, for the betterment of her people and territories without any internal/ external restrictions.
Thus, being a free sovereign country India has the power and authority to rule its subjects, manage its own security and assert its Sovereignty against any outside powers or nations.
Why is India a Democratic State?
India is a parliamentary republic headed by the President who is the Head of State, and the Prime Minister who is the Head of Government. Democracy lets the citizens decide and choose representatives from themselves to form a governing body, such as a parliament. No one can inherit the democratic powers rather citizens stand in an election and vote for their representative by the “rule of the majority”.
Why is Sovereign State?
A republic state has an elected head rather than a monarch. In a “Republic” state the citizens and their elected representatives hold the power to choose their leaders who elect to represent them. India declared itself a Republic on 26th. January 1950, by formally adopting the constitution which laid down the entire structure for the Republic.
How does India Celebrate its Republic Day?
The Republic day is a three-day celebration from the 26th. to 29th. January. Celebrations begin with, the Prime Minister (PM) of India showing his/her respect at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate. The PM lays a wreath in memory of all members of the armed forces who gave up their life for the country. It is followed by a 21-gun salute, unfurling of the National Flag and singing of the National Anthem. Paramvir Chakra, Ashok Chakra and Vir Chakra bravery awards are presented to gallantry award winners. Followed by a march-past of different regiments of the armed forces, police, Home Guards and National Cadet Corps. The Republic Day salute is taken by the President of India, who is the supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces. A vibrant parade displays tableaux from different States and UT’s. Cultural dances by patriotic school children follow next.
Young winners of the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar ride on decorated elephants. Daredevil motorcycle display followed by a flypast by Indian Air Force fighter jets over Rajpath, concludes the Republic Day Parade.
All-important government buildings are beautifully decorated from the 26th to 29th. Beating the Retreat ceremony marks the formal culmination of the four-day-long Republic Day celebrations. Conducted on the evening of 29th January, the President of India is the chief guest of the function. Various Army Regiments, bands from each of the Navy and Air Force also perform during the ceremony. At exactly 6 pm, National Flag is lowered alongside the Indian National Anthem, Jana Mana, this brings the Republic Day celebrations to a formal end.
However, the ongoing pandemic has made the Republic day celebrations from previous years. This how India will celebrate its 72nd Republic Day-
- It will be the first major national public event since the COVID-19 outbreak.
- For the first time in over five decades, India will not have a chief guest at its Republic Day 2021 parade.
- In view of the pandemic, the celebrations will take place with a shorter parade route and less public participation.
- 25,000 spectators will be allowed to witness the celebrations as against a normal crowd of around one lakh. Young Children below aged below 15 will not be allowed entry. Marching contingents would be around 96 this year down from 144. Each member of the contingent will wear a mask to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
- The Republic day parade which usually covers a distance of 8.2 kilometres is expected cover only 3.3 km this year.
- The Union Territory of Ladakh will be participating for the first time. The Indian Astronomical Observatory, located at Hanle near Leh, one of the world’s highest sites for optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes will be showcased on the tableau.
- Over 2,000 Indian Army personnel participating in the parade are being kept in a “safe bubble” with almost “zero connectivity” with the outside world.
- More than 120 soldiers of the Bangladesh Armed Forces will be taking part in the parade. This is only the third time since Independence that a foreign military contingent has been invited to participate in the national parade.
- Besides the parade by recipients of the national bravery awards, the veterans’ parade by ex-servicemen and women, also has been called off because the elderly and children are more susceptible to contract COVID-19.
Gigadocs wishes all readers a very Happy Republic Day 2021. Be safe, practise social distancing and don’t forget your facemask when you go out. Download the Gigadocs app for expert medical consultations from the privacy of your home.
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