Indian Republic Day is the day when “We, the People of India,” celebrate democracy, diversity, and the collective spirit of India. As the nation is gearing up for the grand celebrations of the 75th Indian Republic Day on 26th January 2024, let’s delve into various aspects of this momentous occasion.
About Republic Day of India
Indian Republic Day is a national festival of India that commemorates the enactment of the Constitution of India, which occurred on January 26, 1950. It is celebrated annually on 26th January and marks the day when the Constitution of India came into effect, making India a sovereign republic.
Historical Background of Indian Republic Day
The historical context of Republic Day of India goes back to India’s struggle for independence. Though India gained independence on 15th August 1947, it did not yet have its own constitution. Instead, its laws and governance system continued to be based on a modified version of the Government of India Act of 1935.
On 29th August 1947, a resolution was moved in the Constituent Assembly for the appointment of a Drafting Committee to draft a permanent constitution of India. Accordingly, the Drafting Committee was appointed under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The Committee introduced the final draft of the Constitution in the Constituent Assembly on 4th November 1948.
After many deliberations and some modifications, the Draft Constitution was declared as passed by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November 1949. A few provisions of the Constitution came into force on 26th November 1949 itself. However, the major part of the Constitution came into force on 26th January 1950. It was on that date that India truly became a sovereign republic.
The occasion on 26th January 1950 was marked by a salute of 21 guns and the unfurling of the Indian National Flag by Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Thereafter, 26th January was recognized as the Republic Day of India.
26th January was specifically chosen as the ‘date of commencement’ of the Constitution because it was on this day in 1930 that Purna Swaraj Day was celebrated, following the resolution of the Lahore Session (December 1929) of the INC.
Chronological Order of Events during Republic Day Celebrations
Though Indian Republic Day is celebrated across the country, the main event takes place in the national capital – New Delhi. A series of events unfold as the celebrations proceed. These events are listed below chronologically:
|The Republic Day Celebrations begin on 23rd January (Parakram Divas or the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose).
a. Prior to 2022, the Indian Republic Day Celebrations used to begin on 24th January. However, in the year 2022, the government changed the start date to 23rd January to include the birth anniversary of Netaji as part of the Republic Day Celebrations.
|Republic Day Speech
|Just one day preceding the Republic Day, the President of India addresses the nation. This address, usually known as the 26 January Republic Day Speech, outlines the nation’s achievements, challenges, and vision for the future.
|Wreath-Laying at the Amar Jawan Jyoti
|Early morning on Republic Day, the Prime Minister pays homage at the Amar Jawan Jyoti war memorial. This marks a symbolic start to the day’s official commemorations.
|The Unfurling of the National Flag
|The President arrives at the Kartavya Path (formerly known as Rajpath) and unfurls the national flag. This is followed by the playing of the National Anthem a 21-Gun Salute.
The Republic Day Parade
The commences after the unfurling of the national flag and forms the main part of the Republic Day Celebrations. Some of the major highlights of the parade include:
|Marching contingents from the Indian Armed Forces and Paramilitary Forces.
|Motorcycle stunts by ‘Dare Devils’
|Vibrant tableaux representing different States/UTs of India as well as departments/ministries of the government.
|Folk dance troupes from various states.
|Mesmerizing fly-past by various aircraft of the Indian Air Force conclude the parade.
|Bestowing of Padma Awards and Gallantry Awards
|On the evening of the Republic Day, the President of India confers prestigious Padma Awards and Gallantry Awards to the respective awardees.
|Beating Retreat Ceremony and Conclusion
|The Beating Retreat Ceremony is held on 29th January and marks the conclusion of the Republic Day Celebrations.
The 75th Republic Day of India 2024
India is commemorating its 75th Republic Day on January 26, 2024. Being the 75th anniversary of Republic Day, it is going to be an extra special affair. The events planned and the themes they are based upon promise to be a grand celebration of the country’s progress, democracy, and rich cultural heritage.
The sections that follow explain various aspects of the India Republic Day Celebrations 2024.
Themes of Republic Day Celebrations 2024
- The themes of the 75th Republic Day 2024 are: ‘Viksit Bharat’ and ‘Bharat – Loktantra ki Matruka’.
- These themes have been selected in line with the honorable PM Shri Narendra Modi’s views that ‘India is truly a mother of democracy’.
- These themes will be reflected in the tableaux presented by various states and government departments, showcasing India’s progress in various sectors like technology, infrastructure, and cultural heritage.
Major Highlights of the 75th Indian Republic Day Celebrations 2024
A Women-Centric Republic Day Parade
- The 75th Republic Day 2024 Parade at Kartavya Path will be women-centric and women marching contingents will form the major chunk of the parade.
- For the first time, the parade will commence with 100 women artists playing Indian musical instruments such as Sankh, Naadswaram, Nagada, etc.
- The parade will also witness an all-women Tri-Service Contingent marching down Kartavya Path for the first time.
- The CAPF contingents will also consist of women personnel.
- Overall, the India Republic Day Parade 2024 has been designed in a manner to showcase the best representation of women in the Republic Day Parade to date.
French Participation in the Republic Day Parade
- A 33-member band contingent and 95-member marching contingent from France will also take part in the 75th Indian Republic Day Parade 2024.
- Along with the aircraft of the Indian Air Force, the French Air Force, with its one Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft and two Rafale aircraft, will also participate in the fly-past this year.
Farmers as Special Guests
- In a first, about 1,500 farmers and their spouses have been invited as special guests for the Republic Day Parade 2024.
- They consist of farmer representatives of Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs), beneficiaries of PM-KISAN and micro irrigation schemes.
- This invitation has been extended keeping in line with the Government’s vision of Jan Bhagidari.
- The objective of inviting the farmers is to provide people from all walks of life an opportunity to take part in the national festival.
- A total of 25 tableaux from 16 States/UTs and 9 Ministries/Departments will participate in the parade.
Textile Installation ‘Anant Sutra – The Endless Thread’
- As part of the Republic Day Celebrations 2024, the Ministry of Culture will be showcasing a textile installation named ‘Anant Sutra – The Endless Thread’ at Kartavya Path.
- As a visually stunning tribute to the Indian Saree, this unique installation will showcase nearly 1,900 sarees and drapes from across the country.
- The textiles so installed will have QR codes that can be scanned to know the details about weaving and embroidery arts used in them.
Commemorative Coin & Stamp
- The Ministry of Defense will release a Commemorative Coin and Commemorative Stamp during the celebrations.
National School Band Competition
- As part of the Republic Day Celebrations 2024, a National School Band Competition was conducted at the All-India level.
- It was aimed to evoke feelings of patriotism, unity, and national pride among the school children.
Vande Bharatam 3.0
- The organization of Vande Bharatam 3.0, the third edition of the Vande Bharatam dance competition, also formed a part of Republic Day Celebrations 2024. Groups of women artists selected from this competition will carry out a performance at the Kartavya Path during the Republic Day Parade 2024.
Veer Gatha 3.0
- The Ministry of Defence in collaboration with the Ministry of Education organized the third edition of Project Veer Gatha as a part of Republic Day Celebrations 2024.
- A total of 100 school students, called ‘Super-100’, have been declared winners, who will attend the 75th India Republic Day Parade 2024.
- Veer Gatha is a pan-India initiative that was introduced at Azadi ka Amrit Mohatsav to educate school children about the valorous deeds and sacrifices made by the armed services.
- The Ministry of Tourism will organize ‘Bharat Parv’ at the Red Fort, Delhi.
- Reflecting the ‘Jan Bhagidari’ theme, it will showcase Republic Day Tableaux, cultural performances, performances by the Military Bands, Crafts Bazaar as well as Food Courts serving pan India cuisines.
- The organization of the event named Parakram Diwas at Red Fort by the Ministry of Culture is also planned as part of the India Republic Day Celebrations 2024.
- It will be based on the life of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
- Various activities planned during the event include 3-D projection mapping/light & sound show, projection mapping with plays/dance performances, etc.
Beating Retreat Ceremony
- The culmination of the 75th Republic Day 2024 Celebrations will be marked by the Beating Retreat Ceremony, to be held at Vijay Chowk on January 29, 2024
- It will witness all Indian tunes being played by bands of the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, and CAPFs.
- As part of the Beating Retreat Ceremony, an online competition will be held wherein people can sing or play Indian tunes, highlighting the patriotism and sacrifices of soldiers, and upload them on MyGov Portal. Top entries will be given rewards.
Chief Guest of the 75th Indian Republic Day 2024
The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, has been invited as the chief guest at India’s Republic Day Celebrations 2024. This is the 6th time that a French leader will be the chief guest on the Indian Republic Day.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was the chief guest at the Republic Day 2023 last year.
Interesting Facts about the Republic Day Chief Guest
|– The Chief Guest of the first Republic Day Parade in 1950 was President Sukarno of Indonesia.
– The visit of the Chief Guest to Indian Republic Day celebrations is full of symbolism and serves as a powerful tool to forge and renew ties between India and the invitee nation. Thus, it has a greater political and diplomatic significance as well.
– The process of selecting the chief guest for Republic Day Celebrations starts nearly six months in advance of the event. After a lot of considerations and formalities, a final decision is made.
– The considerations that are taken into account before extending the invitation are:
a. The nature of the relationship between India and the country concerned.
b. Political, commercial, military, and economic interests of India. The Government of India seeks to use the occasion to strengthen ties with the country of the invitee in all these respects.
c. A historical factor that has been playing a role in the choice of the Chief Guest is the association with the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
Importance of Republic Day Celebration
The varied importance of the Republic Day Celebration can be seen as follows:
|Commitment to Constitutional Values
|As a day commemorating the birth of the Indian Republic, it reflects the nation’s unwavering commitment to democratic ideals of Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.
|Celebration of Cultural Heritage
|The cultural events, forming an important part of the India Republic Day Celebration, showcase traditional dances, folk music, and art forms from various regions of India. All these highlight India’s cultural diversity as well as cultural richness.
|Education and Inspiration
|As a commemoration of an important political milestone, the Republic Day Celebration educates the younger generation about the fundamental philosophy and values on which our Constitution is based. Along with this, they also instill a sense of civil responsibility and patriotism among the citizens and inspire them to contribute to our nation’s progress.
|Promotion of National Unity
|The cultural heritage, art forms, and achievements of various regions are shown by tableaux at the Republic Day Parade as well as the cultural extravaganza. Showcasing this huge diversity of ‘Kashmir to Kanyakumari’ on one platform acts as a powerful reminder of the basic feature of Indian society – ‘Unity in Diversity’.
|A Tribute to Valor and Sacrifice
|Republic Day is an occasion to remember the courage and sacrifice made by our valiant freedom fighters, which brought us freedom.
|A Day of Reflection
|The way events unfold as part of the celebration gives a glimpse of India’s incredible journey from overcoming the challenges as a newly born democratic republic to the progress made towards a more prosperous and inclusive nation. Thus, in a way, it acts as a day for introspection and reflection.
|Pledge for the Future
|Along with reflecting on the progress made by the nation, it serves as an opportunity to strengthen our commitments for the future. The emphasis on technological advancements, economic development, and social welfare during the celebrations acts as a pledge to work towards a more prosperous and inclusive nation.
|The Republic Day Parade provides the opportunity to showcase the military strength of our country. At the same time, the tableaux of government organizations showcase the developmental achievements made by the nation. All these send a strategic message to the world along with inculcating a sense of assurance in our countrymen.
|Strengthening India’s Diplomacy
|Republic Day Celebrations are usually marked by the presence of foreign dignitaries as well as media. The picture of India carried back by them helps foster international collaboration and India’s global standing.
More than just a commemoration of an important political milestone, the Indian Republic Day is a celebration of India’s journey, identity, and the democratic principles that bind its diverse population. It is a day to pay tribute to the sacrifices of the past, celebrate the achievements of the present, and envision a future where the nation towards progress and prosperity.
As the fervor of the 75th Republic Day 2024 celebrations dons upon the nation, NEXT IAS wishes you a Happy Republic Day!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Republic Day of India
What is Republic Day?
Republic Day of India is a national festival of our country that commemorates the enactment of the Constitution of India on January 26, 1950.
Why Do We Celebrate Republic Day?
Republic Day in India is celebrated to commemorate the day when the Constitution of India came into effect.
Why 26 January is Celebrated as Republic Day?
January 26 is celebrated as Republic Day in India because it was on this day in the year 1950 that the Constitution of India came into effect.