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January 26 celebrations: How the word “Republic” has always been at the core of India’s making as a Nation?

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Republic Day of India is one of the three national festivals. It is celebrated with great pomp and sentiment across the nation.

Each year, January 26 honours the work of several Constitution makers who delved deeper into world constitutions to come up with one for the newly-created Republic– India in 1950.

We celebrate January 26 as India’s Republic Day; it is the day when the Constitution of India came into effect replacing the Government of India Act (1935). The nation adopted its own Constitution and that’s how India became a Republic on 26 January.

In the year 1947 on 19 August, a resolution was moved for the appointment of the Drafting Committee that was responsible to draft a constitution. Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar was chosen as its chairman.

India became independent on 15 August 1947, but it was still governed as per the Government of India Act 1935.

So, with the adoption of our Constitution on January 26, 1950, did we become a Republic; thereby completely self-ruled or Purna Swaraj.

Celebrations for Republic Day begin on January 24.

Every year, the President of India addresses the nation on the eve of Republic Day.

Before the main celebration of Republic Day begins, the Prime Minister of India lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, which is followed by two minutes of silence to pay respect to the fallen soldiers of India.

Meaning of the word Republic

We all know about the Constitution and January 26 but have you ever wondered about the meaning of this term called “Republic?”

It means a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives; a republic state has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.

This term ‘Republic’ may also be applied to any form of government in which the head of state is not a hereditary monarch.

The word Republic is derived from the Latin expression res publica (“the public thing”).

It was during the 17th and 18th centuries that the meaning of a republic shifted.

Republic, these days, reflects a form of government in which the leader is periodically appointed under a constitution.

The significance of this word finds mention in the Preamble to the Constitution of India. When it comes to understanding India as a nation, January 26th will also be at the centre of it all.

This year, the Republic Day celebrations began on January 23. The central government marked the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose as the beginning of the Republic Day celebrations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also unveiled a hologram statue of Bose at the India Gate in Delhi.

In the wake of Covid-19 guidelines issued by the Delhi Police, those attending the Republic Day parade must be fully vaccinated. Also, children below 15 years of age will not be allowed to attend the function. Visitors must carry proof of vaccination.

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Hina Fatima Khan
Hina Fatima Khan
Multi-media Journalist based in India with an experience of 7 years in the industry, Hina Fatima Khan works as a Senior Sub-Editor at The Vocal News. Her areas of interest are Politics, Business, History and World Affairs. She is also a Space enthusiast and enjoys scrabble in the Newspapers. She has done Masters in Convergent Journalism from Mass communication Research Centre (MCRC), Jamia Millia Islamia University.

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