72nd Republic Day 2021: This year India will be celebrating 72nd Republic Day on 26 January and is a National holiday. On 26 January, 1950, India adopted its Constitution and celebrates the transition of India from a British Dominion to a republic.
The Term Republic
- The word republic is derived from the Latin phrase- RES PUBLICA meaning ‘public affair’ which is the root of the word republic.
- Earliest form of democratic government was seen in the Roman Republic; however which cannot be equated with the modern sense of the term.
- Plato’s work The Republic is a pioneer work on philosophy, political theory concerning justice, the order and character of the just city-state, and the just man.
- India too in a very vague sense witnessed some form of democratic rule during the post-Vedic period with several Mahajanapadas following republican form of government such as Kamboja, Kuru, and Malla etc.
On 15 August 1947, India got independence, and that time India was headed by King George VI till the Constitution of India came into force that is on 26 January, 1950. This is the day when India declared itself a democratic republic nation. The first President of India was Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
Let us tell you that Republic Day of India is celebrated with the salute of 21 guns and the unfurling of the Indian National flag by the President of India. We know India became Independent from British rule on 15th August 1947 and adopted Constitution on 26 January, 1950 by declaring ourselves as a Sovereign, Democratic and Republic state. Every year, 26 January is celebrated with immense pride & happiness all over the country.
the Origin of Republic Day:
When India became Independent on 15th August 1947, our country did not have its Constitution and in total it was dependent on the colonial Government of India Act, 1935. Until the adoption of the Constitution in 1950 India’s head was King George VI. But before this, a seed of the Indian republican nation was sown by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru in the Lahore Session of INC (Indian National Congress). Now, let us see the Lahore Session in detail.
Lahore Session of Indian National Congress
The seeds of the republic nation were disseminated at the Lahore conference of Indian National Congress at midnight of December 31st, 1929. The session was held under the administration of Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. Nationalists present at the summit took an oath to mark January 26th as “Independence Day” to march towards realizing the vision of absolute independence from the British. The Lahore Session lined the way to the Civil Disobedience Movement. It was made certain that 26th January, 1930 would be observed as the Purna Swaraj Day and unfurled the tri-colour flag by taking a pledge to celebrate complete Independence Day every year on 26 January. Numerous political parties of India and revolutionaries of India from all over India united to observe the day with honor and pride.
Second is Cabinet Mission Plan:
The cabinet mission was arrived on March 24, 1946 and was composed of three Cabinet Ministers of England they were:
(i) Sir Pethick Lawrence, Secretary of State for India.
(ii) Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade.
(iii) Alexander, the First Lord of the Admiralty.
Do you know the main objective of this mission?
– To devise machinery for making up the Constitution of India.
– Arrangements for Interim Government.
– There shall be the Union of India which was to be empowered to deal with the defence foreign affairs and communications.
– The Cabinet mission did not accept the demand for Pakistan.
– Restricted Communal Representation.
– All the members of the Interim Cabinet would be Indian with minimum interference by the Viceroy.
– Other than Union Subjects all the residuary powers will be vested with the Provinces.
– The representatives of Provincial Assemblies and the Princely States would be formed by a Constituent Assembly and provincial legislatures were grouped into three sections.
Group A: Hindu dominated population area like Madras, UP, Central provinces, Bombay, Bihar & Orissa
Group B: Muslim-dominated population area like Punjab, Sindh, NWFP, Baluchistan.
Group C: Hindu and Muslim both like Assam and Bengal.
Here, it is to be noted that whether the Cabinet Mission did not accept the demand of Pakistan but grouped the Provinces in such a way that indirectly supported the idea of Pakistan. As a result, Congress accepted the plan, Muslim League first accepted and later on July 29 rejected it and call for an Action Day for achieving Pakistan. August 16, 1946 was fixed as Direct Action Day.
Thirdly, Indian Constituent Assembly Meetings
Indian Constituent Assembly, which was formed as a consequence of the discussions between the Indian leaders & members of the British Cabinet Mission, had its 1st meeting on December 9, 1946. The purpose of the Assembly was to present India a Constitution, which would serve as a lasting principle & hence selected a number of committees to methodically explore an assortment of aspects of the projected constitution. The recommendations were debated, discussed & revised many times before the Indian Constitution was confirmed & officially adopted 3 years later on 26th November, 1949.
Fourth is when Constitution came into power
Although India became a free nation on 15th August, 1947, it enjoyed the true strength of Independence on 26th January, 1950 when the Indian Constitution finally came into force. The Constitution gave the Indian citizens the power to administer themselves by opting for their own government. Dr. Rajendra Prasad took oath as the 1st President of India. Ever since the remarkable day, 26th January is distinguished with festivities & patriotic zeal all around the nation. The day owes its significance to the Indian constitution that was espoused on this day.
Importance of Republic Day
- Although India became a free nation on August 15, 1947, it enjoyed the true spirit of Independence on January 26, 1950 when the Constitution of India finally came into force giving India its political freedom.
- On this day India shed the last relic of colonial system and effected a new dawn by becoming a Sovereign Democratic Republic.
Sovereign, Democratic, Republic
- Sovereign – The word ‘sovereign’ implies that India is neither a dependency nor a dominion of any other nation, but an independent state. There is no authority above it, and it is free to conduct its own affairs.
- Democratic – is based on the doctrine of popular sovereignty, that is, possession of supreme power by the people.
- Republic – Preamble indicates that India has an elected head called the president. He is elected indirectly for a fixed period of five years.
- The day is an occasion to commemorate the values of our democracy and Republic, to reaffirm our commitment to liberty, fraternity and equality across our society and among all our citizens.
- The day celebrates the desire of a huge nation that wanted to be governed through one single constitution giving another example of India’s unity in diversity.
- Few provisions of the constitution came into power before 26th January 1950, i.e. on 26th November 1949.
- Provisions related to citizenship, elections, provisional parliament, temporary and transitional provisions, and short title contained in Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391, 392 and 393 came into force on November 26, 1949 itself.