- The Republic Day marks the day when the Constitution of India came into force. But it was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949.
2. Then, why Jan 26...?
- January 26 was being chosen as the Republic Day to commemorate the ‘Purna Swaraj' (complete Independence) declaration taken on that date by the Indian National Congress at Lahore in 1930.
3. Parade Route ...
- One of the highlights of the Republic Day is the grand parade in New Delhi. The traditional parade route is from Raisina Hill to the Red Fort along the Rajpath and past India Gate.
- Prior to the parade, the Prime Minister lays a wreath at the memorial , ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti' below the India Gate, in sombre remembrance for all those soldiers who were martyred.
- When the President unfurls the National Flag, 21 guns boom out in salute.
- The gallantry award winners Victoria Cross, Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra lead the parade with the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces taking salute.
- One of the most cheered sections of the parade is when some chosen children astride elephants pass the dais. These children are National Bravery Award winners.
- An impressive fly-past by IAF aircraft concludes the parade in New Delhi on January 26.
9. 3 Days Festival...
- The Republic Day celebration is a three day extravaganza
- On January 27, selected NCC cadets who display various breath-taking performances and drill hold the Prime Minister's rally
11. Last Day...
- 'Beating the Retreat' ceremony at Vijay Chowk on January 29 that officially denotes the end of Republic Day festivities.
- ‘Abide With Me', the hymn, written by Henry Francis Lyte and said to be Mahatma Gandhi's favourite, played at the above ceremony.
13. The End
- The Republic Day celebration come to a formal end on January 29 at 6 p.m., buglers sound the retreat, the National Flag is lowered and the National Anthem is sung.
Anyway, I opine that....
The 60th anniversary of India becoming a republic has come and gone. Fireworks, salutes to the tiranga, distribution of awards, parades, display of our military might and what not. But the real issue amid the festivities seems to have been lost somewhere. We boast that we have been a democracy for six decades — and point out that the same is not true of our neighbours — but are we truly democratic? Have we lived up to the ideals cherished in the Constitution?
Our foreign policy changes according to the dictates of Washington; education has been commercialised; there is too much privatisation; there has been a decline in vital subsidies; we have blatantly failed to instil confidence among the minorities and are yet to fulfil the people’s regional aspirations. We can, at best, celebrate Republic Day as yet another festival.
Politicians have mastered the technique of purchasing the illiterate masses on the eve of elections and use state funds to market their party to the same masses by offering freebies. Those who can change the system refrain from voting due to frustration and, in some cases, fear. Our democracy is the best bet for Swiss banks.
PS: I will add all the suggested additional facts , if any, from the readers. Thank You.