India celebrated its 75th Republic Day today, with President Droupadi Murmu leading the parade and French President Emmanuel Macron as the chief guest on January 26th, 2024 in India’s capital, New Delhi.
The day marks the anniversary of India officially adopting its constitution, making it a sovereign republic. The parade, held in the capital, Delhi, went through the avenue of Kartavya Path (Path of Duty), formerly known as the Rajpath, which connects many important landmarks in the city. It culminated at the Red Fort, a 7th Century monument, about 7km (4.3 miles away).
The day celebrated Nari Shakti (women power), among others, and was marked by a series of firsts, from an all-women tri-service contingent to the reinstatement of the parade buggy.
Part of the parade is a display of the country’s cultural heritage as well as its military might. This year, President Murmu and her French counterpart Macron arrived at the Kartavya Path in New Delhi in a ‘traditional buggy’. For the first time, a French army contingent marched alongside counterparts from the Indian army, navy, air force, and paramilitary troops.
The themes for the parade were ‘Viksit Bharat’ (developed India) and ‘Bharat – Loktantra Ki Matruka’ or India – the mother of democracy.
India’s Republic Day, observed annually on January 26, marks a significant moment in the nation’s history. This day is not only about extravagant parades and tributes to the armed forces but is also a celebration of the finalization of the Indian Constitution. Without this foundational document, India wouldn’t have achieved the greatness it embodies today.
After gaining independence on August 15, 1947, India remained under the British Commonwealth, with the UK’s monarch as its head of state.
But the leaders of India’s independence movement, including Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, believed the country should be a sovereign, democratic republic. After Mr Nehru became the first prime minister of an independent India, his government began to draft a constitution.
The constitution was officially adopted on January 26, 1950.
Interesting facts about India’s Republic Day
As the 75th anniversary of India’s Republic Day approaches, the country gets ready to commemorate this historic day by showcasing the country’s military strength, rich cultural diversity, unity, achievement and progress.
Going back in time, the Indian constitution went into effect on January 26, 1950, and history continued to be written. The Constitution of India is crucial for citizens to follow as it acts as a legal and political structure, and also as a sign of democracy, justice, and individual rights.
Let us examine some fascinating facts about this auspicious day:
Dr. B.N. Rau, an Indian civil servant and constitutional adviser, was the first to draft India’s constitution. Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar is known as the father of the Indian constitution.
The Drafting Committee which was established by the Constituent Assembly on August 29, 1947, was led by Ambedkar. The Indian Constitution is recognized as the world’s longest-written constitution.
The Republic Day parade is the centre of attention, drawing large crowds of spectators eager to see the amazing demonstration of India’s military prowess, cultural variety, and accomplishments.On January 26, 1950, India’s first President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, unfurled the country’s flag.The inaugural Republic Day parade was held in 1950 at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi, which had previously been known as Irwin Amphitheatre.The National Anthem, “Jana Gana Mana,” was originally composed as Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata in Bengali by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore on 11 December 1911.
On January 24, 1950, only the first stanza of the hymn Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata was adopted as India’s National Anthem, which is sung during Republic Day celebrations.With the themes of ‘Viksit Bharat’ and ‘Bharat – Loktantra ki Matruka’, the 75th Republic Day Parade at Kartavya Path on January 26, 2024 will be women-centric.As a first, the 2024 parade is to be heralded by 100 women artists with Indian musical instruments; 16 States/UTs and nine Ministries/Organisations tableaux. (IANS)