Republic Day honors the date on which the Constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.
History : A salute of 21 guns and the unfurling of the Indian National Flag by Dr. Rajendra Prasad heralded the historic birth of the Indian Republic on that day. Thereafter 26th of January was decreed a national holiday and was recognised as the Republic Day of India.
The Constitution gave the citizens of India the power to choose their own government and paved the way for democracy. Dr. Rajendra Prasad took oath as the first President of India at the Durbar Hall in Government House and this was followed by the Presidential drive along a five-mile route to the Irwin Stadium, where he unfurled the National Flag.
Republic Day parade chief guest: Since 1950, India has been hosting head of state or government of another country as the state guest of honour for Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. During 1950-1954, Republic Day celebrations were organised at different venues (like Irwin Stadium, Kingsway, Red Fort and Ramlila Grounds). It was only starting 1955 when the parade in its present form was organised at Rajpath.The guest country is chosen after a deliberation of strategic, economic and political interests. During 1950s-1970s, a number of NAM and Eastern Bloc countries were hosted by India. In the post-Cold War era, India has also invited several Western leaders on a state visit during the Republic Day. It is notable that before India fought bloody wars with China and Pakistan, leaders from these countries were invited as state guests for the Republic Day celebrations. Interestingly, Pakistan Food and Agriculture Minister was the second state guest from that country for Republic Day in 1965, a few days after which the two countries went to a war. Countries which have been invited multiple times include India’s neighbours (Bhutan, and Sri Lanka), defence allies (Russia/USSR, France and Britain), trade partners (Brazil) and NAM allies (Nigeria and erstwhile Yugoslavia). France) has the distinction of being the guest of honour for the maximum (five) number of times followed by Bhutan with four visits and three visits each from Mauritius and USSR/Russia.
Republic Day 2016: A look at what is special this time:
The country is all set to celebrate its 67th Republic Day on Tuesday with preparations for the ceremonial parade in ‘Rajpath’ is almost over. One of the biggest highlights this year is that the President of France Francois Hollande will be attending the event as a chief guest amidst unprecedented security in the wake of the attack on Pathankot air force base.
Foreign army to participate in event for the first time:
For the first time since 1950, a foreign army contingent will march down the Rajpath during the Republic Day parade. The 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade has been practicing for the parade after it participated in an eight-day joint exercise of Indian and French troops from 8 January.
Army dogs to march after 26 years:
The major attractions this year which has already grabbed a lot of attention and raised the enthusiasm of people is that Indian Army dogs will march down the Rajpath on Tuesday after 26 long years.
Reportedly, the Army has selected 36 dogs out of total 1,200 Labradors and German Shepherds for the event. These canines are trained in jobs like detection of explosives, guarding, assaulting, etc, and play a vital role in saving lives of the soldiers at various occasions.
Indian republic day chief guest list:
As every year, the India would follow the great Indian culture and tradition “Atithi Devo Bhav” of welcoming the prime Minister of another country as a chief guest. Next year, the Republic Day 2016, the India may heartily welcome the France President, Francois Hollande, as a chief guest at the Indian Republic Day. Below is the list of all the chief guests welcomed in India at each Republic Day from the year India was declared as the Republic country till 2016:
Why do we celebrate Republic Day?
India became independent on 15th August 1947 but it did not have a permanent constitution. So the Drafting Committee was appointed on 28th August 1947 to draft a permanent constitution. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was the chairman of the committee. It took 2 years, 166 days, 11 months and 18 days to complete the constitution.
It is celebrated every year on 26th January throughout India. A grand parade is held every year in the capital, New Delhi from Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan or President’s House, along the Rajpath, past India Gate and on to the historic Red Fort at Rajpath. It includes massive parades; march past of the three armed forces and folk dances by tribal folk from different states. The President award medals of bravery to the armed forces for their courage. All government buildings are lightened on this day. There is a national holiday on this day and the parade is telecasted on National Television all over India.