This year, India is celebrating its 75th Republic Day with a special focus on women's participation. The parade, held on Kartavya Path on January 26th, has the theme 'Viksit Bharat' (Developed India) and 'Bharat - Loktantra ki Matruka' (India as the Mother of Democracy). For the first time, women will lead the parade, and there will be a significant presence of women's groups.

    The French President, Emmanuel Macron, is the chief guest, signifying the strong India-France relationship. His country will contribute to the parade with a marching contingent, a band, and participation in the fly-past with Indian Air Force planes.

    The event will host around 13,000 special guests, representing India's diverse sectors and progress. The parade will feature 25 tableaux from different states, union territories, and government departments, showcasing India's cultural diversity and achievements.

    Additionally, the Ministry of Culture will display 'Anant Sutra - The Endless Thread', an exhibit of 1,900 sarees from across India. The Ministry of Defence will release a commemorative coin and stamp to mark this special 75th Republic Day.

    India's Republic Day marks the adoption of its Constitution on January 26, 1950, turning the nation into a self-governing, democratic republic. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, raised the Indian flag during the first Republic Day celebration, signaling India's ability to choose its own government.

    What is Republic Day?

    1. Definition: Republic Day is a major national celebration in India. It marks the day when India's Constitution was applied and the country became a completely self-governing republic.
    2. Enactment of the Constitution: On January 26, 1950, the Constitution of India came into effect. This was a big step because it meant that India was now a country governed by rules made by Indians, not by British laws.
    3. Significance: This day is important because it represents the moment India truly gained full control of its own laws and government.

    Why Celebrate on January 26? : Historical Significance of the Date:

    1. Purna Swaraj Day: January 26 was originally celebrated as Purna Swaraj Day since 1930. This was the day when the Indian National Congress, a key party in the independence movement, declared complete independence (Purna Swaraj) from British rule.
    2. Connection to the Constitution: When India was choosing a day to start its new Constitution, January 26 was picked to honor this historic declaration of independence.

    Historical Background of Republic Day: India’s Journey to Its Own Constitution:

    1. Independence Without a Constitution: When India became independent on August 15, 1947, it didn't immediately have its own constitution. Instead, it used the Government of India Act 1935, a law made during British rule, as its main law.
    2. Creating the Constitution: To build a constitution suitable for India, a special committee was formed. This committee's job was to create a set of rules and laws that would guide how India would be governed.
    3. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s Role: Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, known as the Father of the Indian Constitution, led this committee. His work was crucial in shaping the laws and principles that would govern India.

    The Making of the Constitution

    1. Drafting the Constitution:

    1. Formation of the Drafting Committee: In August 1947, the Constituent Assembly, which was responsible for writing the Constitution, formed a Drafting Committee. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was appointed as the Chairman of this Committee.
    2. Diverse Inputs: The Committee gathered ideas and inputs from various sources, including constitutions of other countries, to make sure the Indian Constitution was comprehensive and suited to India’s needs.

    2. The Process of Drafting:

    1. Debates and Discussions: The Constituent Assembly had many discussions and debates. Members of the Assembly came from different parts of India, representing various interests and perspectives.
    2. Final Draft: After about two years of work, the final draft of the Constitution was prepared. This document outlined the rights and duties of citizens, the framework for governance, and the powers of the government.

    3. Adoption and Enactment:

    1. Adoption: The Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution on November 26, 1949. This day is also observed as Constitution Day in India.
    2. Enactment: Though adopted in November 1949, the Constitution came into full effect on January 26, 1950. This was to honor the historical significance of January 26 as Purna Swaraj Day.

    Significance of the Constitution:

    1. A Sovereign Democratic Republic:

    1. Sovereignty: The Constitution marked the beginning of India as a sovereign state, free from colonial rule.
    2. Democracy: It established India as a democratic country where citizens would have the power to elect their leaders.

    2. Fundamental Rights and Duties:

    1. Rights: The Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all citizens, ensuring equality, freedom, and justice.
    2. Duties: It also lays down duties for citizens, emphasizing the importance of being responsible and contributing to the nation's welfare.

    3. Guiding Principles:

    1. Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity: These are the core values enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution, guiding the nation and its citizens.

    Republic Day Celebrations:

    1. Pre-Parade Events:

    1. Starting Date: The celebrations begin on January 23, coinciding with Parakram Diwas, which commemorates the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
    2. President's Address: On the eve of Republic Day, the President of India delivers an address to the nation, highlighting achievements, challenges, and visions for the future.

    2. Wreath-Laying at Amar Jawan Jyoti:

    1. Tribute to the Fallen Soldiers: Early on Republic Day, the Prime Minister pays homage to the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for the country at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, a war memorial.

    3. Flag Unfurling and Parade:

    1. Unfurling the National Flag: The celebrations at Rajpath (now Kartavya Path) in New Delhi commence with the President unfurling the National Flag, followed by the National Anthem and a 21-Gun Salute.
    2. The Republic Day Parade: The parade is a display of India's military strength, cultural diversity, and technological advancements. It includes:
    1. Marching contingents from the Armed Forces and Paramilitary Forces.
    2. Tableaux from different states and government departments.
    3. Performances by folk artists and school children.

    4. The Main Attractions of the Parade:

    1. Cultural Tableaux: These tableaux showcase the cultural heritage and social and economic progress of various states and union territories.
    2. Fly-Past: The parade concludes with a spectacular fly-past by the Indian Air Force, displaying various aircraft formations.

    Post-Parade Events:

    1. Award Ceremonies:

    1. Padma and Gallantry Awards: In the evening, the President confers the Padma Awards (for exceptional and distinguished service) and Gallantry Awards (for bravery) to the deserving individuals.

    2. Beating Retreat Ceremony:

    1. Date and Venue: Held on January 29 at Vijay Chowk, New Delhi.
    2. Significance: This ceremony marks the official end of Republic Day celebrations. Military bands perform, creating a solemn and patriotic atmosphere.

    Special Highlights of the 75th Republic Day:

    1. Themes for 2024:

    1. ‘Viksit Bharat’ and ‘Bharat – Loktantra ki Matruka’: These themes reflect the idea of India as a developed nation and the mother of democracy.

    2. Women-Centric Parade:

    1. Emphasis on showcasing women’s contributions in various fields, including the armed forces.

    3. International Participation:

    1. The parade will feature participation from France, highlighting the strong diplomatic ties between India and France.

    Special Aspects of the 75th Republic Day Celebrations:

    1. A Women-Centric Parade:

    1. Highlighting Women's Role: The 2024 parade will notably focus on the contributions of women in various fields, including the armed forces and cultural sectors.

    2. Unique Features: This includes all-women contingents, women-led musical performances, and showcasing achievements of women in different spheres.

    2. French Participation:

    1. International Collaboration: A significant feature of the 2024 parade is the participation of French military contingents and bands, emphasizing the strong bond between India and France.

    2. Joint Air Show: French and Indian air forces will collaborate for the fly-past, showcasing military cooperation between the two countries.

    3. Farmers as Special Guests:

    1. Honoring Agriculture: In a unique gesture, farmers will be special guests at the parade, reflecting the government's focus on agricultural development and farmer welfare.

    2. Representation: Farmers from various Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs) and beneficiaries of agricultural schemes will be present.

    Cultural and Commemorative Events:

    1. Tableaux and Performances:

    1. Diverse Themes: Tableaux from different states and ministries will depict India's cultural richness, technological advancements, and social achievements.

    2. Cultural Troupes: Folk dance groups from various states will perform, showcasing regional art forms.

    2. Textile Installation 'Anant Sutra – The Endless Thread':

    1. Tribute to Indian Textiles: This installation will display a vast array of Indian sarees, celebrating the rich textile heritage of India.

    3. Commemorative Coin and Stamp:

    1. Memorializing the Occasion: The Ministry of Defence will release special commemorative coins and stamps in honor of the 75th Republic Day.

    4. National School Band Competition:

    1. Engaging the Youth: This competition aims to foster a sense of national pride and unity among school children.

    Other Notable Initiatives:

    1. Vande Bharatam 3.0:

    National Dance Competition: A platform for showcasing traditional and contemporary dance forms, with selected performances featured in the parade.

    2. Veer Gatha 3.0:

    Project for School Students: An initiative to educate students about the bravery and sacrifices of Indian armed forces personnel.

    3. Bharat Parv:

    Celebration at Red Fort: Organized by the Ministry of Tourism, it includes displays of Republic Day tableaux, cultural performances, and food courts representing cuisines from across India.

    4. Parakram Diwas:

    Honoring Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose: Various events at Red Fort, including light and sound shows, plays, and dance performances based on his life.

    Importance of Republic Day

    1. Reflecting Our Belief in Democracy: Republic Day shows how much we believe in democracy and important values like fairness, freedom, equality, and being together. This day reminds us to keep working hard for our country and to always respect these important values.

    2. Showing Our Unity in Diversity: The big parade and cultural events on Republic Day show how rich and diverse India's cultures, languages, and traditions are. This celebration of different cultures shows how strong and united we are as a country. It brings people from all different backgrounds together.

    3. Sending Messages to the World: On Republic Day, we also show how strong our military is with a big parade. We invite guests from other countries and talk to the media from around the world. This helps us make friends with other countries and shows everyone how important India is in the world.

    4. Inspiring Everyone: Republic Day is also a great chance to teach people, especially young people, about our country's history and what our Constitution says. Celebrating this day makes us feel proud of our country and encourages us to work together to make our country better. It inspires us to do good things for our country.

    Conclusion

    Republic Day is a very important day for India. It is the day when we remember how India became a republic and when we started using our Constitution. This day reminds us of our journey to become a country where the people are in charge. It's a day to think about what we have done well and to look forward to making our country even better. We celebrate this day by remembering the important ideas in our Constitution, like democracy, fairness, freedom, equality, and being together as a nation.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) | Republic Day

    Q1. How is the Chief Guest chosen?

    Ans. Several factors influence the selection, including diplomatic relations, strategic partnerships, and regional focus. The invitation is usually extended through diplomatic channels and accepted by the head of state of the chosen country.

    Q2. What does the Chief Guest do?

    Ans. The Chief Guest reviews the parade, receives a ceremonial 21-gun salute, and may address the nation or participate in other official events during their visit.

    Q3. What are the benefits of hosting a foreign Chief Guest?

    Ans. It strengthens bilateral ties, showcases India's international standing, and provides an opportunity for cultural exchange and collaboration on various fronts.

    Q4. Is it 75th Republic Day of India?

    Ans India marks its 75th Republic Day on January 26th, celebrated on Friday.

    Q5. Why the Republic Day is celebrated?

    Ans. January 26, 1950, signifies India's shift to a republic with the adoption of its constitution, celebrated annually as Republic Day.