Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Republic Day!

India celebrates its 61st Republic day today! On this occasion, the patriot in me wants to write about it! Yes, the right to freedom and speech, on of the six fundamental rights recognized by the Constitution; Making full use of it!

Why January 26th, 1950?

Republic Day, celebrated on January 26th every year, is one of India’s most important national events. The constitution of India came into force on this day when it became a truly Sovereign, Democratic and Republic state. The significance of this day dates back to 1929 when the Indian National Congress took pledge to work towards a 'sovereign democratic republic' of India.

The constitution

The constituent Assembly, with Dr. B R Ambedkar as the Chairperson, drafted the longest written constitution in the world. It contains 444 articles and 12 schedules, Total of 117,369 words in the English language version. OMG!

Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as the first president of India with the constitution coming into effect on the Republic Day.

Republic Day Celebrations

To commemorate the occasion of Republic day, a parade is held showcasing India's military might and cultural diversity. It covers an 8 km route, starting from the Rashtrapati Bhavan through the Rajpath all the way upto the India Gate and winds up at the historic Red Fort in Old Delhi.

The Republic day events begin with the Prime Minister visiting the Amar Jawan Jyothi at the India Gate. He then arrives to the central enclosure and awaits the arrival of the President of India and the Chief Guest who, generally, is a Head of another Country.

The President, after his arrival, meets the dignitaries present and unfurls the National Flag, followed by the National Anthem with a 21-gun salute to the National Flag.

Gallantry Awards

A brief investiture ceremony takes place during which the President presents India's top gallantry awards, the Param Veer Chakra, the Veer Chakra and the Maha Veer Chakra are awarded to the outstanding soldiers from the defense services.

Republic Day Parade

Four helicopters from the armed forces fly past the parade area showering rose petals. Each chopper carries a flag - the first being the Indian flag and the other three carry the flags of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force.

The march past begins immediately after the fly past. The President, as the Supreme Commander of the Defense Forces, takes the salute of the mechanized, mounted and marching contingents of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Paramilitary forces, Police and the National Cadet Corps.

Following the parade is the spectacular displays from the different states of the country. The Exhibits depict various scenes of activities of people in those states, their music,songs and art forms.This is the most colorful part of the parade demonstrating the vast cultural heritage our motherland possesses!

Bravery Awards for Children

After the march past and the cultural extravaganza from Various states, the Children winning the Bravery Awards enter the celebration area over decorated elephants. Now this is something unique which unfortunately is to be discontinued. The Children are to arrive on Jeeps instead of the elephants this year onwards.

Beating of the Retreat

After three days of Republic Day parade, a closing ceremony known as "Beating Retreat" is held at the Vijay Chowk in New Delhi. Beating Retreat is performed by the bands of the three wings of the military, the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force on the evening of 29th January. The Chief Guest of the function is the President of India. With a Bugle call, the National Flag is lowered, marking the formal end of the Republic Day celebrations.

Did you know?

1. They actually took 2 years, 11 months and 17 days to prepare the Constitution!
2. There is no Republic Day speech by the President or the Prime Minister!
3. The Param Veer Chakra was designed by someone born to Hungarian Mother and a Russian Father!
4. The Bravery Award for Children was Conceived on Gandhi Jayanthi - 2nd Oct 1957; Announced every year on Children's Day - 14th Nov; Presented on the eve of Republic Day - 26th January!
5. Ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity in the Preamble of our constitution was borrowed from the French!


MSP said...

Very informative blog.. Good to read..

Kavitha S said...

Jai Hind ! are you from defense family or influenced by one?
u could have tried luck with NDA .)

Athena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The Vir Chakra series is an award during war. In peacetime the award is the Ashoka Chakra whichis rated as an equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra
Ravi Menon