A fluttering tricolor and a parade with tableaux displaying the rich culture of the Indian states, the might of the military, navy and air force and the technological and scientific advancements that the country has made since independence,are some of the many things that fill every Indian heart with pride.
(Photo: Reuters/Rockets are displayed during rehearsals for India’s Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India January 23, 2017.)
And as India celebrates its 68th Republic Day this year, here are some facts that every Indian must know.
– Earlier, January 26, 1930 was celebrated as India’s Independence Day or Purna Swaraj Day, when the Declaration of Independence was officially promulgated. In a resolution passed by the Indian National Congress, it declared Purna Swaraj – complete freedom from the British Raj.
– However, in 1947, since August 15 became the official Independence Day, the Indian Constitution was adopted on this day in 1950, to mark the 1930 declaration.
– The first Republic Day was celebrated in 1950, three years after we attained independence.
– President Sukarno of Indonesia was the first chief guest at the R-Day celebrations held on January 26th, 1950.
– On January 26, 1950, the first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad took oath at Durbar Hall of government house.
– Republic Day is not just a one-day celebration. The celebrations are spread over 3-days and end with the Beating Retreat on January 29.
– Rajpath wasn’t always where the R-Day parade was held. During 1950–1954, the celebrations were organised at different venues including Irwin Stadium, Kingsway, Red Fort and Ramlila Grounds. It was only after the parade was held at Rajpath in 1955 that the venue became the permanent location for holding the celebrations.
– In 1955, Pakistan’s Governor General Malik Ghulam Muhammad was the first chief guest for the parade held at Rajpath.
(Photo: Reuters/A military marching band riding camels performs in India’s Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 26, 2015.)
– Abide With Me, a Christian hymn by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte, is always played during R-Day parade because it was one of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite songs.
– It is on this day that the gallantry medals are awarded.