India got independence from British Rule on 15th August 1947. But there was no permanent Constitution of its own. The first draft of the Indian Constitution was presented by the Drafting Committee to the National Assembly on 4th November 1947 which was approved and accepted on 26th November 1949. The same was signed by the National Assembly, in both English and Hindi, on 24th January 1950, and came into effect on 26th January 1950. On this day, India was declared as the “Purna Swaraj” Country and hence, every year, 26th January is celebrated as the Republic Day of India.
26th January is declared as the gazetted holiday all over the country by the Government of India. It is celebrated throughout the country with great enthusiasm. Although mini celebrations are followed in the state capitals, the Official celebration takes place in the National Capital of India, i.e., New Delhi. The President and Prime Minister of India, among other high-rank officials, make their presence at Rajpath to celebrate the occasion. Since 1950, India has been inviting guests of high dignitaries of another country as the State Guest of Honour for the Republic day celebrations.
A huge grand parade and salute event is held by the military team at the Rajpath in front of the India gate. The parade showcases India’s Defence capabilities, its cultural and social heritage. It starts from the Raisina Hills in the neighborhood of the majestic Rashtrapati Bhawan and passing through Rajpath, it ends at India Gate.
Prior to the commencement of the parade, the Prime Minister of India lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, a memorial at India Gate, to commemorate the sacrifices of the martyrs for the defense of the sovereignty of their country, and a two- minute silence is observed in the memory of those martyrs. Thereafter, he reaches the main dias at the Rajpath to join other dignitaries.
Subsequently, the President, along with the Chief Guest, arrives and unfolds the National flag as soon as the National Anthem is played. National Awards such as Maha Veer Chakra, Param Veer Chakra, Veer Chakra, etc., and bravery medals are distributed by the President to the martyrs and heroes for their exceptional courage and bravery in the field and to the civilians for their distinguished acts of valor in difficult situations.
Thereafter, the regiments of the Indian army along with the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force march past in all their finery and official decorations. The President of India, who is the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. Twelve contingents of the para-military forces of India and other civil forces also participate in this parade.
The unique sight of the parade is the camel-mounted Border Security Force contingent, the only camel-mounted military force in the world. The crème of NCC cadets along with students from various schools participate to represent every part of the country, thereby exhibiting its diverse culture. Republic Day truly represents the spirit for independent India.