When is the Republic Day of India celebrated and Why? What does the term Republic even mean? Why is the Republic Day and Independence Day celebrated on different days?
As Republic Day comes closer, more and more of these questions come to mind. But we seldom get satisfactory answers. By the end of the day, you’ll probably forget about these questions and enjoy the National holiday, as the day after is usually very busy and hectic with regular office schedule. So, this time, let’s do something different, let’s try and find correct answers and convey our children to celebrate the history of their country with pride and honour.
Meaning of the Term Republic
The term Republic is derived from the Latin word rēs pūblica, where rēs means matter/thing/entity and pūblica means public. Thus, it implies that a Republic is a system of government wherein the power is vested in the people. But if each and every individual is asked to work or look after their country, there would be a difference of opinions, the great chaos, and it will not be practically possible to do so. Hence, the people choose representatives to look after the state. These representatives work towards the betterment of the country and its people.
Also, the head of the republican government is not a king/queen or a hereditary head.
History of The Indian Republic Day
On 15th August 1947, India became a free nation, but it was still a dominion of the British. This means it was still semi-independent on British the George VI as head of the state and Earl Mountbatten as the Governor-General. The rules and legislations followed by the Indians were also based on the modified colonial government of India Act framed in 1935.
Soon after independence, on 29th August 1947, the Constitution Drafting Committee was instated to write the constitution of India under the able guidance of the great economist and the first law minister of Independent India – Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, or B.R Ambedkar as everyone knows it.
Why 26th January?
The important set of guidelines known as the Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26th November 1949, but they waited for three months for the constitution to come into force, and that happened on 26th January 1950. It was finally on this day that India became completely independent of the British Raj.
The date 26th January was chosen because it was a Sunday on this day, in 1930 when the declaration of Indian Independence also known as Purna Swaraj was announced by the Indian National Congress. The Indian National Congress and other parties used to celebrate 26th January as a symbol of Independence even before India actually became independent. Thus, the constitution was signed and brought into force on 26th January, to mark and respect this date in honour of the freedom struggle and the freedom fighters.
There you have it! So, let’s gear up, and celebrate this auspicious National festival with great fervour and impart this knowledge to our children to continue the legacy of our country.