January 26th, 1950 is one of the most significant days in the history of India as it was on this day the Indian Constitution came into force. On this auspicious day, India became a Republican unit. 26th of January was declared a national holiday and has been celebrated and recognized as the Republic Day of India since then.
Nowadays, Republic Day is celebrated with much passion all over India and particularly in the capital, New Delhi where the merriment starts with the Presidential to the nation. The commencement of the occasion is always a somber souvenir of the sacrifice of the martyrs who passed away for the country in the freedom movement & the succeeding wars for the protection of sovereignty of their nation. On this day, the President comes forward to honor medals of bravery to the armed force persons for their extraordinary courage in the field & also the civilians, who have renowned themselves by their diverse acts of bravery in different situations.
To mark the significance of this occasion, every year a splendid parade is held in New Delhi, from Rajghat along Vijaypath. Diverse regiments of Army, Navy and Air force march past in all their finery & official decorations. Even the horses of the cavalry are pleasingly caparisoned to suit the event. The parade is followed by magnificent displays from different states of the country. These moving exhibits portray scenes of activities of people in those states & the music and songs of that particular state escort each exhibit. Each display brings out the multiplicity and prosperity of Indian culture and the entire show lends a jovial air to the occasion.
The patriotic zeal of the people on this day brings the entire country collectively even in her indispensable assortment. Every part of the country is represented in occasion, which makes the Republic Day the most popular of all the national holidays of India.
Though India became free on 15th August, 1947, it affirmed itself a Democratic, Republic and Sovereign state with the espousal of the Constitution on 26th January, 1950. 21 guns salute and unfurling of Indian National Flag by Dr. Rajendra Prasad heralded the momentous birth of the Republic of India that day. Subsequently January 26th was decreed a national holiday & was recognized as the Republic Day of India.
The Constitution of India gave the citizens the power to opt their own government & paved the way for democracy. Dr. Rajendra Prasad took pledge as the 1st President of India at Durbar Hall in the Government House and this was pursued by the Presidential drive along a 5 mile route to Irwin Stadium, where he unfolded the National Flag.
Beating Retreat Ceremony
The Beating Retreat ceremony at Vijay Chowk on 29th January every year marks the conclusion of the four day long Republic Day revels. The Chief Guest of the event is India’s President who arrives in a cavalry unit accompanied by the 'President's Bodyguards'.
'Beating the Retreat' has come into sight as an occurrence of national pride when the Colors and Standards are paraded. 'Beating Retreat' marks a centuries old martial tradition, when the troops ended fighting, sheathed their arms & extracted from the battlefield & returned to the camps at dusk at the sound of Retreat. The ceremony creates craving for the times gone by.
Difference between Republic Day & Independence Day
• Both Republic day and Independence Day are national days distinguished with enthusiasm
• Independence Day is distinguished on August 15th as this was a day when India won independence from the British rule
• Republic day is distinguished on January 26th every year since the year 1950 as that was the year when India espoused its constitution and became a Republic nation having the right to choose its own head of state