History, Information and Importance of Republic Day of India
Republic Day is a day to remember when the Constitution of India officially came into force on January 26, 1950. This historical act formally transitioned India to become an independent republic and hence it is celebrated on January 26 every year.
It’s noted that though India gained freedom from the British rule after a long struggle in the wee hours of August 15, 1947. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru delivered his famous speech ‘Tryst with Destiny’, declaring India’s independence to the citizens. But sadly this freedom did not come along with democracy and the right to choose your own Government. Since India didn’t have an official Constitution then, our country was a constitutional monarchy under the rule of King George VI even after Independence. It was finally after two and half years later on January 26, 1950, when the Indian Constitution came into effect thus making India one of the biggest democracies in the world. It was on this day when India was declared as a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic. And to honour this day, the Indian Republic Day is celebrated with great fervour throughout the country every year on January 26.
It was through the monumental Indian Independence Act of 1947 through which Indian gained its independence, an Act of the United Kingdom’s Parliament which divided British India in two parts. As mentioned earlier, though India gained its freedom from the British rule it was still under the constitutional monarchy of King George VI (head) and Earl Mountbatten, who was the Governor General. This was because in 1947, India did not have its own Constitution. In fact, the laws in India at that time were based on the Government of India Act of 1935.
Realising the need of having an Indian Constitution, a Drafting Committee was set up with Dr Bheem Rao Ambedkar being appointed as its chairman. The sole objective of setting this committee was to draft the Constitution of India, which would be the supreme law of India. The Constitution lays down a broad framework of the fundamental political code, structure, powers, procedures and duties of all Government institutions and also states the fundamental rights and duties of all citizens of India. The committee worked tirelessly for many months and submitted their first draft of the Constitution on November 4, 1947 to the Constituent Assembly. It took exactly 2 years, 11 months and 18 days to finally adopt the Constitution with the necessary amendments.
Though the Constitution of India was adopted on 26 November, 1949 by the Constituent Assembly of India it became was formally made effective on 26 January, 1950. The reason: it was during in 1929 during the Indian National Congress’ (INC) Lahore Session that a demand for complete independence was made in the history of India’s freedom struggle from the British rule. This was followed by January 26, 1930 being announced as the Purna Swaraj Diwas (complete Independence Day). To honour this important day in India’s freedom movement, our Constitution was adopted on January 26, 1950.