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Why Republic Day Is Celebrated On 26th January?

Every year January 26 is celebrated with full fervor to acknowledge the Republic Day

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Any new law initiated by the government should be in accordance with the constitution. Wikimedia Commons
Any new law initiated by the government should be in accordance with the constitution. Wikimedia Commons
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  • 26 January is observed to honour the Constitution of India
  • This year, India will observe its 69th Republic on January 26, 2018.
  • The Constitution adopted by India was written by BR Ambedkar on January 26, 1950

NEW DELHI: Every year, 26 January is marked as the Republic Day in India. It is one of the few occasions when the whole of the nation celebrates the hoisting of National Flag. 26 January is observed to honour the Constitution of India as it came into force on the same day in the year 1950. The new constitution replaced the Government of India Act, 1935 into the governing document of India, thus, making India a Sovereign-Democratic nation. The Constitution adopted by India was written by BR Ambedkar on January 26, 1950, and since then the day is commemorated as Republic Day. The Constitution of India is considered as the supreme law of India and the nation has to abide by its rule.

The other significant day of Indian freedom movement is 15 August. This day is celebrated to glorify the independence of India from the clutches of British rule. After attaining independence, India required a blueprint to run the government and guide its people on a progressive path. Till then, India was functioning under the laws enacted and implemented by the British government. An independent constitution was the best bet to protect the rights of citizens and jot down the principles for running the nation. So to fulfill this need, India’s first law minister and chief architect of Indian Constitution, BR Ambedkar came up with a drafted framework for our constitution. It finally came into force after several amendments made by the cabinet body.

The Constitution adopted by India was written by BR Ambedkar on January 26, 1950, and since then the day is commemorated as Republic Day. Wikimedia Commons
The Constitution adopted by India was written by BR Ambedkar on January 26, 1950, and since then the day is commemorated as Republic Day. Wikimedia Commons

Constitution was a tool to govern the country in a constructive way and make the country a sovereign, secular, and democratic republic. On this day, the first president of independent India, Rajendra Prasad took the oath at the Durbar Hall and hoisted the national flag, followed by a 21-gun salute. It marked the tradition of flag hoisting and parade began.

Also Read: 20 Amazing Facts About Indian Navy That Everyone Should Know

Why is 26th January celebrated as the Republic Day in India?
With campaigns like non-violence and civil disobedience movements, India finally attained freedom from British rule on August 15, 1947. This date has a great importance in the Indian history. On January 26, 1950, BR Ambedkar drafted the Constitution of India which was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly. Then finally, Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950.

The reason behind choosing 26 January as the Republic Day was that, on 26 January 1930, Indian National Congress (INC) announced the declaration of Indian Independence while rejecting the Dominion status offered by the British Regime.

Cultural groups of many states display their heritage and diversity through various platforms. Wikimedia Commons
Cultural groups of many states display their heritage and diversity through various platforms. Wikimedia Commons

Prominence of the Constitution of India
India stands out to be the largest democratic country in the world and has the longest written constitution of any sovereign nation. The credit for the framing the Indian Constitution goes to Dr. BR Ambedkar. He was the principal architect behind drafting the outline of our Constitution.

The idea of making an Indian constitution was coined by M.N.Roy IN 1934. After that, Indian National Congress proposed the formation of the constituent in 1935.
After the validation of the Constitution, India became the contemporary Republic and replaced the Government of India Act, 1935. The Constitution of India states that “It declares India a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens of justice, equality, and liberty, and endeavours to promote fraternity among them.”

Also Read: Mahabharata or Game of Thrones? Quite similar!

The Constitution can never be upturned by parliamentary supremacy. It lays down the fundamental framework, procedures, and duties of government, fundamental rights, directive principles and the duties of citizens. Basically, it is a gateway between the government and people. Any new law initiated by the government should be in accordance with the constitution.

Who drafted the Indian Constitution?
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was India’s first law minister of an independent India. He was an eminent jurist, social reformer and politician. Throughout his career, Ambedkar fought for the rights and integrity of the Dalits and other socially backward classes. For his immense service to the nation, Ambedkar was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor, in 1990.

Ambedkar is considered as the Father of Indian Constitution and popularly known as Baba Saheb. Wikimedia Commons
Ambedkar is considered as the Father of Indian Constitution and popularly known as Baba Saheb. Wikimedia Commons

Ambedkar is considered as the Father of Indian Constitution and popularly known as Baba Saheb. He was the mastermind behind drafting the Constitution of India. He guided the Constitution of India that laid down the principals of defining fundamental political approach of the system.

BR Ambedkar was the chairman of Drafting Committee which included Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and other prominent leaders. The members took over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days before adopting the Constitution. The Constitution got the signed approval of 308 members on January 24, 1950, and came into effect on January 26, 1950 – India’s first Republic Day.

Also Read: An insight into two biggest political parties of India

Republic Day celebrations in India
Every year January 26 is celebrated with full fervor to acknowledge the Republic Day. People from every corner of the nation comes together to lighten up the spirit of oneness and unity. This year, India will observe its 69th Republic on January 26, 2018. The celebrations include Flag Hoisting ceremony by the President of India followed by the March Past at Janpath. The entire event lasts for 3 days. The parade showcases India’s defense capability and its traditional and social heritage.

The parade showcases India's defense capability and its traditional and social heritage. Wikimedia Commons
The parade showcases India’s defense capability and its traditional and social heritage. Wikimedia Commons

Cultural groups of many states display their heritage and diversity through various platforms. The occasion also calls for the display of military might to its people and also to the world. Important awards like the Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra are been given away by the President, before the commencement of the ceremony.

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Political Climate Accused Of Encouraging The Promotion Of Black Money

There is a third reason why people who are tracking black money should not be looking at Swiss Banks

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Political Climate Accused Of Encouraging The Promotion Of Black Money. Pixabay

Last week, the political climate was charged with accusations that the government had actually begun encouraging the promotion of black money. Prima facie, the charges seemed to have some merit in them. Swiss bank deposits from India had swelled by 50%, one of the largest increases in recent times. But the accusation was a bit uncharitable. For three specific reasons.

First, even though the percentages seem high, the total amounts involved in Indian deposits with Swiss banks are not. At CHF 1.02 billion – even after accounting for the 50% jump – the amount is significantly lower than the CHF 6.46 billion in 2006 when the UPA was in power. In fact, Indian deposits with Swiss banks had been declining for the past three years – right from 2014 when Prime Minister Modi formed his government. It was only last year that the trend was broken and Swiss deposits began climbing again.

The second reason was that Indian deposits with Swiss banks account for just 0.07% of global deposits with Swiss Banks. That is one of the lowest levels ever during the last decade, overshadowed by an even lower share of 0.05% in 2017. At such percentages, India’s deposits with Swiss Banks are not much to rant and rail about.

There is a third reason why people who are tracking black money should not be looking at Swiss Banks. True, they were the best shelter for clandestine money in the past. But Switzerland has entered into several bilateral treaties for making disclosures about bank deposits to requesting states. That includes a treaty with India to provide real-time information with regard to Indians from January 2019. Obviously, any Indian who wants to stash away black money will not do so with Swiss Banks, because he would stand exposed.

There could, thus, be one credible explanation for the quantum of deposits in Swiss Banks going up. It could be found in the government’s decision to ram through amendments to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCRA) in March this year.

which seeks to exempt political parties from disclosing their source of funds from overseas. The courts had earlier demanded that political parties make these disclosures and the government thought it wiser to try and change the law instead. This move is now being challenged before the Supreme Court as being unconstitutional by public spirited persons like EAS Sarma. The decision of the court is still awaited. The amendment to the FCRA technically permits politically connected parties to put their money back with Swiss  Banks where it is safer than in tax havens with not-so-unblemished a banking record. If this explanation is correct, one could say that the government, in collusion with all other political parties (all have kept quiet about these amendments), are responsible for the spurt in Swiss deposits.

cartoon showing black money
Cartoon Showing Black money. Flickr

As mentioned in these columns earlier, if people want to look for black money, they should first demand a full fledged investigation into the agriculture income disclosures before the tax authorities during 2011 and 2012. What makes those disclosures horrifying is (a) they were larger than ever before; (b) the cumulative value of disclosures during the two years was a mind-boggling Rs 874 lakh crore (Rs 874 trillion); (c) the cumulative value  of disclosures was eight times India’s GVA for 2013, and almost 100 times the total tax collected in that year.

It can be found in the decision of the enforcement authorities of not auctioning off properties they have seized in the past – irrespective of whether they relate to the NSEL Scam or the politicians who are being investigated for corruption (on extremely narrow charges). Attachment of properties makes for big news, full of sound and fury. But the refusal to auction them off points to collusion.

It can be found in the files of scores of senior officials who were suspended, when fraud was discovered, and then reinstated when public memory died. It can also be found in the files that routinely get burnt in fires that take place at government offices – possibly aimed at making evidence disappear – especially when it comes to corrupt deals and land development scams.

Also read: Punjab’s Aam Aadmi Party and Its Political Self Goals

But these are things politicians do not like to talk about. Many of them are collusive partners in the generation of black money. Their silence in permitting the amendments to the FCRA is ample proof of their willingness to allow a cover-up. The rantings and ravings against Swiss Banks are, therefore, of no consequence. (IANS)