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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
  • 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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

Next Story

Know About some Significant Protests Around the World in 2019

2019 was a year full of protests globally

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Chile Protests
Demonstrators clash with a police water cannon during anti-government protests in Santiago. VOA

By Jamie Dettmer

It has been a year of protest — from Hong Kong to Bolivia, and from France to Lebanon. Few parts of the world were spared significant protests in 2019.

In Russia’s capital, Moscow, protesters were outraged by rigged elections. In Britain, people rallied against Brexit, Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. Serbia, Ukraine, Albania and the central European states all experienced major demonstrations. Separatists battled police in the restive region of Catalonia. Dissent in the Middle East prompted talk of a new Arab Spring.

In the Americas, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela all experienced popular unrest. And the list goes on.

France Protests
Yellow Vests protesters march on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris. France’s yellow vest protesters remain a force to be reckoned with five months after their protests started. VOA

“The data shows that the amount of protests is increasing and is as high as the roaring 1960s,” according to Jacquelien van Stekelenburg, an academic who studies social change at Vrije University in Amsterdam.

Protest like it’s 1848

The year 2019 has drawn comparisons to 1848, when the ruling elites and monarchies in Europe were at a loss as to how to deal with the turbulence and anger tearing through the continent.

Then, as now, the immediate grievances propelling protesters onto the streets differed from country to country: 170 years ago, some were protesting at the dysfunction and corruption of their states and anger at hidebound elites for resisting modernization and liberal change. Have-nots marched out of economic despair. Nationalists wanted to break away from empires. Anarchists wanted to blow everything up.

In the so-called Spring of Nations — revolutions of 1848 — seemingly small incidents or government decisions could spark the trouble. So, too, in 2019.

France’s Yellow Vests, drawn largely from low-income earners in small-town and rural France, took to the streets and blockaded roads to protest higher “green” taxes on fuel. The same in Chile and Ecuador — planned sharp rises in fuel prices and metro fares triggered the fury this year of low-income and rural communities.

But behind the immediate causes, far more substantive and structural grievances have fueled the worldwide protests. In Lebanon, demonstrators initially took to the streets because of frustration over a tax on WhatsApp, but that was just the spark for an ongoing conflagration of rage over corruption and Iranian influence on the country. The Yellow Vest agitation morphed into a general exasperation about being left-behind economically.

Hong Kong protesters
A photo of protests in Hong Kong against the Extradition Bill. VOA

In Hong Kong, an extradition bill was the prompt, but also a symbolic one for protesters furious about a creeping Beijing-dictated authoritarianism.

The 2019 protests have had some common themes, say analysts, including anger about stifled democracy and the demand for greater political freedom. Anger about corruption and the perception that political systems are rigged have been common grievances.

Some commentators have tried to tie all the protests together, arguing rallies and demonstrations and blockades more often than not are a reaction to anti-democratic and right-wing forces taking hold in many places around the world.

Maybe so for some but not all, and there are plenty of contradictions. And then and now, protesters on the left or right of the political spectrum share on thing in common — a firm conviction that things should and can change.

One big difference with the past, though, has come with social media and the internet. Modern communication has helped to fuel anger and assist greatly in the organization and recruitment of protesters to take on authorities.

“The traditional system of enforcing power from top to bottom is increasingly being challenged,” says Thierry de Montbrial, of the French Institute of International Relations.

Populist nationalists rallying in the past year in Italy and Germany have nothing in common with huge pro-EU protests in Britain, where those taking to the streets wanted to force a second referendum on leaving the European bloc. Climate-change protesters sowing havoc in Britain and Australia are demanding the kind of green tax increases that are enraging the Yellow Vests.

“Some protests may look like a sign of democratic decay amid a rise of populism and alienation with the political status quo — for example, in Brazil, the United States or France,” according to Richard Youngs, an analyst with the Carnegie Endowment, a Washington-based research institution.

ALGERIA protests
People gather for mass anti-government protests in the centre of the Algerian capital Algiers. VOA

“Others may look like a futile rattling of the political cage under growing illiberalism and authoritarianism, such as in Hungary, Morocco or Thailand. More optimistically, protests in places like Algeria, Venezuela and Sudan may signal a heartening indicator of the persistent aspiration for democracy and peoples’ willingness to fight for it in very different parts of the world,” he added in a commentary.

Maybe the attempt to impose a catch-all order to the unrest of 2019 misses the point and the historical comparison should be with the immediate years of upheaval after World War I. In a new book, “Crucible: The Long End of the Great War and the Birth of a New World, 1917-24,” historian Charles Emmerson suggests that countries lose all their moorings during periods of unrest and the result is just chaos.

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“The established order is swept away,” writes Emmerson. “People who were nothing are catapulted into prominence … the real becomes surreal.”

In the immediate postwar years that Emmerson chronicles, many people felt powerless, lost faith in the ability of traditional political authorities to protect them and to restore predictability, and resented unequal distributions of wealth and power. So, too, now. (VOA)