Republic Day of India

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The Republic Day of India is a national holiday of India to mark the transition of India from a British Dominion to a republic on January 26, 1950 and the adoption of the Constitution of India. It is one of the three national holidays in India. This is not to be confused with the Independence Day on August 15th.

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[edit] History

Although India obtained its independence on August 15, 1947, the Constitution of India came into effect only on January 26, 1950. During the transition period from 1947 to 1950, King George VI was the head of state. C. Rajagopalachari served as the Governor-General of India during this period. Following January 26, 1950, Rajendra Prasad was elected as the first president of India.

[edit] Celebrations

To mark the importance of this occasion, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, New Delhi, from the Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace), along the Rajpath, past India Gate and on to the historic Red Fort. The different regiments of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force march past in all their finery and official decorations. The President of India who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. The parade also includes vibrant displays and floats and traditionally ends with a flypast by Indian Air Force jets.

Celebrations, though on a much smaller scale, are also held in state capitals, where the governor of the state unfurls the national flag. If the Governor of the state is unwell, or is unavailable for some reason, the Chief Minister of the state assumes the honor of unfurling the National Flag of India.

[edit] Republic Day Parade

The Republic Day Parade is an annual military and cultural parade held in the Indian Capital of New Delhi on 26 January, the Republic Day of India. Republic Day is celebrated with the hoisting of the national flag, and parades by the armed forces and school children all over the country. The largest, and most important, of these parades takes place in New Delhi, and the phrase "Republic Day Parade" generally refers to the parade in New Delhi.

Before the parade starts, the Prime Minister of India lays a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, commemorating all the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country. The President, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, then arrives in his motorcade, escorted by his bodyguards. The President is accompanied by a notable foreign Head of State - who is the Chief Guest at the celebration. The President presides over the function. Soon afterward, a 21 gun salute is presented, the President unfurls the National Flag and the National Anthem is played. This marks the beginning of the parade.

The Parade begins with winners of gallantry awards passing the President in open jeeps. Various divisions of the Armed Forces then salute the President of India. The parade also sees the Indian Military showcasing its latest acquisitions such as tanks, missiles, radars, etc.

The military contingent contains representatives of all three divisions of the Armed Forces (air, sea and land). There are also massive parades of Police contingents, Home guards , Civil Defense and the National Cadet Corps.

The military parade is followed by a colourful cultural parade. India's rich cultural heritage is paraded with tableaux from various states. Each state depicts its unique festivals, historical locations and art forms. The most cheered section of the parade is the children who have won National Bravery Awards. They ride past the dais on elephants. School-children from all over the country also participate in the parade. The parade also includes displays of skillful motor-cycle riding, usually by a division from one of the Armed Forces.

The most eagerly awaited part of the parade is the fly past, put on by the Indian Air Force. The parade concludes with a Fly Past, when fighter planes of the IAF roar past the dais, symbolically saluting the President.

However, the official conclusion of Republic Day festivities is much later - on the evening of January 29, i.e. three days after Republic Day. This ceremony is called Beating the Retreat.

The processions starts by moving down from the Rashtrapati Bhavan through Rajpath, past the India Gate and on to Con naught Place, the heart of the city, to enter the historic Red Fort. The crowds sit on either side of the route and the VIP enclosure is on the Southern flank of Rajpath, near India Gate.

[edit] Chief Guest

India hosts another head of state as the chief guest on this day. The strategic importance of any nation as associated by India can be easily attributed from this list.

Year Guest Name Country
1976 Prime Minister Jacques Chirac France
1978 President Dr.Patrick Hillery Ireland
1986 Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou Greece
1992 President Mario Soares Portugal
1996 President Mr. Fernando Henrique Cardoso Brazil
1997 Prime Minister Basdeo Panday Trinidad and Tobago
1998 President Jacques Chirac France
1999 King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev Nepal
2000 President Olusegun Obasanjo Nigeria
2001 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika Algeria
2002 President Cassam Uteem Mauritius
2003 President Mohammed Khatami Iran
2004 President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Brazil
2005 King Jigme Singye Wangchuk Bhutan
2006 King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud Saudi Arabia
2007 President Vladimir Putin Russia
2008 President Nicholas Sarkozy France

[edit] See Also





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