Why is India Republic Day celebrated on January 26? (2024)

India celebrates Republic Day on January 26 every year to commemorate the adoption of the constitution in 1950, when the former South Asian British colony transformed into a sovereign, democratic and republic nation after gaining freedom in 1947.

The day is considered a significant moment in the modern history of the world’s largest democracy that witnessed the transfer of power from the post-independence monarchy to the Indian people.

It has become an occasion to celebrate the democratic traditions and military might of the South Asian powerhouse as well as its cultural and regional diversity.

Taking place on Thursday, this year's 74th Republic day, like before, will be marked with a grand military and cultural parade on Kartavya Path, the newly refurbished three-kilometre-long broadway, part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Central Vista project in the heart of the capital New Delhi.

The event is taking place after a two-year pause due to the pandemic and is set to be attended by India’s newly appointed President Droupadi Murmu, Mr Modi, his cabinet colleagues, opposition leaders, foreign diplomats and the Republic Day chief guest Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

Why is Republic Day celebrated?

India’s independence movement leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawarharlal Nehru among others, believed that the country should have a sovereign, democratic and republic government. But even after its independence, India remained under a monarchy as it was under British Commonwealth.

After Nehru became the first Prime minister of independent India and cobbled a cross ideological government, the country began drafting a new Constitution through a long and complex process that involved input from leaders of various political and social groups.

The Constitution took about three years of drafting and on January 26, 1950, it was officially adopted and India was declared a republic.

How is it celebrated in India?

India showcases its defence capacities on the day, displaying its state-of-the-art land, aerial and sea military equipment to the world.

It is a tradition to pay homage to the fallen soldiers at the war memorial.

The annual national event begins with a 21-gun salute. It is followed by the President hoisting the national flag and singing the national anthem in presence of thousands of citizens.

The celebrations begin with the winners of gallantry awards saluting the President in open military jeeps, followed by the display of fighter jets, missiles and military gadgets that roll down the broadway amid public cheers and jubilation.

A march-past of different regiments of the armed forces, police and paramilitary is followed. The President, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute.

For decades, soldiers wielding assault rifles and mounted on decorated camels have become a highlight of the parade.

The camel mounted soldiers guard the hostile Thar desert along the Pakistan border. Other military contingents showcase acrobatic skills and daredevils, the Indian Army perform stunts on motorbikes such as making human pyramids and riding bikes over fire rings.

Why is India Republic Day celebrated on January 26? (1)

The military display gives way to cultural and regional floats representing various states and cultural groups, as well as performances by musicians and dancers.

A vibrant parade comprising tableaux from different states showcases cultural diversity and history of various Indian states.

Thousands of schoolchildren perform dance and exhibit cultural activities on the broadway that connects the Iconic India Gate to the President’s House.

Smaller events, including paramilitary and police parades are organised in the state capitals where the state governors hoist the Indian flag and take the salute.

Who attends the Republic Day celebrations?

Over the last 74 years, many high profile global dignitaries have become part of India's republic day celebrations. The chief guest is usually the head of state or government of a country. The invitation is considered a great honour, as it is seen as an opportunity for the country to strengthen its relationship with New Delhi.

Indonesian President Sukarno was the first chief guest at the 1950 Republic Day. It was followed by King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah of Nepal.

New Delhi invited Pakistan’s Governor-General Malik Ghulam Muhammad in 1955. Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip attended the 1959 Republic day followed by Queen Elizabeth II in 1961.

Chief of Defence Staff Lord Louis Mountbatten, who was the viceroy of colonial India in 1947 and later its governor-general until 1948, returned as chief guest at the Republic Day in 1964.

Why is India Republic Day celebrated on January 26? (2)

King Mohammed Zahir Shah of Afghanistan was the chief guest in 1967.

Nelson Mandela, the first South African President was the chief guest in 1995. Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in 2006, Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2007 and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2014 and US President Barack Obama in 2015. The UAE's President Sheikh Mohamed, who was Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces at the time, visited in 2017.

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was the chief guest at the 2020 Republic Day. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled his visit due to Covid in 2021.

Updated: January 26, 2023, 4:15 AM

Why is India Republic Day celebrated on January 26? (2024)


Why is India Republic Day celebrated on January 26? ›

The Indian Constitution went into effect on 26 January 1950, which affirmed India's life as an unbiased republic. 26 January was selected because the date is on this day in 1930 when the Indian National Congress proclaimed Purna Swaraj, the assertion of India's independence from colonial rule.

Why is Republic Day important to India? ›

Republic Day is celebrated to commemorate the day the Constitution of India came into effect - 26 January, 1950. This day holds incredible importance as it addresses the introduction of a democratic country, liberated from colonial-era Government.

How to start a republic day speech? ›

Easy and Impressive English Speech for Republic Day 2024. Respected principal, teachers, judges and my dear friends, today, as we stand under the vibrant sky of India, I want to talk about a day that fills our hearts with pride and gives us the freedom to talk our minds – Republic Day!

Why is India called a republic? ›

A republic country is where the head of a particular state is an elected person and not someone from a hereditary monarch. India is known as a republic country because the people of India elect the head of the state government. It is also incorporated in the Constitution of India.

What is the difference between 26 November and 26 January? ›

Constitution day celebrated on 26th of November marks the day when the final draft of the Constitution was approved while Republic Day celebrated on 26th of January marks the day when the Constitution came into force.

What happened in India on 26 January? ›

Republic of India

Though India became a free nation on August 15, 1947, it declared itself a Sovereign, Democratic and Republic state with the adoption of the Constitution on January 26, 1950. A salute of 21 guns and the unfurling of the Indian National Flag by Dr.

What is the significance of 26th January? ›

Australia Day, holiday (January 26) honouring the establishment of the first permanent European settlement on the continent of Australia. On January 26, 1788, Arthur Phillip, who had sailed into what is now Sydney Cove with a shipload of convicts, hoisted the British flag at the site.

What is the famous saying on Republic Day? ›

Republic Day 2024: Inspiring Quotes:
  • "The Constitution is not a mere lawyers' document; it is a vehicle of life, and its spirit is always the spirit of the age." - B.R. ...
  • "A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people." - Mahatma Gandhi.
Jan 25, 2024

What is Republic Day in simple words? ›

Republic Day is a national holiday in India commemorating the adoption of the Constitution of India, and the country's transition to a republic which came into effect on 26 January 1950. The original text of the Preamble to the Constitution of India. The Constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950.

What is the message of Republic Day? ›

It is the day to express heartfelt gratitude to the makers of our constitution and freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the nation. The making of the Indian constitution shaped the democratic ideals of the country. The Republic Day celebrations are held every year at Rajpath, New Delhi.

Is the India a democracy or a republic? ›

It is a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic with a parliamentary system of government. The Republic is governed in terms of the Constitution of India which was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November, 1949 and came into force on 26th January, 1950.

Who brought republic to India? ›

Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. He oversaw India's transition from a colony to a republic, while nurturing a plural, multi-party system. In foreign policy, he took a leading role in the Non-Aligned Movement while projecting India as a regional hegemon in South Asia.

What is the real meaning of republic? ›

: a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law. (2) : a political unit (such as a nation) having such a form of government.

Who was born on 26 January? ›

26. Here are some of the notable people celebrating birthdays today, including Angela Davis, Ellen DeGeneres, Kirk Franklin, Lucinda Williams, Scott Glenn, Wayne Gretzky and more.

Why is January 26 important to us? ›

Republic Day in India, observed on January 26th, celebrates the transformation of India from a British Dominion to a democratic republic. January 26, 1930, marked the 'Purna Swaraj' declaration by the Indian National Congress, led by Mahatma Gandhi, proclaiming complete independence.

What happened on January 26th in history? ›

January 26 Events In History

1788 – The first penal colony is founded at Botany Bay, Australia. 1837 – Michigan is admitted as the 26th U.S. state. 1841 – The United Kingdom formally occupies Hong Kong. 1905 – The world's largest diamond is found in South Africa.

Why did India follow democracy? ›

India follow democracy because Democracy makes the government of the people, for the people and by the people. Democracy give right to people and make all persons equal and balanced. Democracy allow indians to criticise the govt. also.

What is the special day of January 29 in India? ›

A day set aside to honour the beginning of newspapers in India is known as Indian Newspaper Day. This day is intended to raise awareness of Indian newspapers. Indian Newspaper Day, which is observed on January 29th each year, is today.

When did India get independence? ›

It was on 15th August 1947 that India was declared independent from British colonialism, and the reins of control were handed over to the leaders of the Country.

What is the slogan of Republic Day? ›

26 January Republic Day: Slogans

Freedom Shines, India Smiles!

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Gov. Deandrea McKenzie

Last Updated:

Views: 6411

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Gov. Deandrea McKenzie

Birthday: 2001-01-17

Address: Suite 769 2454 Marsha Coves, Debbieton, MS 95002

Phone: +813077629322

Job: Real-Estate Executive

Hobby: Archery, Metal detecting, Kitesurfing, Genealogy, Kitesurfing, Calligraphy, Roller skating

Introduction: My name is Gov. Deandrea McKenzie, I am a spotless, clean, glamorous, sparkling, adventurous, nice, brainy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.