26 January | Indian Republic Day (2016)

India celebrates its

67th Republic Day on

26 January 2016.

The Constitution Of India

The Constitution Of India
The Constitution Of India | Source

The Indian Constitution

Though the constitution was drafted and submitted to the Assembly on 4th November 1947, and passed by the constituent Assembly of India on 26 November 1949, it came into effect only on the 26th January 1950.
On this day, then, India became an Independent Democratic Republic.

The Indian Constitution is the longest of any constitution by any other country.

The Constitution of India provides all its citizens justice, liberty and equality in all fields, and promotes brotherhood amongst them.

While Independence day celebrates liberation from the British rule, Republic day celebrates the day when the Constitution of India came into effect.

The constitution gave Indian citizens the power to elect their own government.

Indian Republic Day Celebrations

BSF-Republic Day
BSF-Republic Day | Source

Indian Republic Day - A Big Event

We call it Gantantra Diwas in India.

Republic day is one of the most important national events and one of the three national holidays in India, the other two being; Independence day and Gandhi Jayanti.

Regional identity takes a backseat on this day.

Indian Republic day celebrates the day when the constitution of India came into force.

The Republic day celebrations are held at Rajpath, in New Delhi, the capital of India, before the President of India.

The President of India addresses the nation on the eve of the Republic day and this is telecast live on television.

The President Takes The Salute On Republic Day in 2015

The President Taking The Republic Day Salute
The President Taking The Republic Day Salute | Source

Agni-II missile - Republic Day Parade

Agni-II missile Republic Day Parade
Agni-II missile Republic Day Parade | Source

Bidriware Handicraft From Bidar - Karnatake State Tableau - Republic Day Parade 2011

Bidriware Handicraft From Bidar - Karnatake State Tableau - Republic Day Parade 2011
Bidriware Handicraft From Bidar - Karnatake State Tableau - Republic Day Parade 2011 | Source

Float From State of Maharashtra at the 2015 Republic Day Parade

Float representing the state of Maharashtra at the 2015 Republic Day Parade
Float representing the state of Maharashtra at the 2015 Republic Day Parade | Source

Members Of The Indian Military On Motorcycles During The 2015 Republic Day Parade

Members Of The Indian Military On Motorcycles During The 2015 Republic Day Parade
Members Of The Indian Military On Motorcycles During The 2015 Republic Day Parade | Source

Republic Day Celebrations

Republic day is celebrated with much zeal, enthusiasm and fanfare, all over the country. To this end, a grand parade is held in the capital city, New Delhi, which starts from Raisana Hill and moving on Rajpath, past India Gate, ends at the historic Red Fort.

The celebrations start off early in the morning with the Prime Minister laying a floral wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti, at India Gate, to honor soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country. A two minute silence is observed.

The President then arrives with the Chief Guest, who is usually a notable Head of state of a foreign country, and other dignitaries. He then unfurls the national flag while the National Anthem is played. This is followed by a 21 gun salute to the National Flag.

Medals of bravery are awarded by the President to the Armed Forces' personnel for their exceptional bravery and to civilians for their acts of valor in difficult circumstances.

Following this, 4 helicopters of the Armed Forces fly past the area, showering rose petals on the gathering. Each helicopter bears a flag, starting with the Indian Tricolor, and then, the other 3 flags of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

This ceremony marks the beginning of the military parade by the Gallantry Award recipients and then the 3 Armed Force Regiments walk past the President who takes the salute.

The military parade is followed by the colorful cultural parade highlighting the rich Indian culture in the form of regional tableaux which depict their unique festivals, art and historical locations to the accompaniment of songs and folk dances.

The parade showcases India's military might and cultural diversity.

Government departments and ministries also present their tableaux. School children also take part in the parade singing patriotic songs and dancing as is skillful motorcycle riding and acrobatics by the Armed Forces' personnel.

The parade ends with the ceremonial salute to the President with jets and fighter planes flying past the parade.

The National Anthem is played to end the function. This is not the end of the celebrations as the Republic Day celebrations are a 3 day extravaganza.

Rashtrapati Bhavan Illuminated For Republic Day

Rashtrapati Bhawan illuminated
Rashtrapati Bhawan illuminated | Source

On this national celebration day, all government buildings as well as business houses are illuminated with beautiful lighting from the 26-29 January.

Live coverage of the parade is relayed by television and radio channels.

On the 27th January, the creme of the NCC cadets hold a Prime Minister's rally and exhibit breathtaking performances and drills.

Beating The Retreat

This ceremony, held at Vijay Chowk on the evening of 29th January, denotes the end of the Republic Day celebrations.

The ceremony begins by bands of the 3 Armed Services marching & playing popular marching tunes.

Mahatma Gandhi's favorite music "Abide with me" is played by the drummers on this occasion and mesmerizing solo performances by the drummers are also given.

This is followed by the Bugle call for Retreat, beginning with the Band Master walking up to the President and requesting to take the bands away. The retreat is sounded at 6 PM and the National Flag is lowered. During the march back, a popular martial time tune "Sare Jahan Se Accha" is played.

This ceremony revives memories of ancient war customs when the sound of bugles at sunset would signal the cessation of battle for the day, during wartime.

This marks the end of the Republic Day celebrations.

Beating The Retreat (2015)

Indian Army-Sikh Light Infantry regiment

Indian Army-Sikh Light Infantry regiment march past during the Republic Day parade
Indian Army-Sikh Light Infantry regiment march past during the Republic Day parade | Source

Some Imposing Statistics

The 2 hours of public entertainment and celebrations for the Republic Day take 6 months of practice and preparation with more than 6000 marchers, 1200 students, 5000 artists working tirelessly with 33 departments and 3200 officials of the government round the clock to ensure a smooth, glitch free ceremony and foolproof security.

42 contingents of 144 soldiers each march in the parade. About 10,000 personnel reside in Delhi cantonment and parade ground during this time.

The floats and tableaux are the handiwork of about 5000 fabricators and artists. There are over 1,11,000 seats of which almost 20000 seats were opened to the general public during the Republic day celebrations in 2015.

Cables as long as 38 kilometers are put by the Army's Signal Regiment to ensure the sound system is perfect.

Ashoka Pillar Signboard

Ashoka Pillar Signboard
Ashoka Pillar Signboard | Source

Ashoka Pillar Sarnath

Sarnath Ashoka Pillar
Sarnath Ashoka Pillar | Source

Ashoka Lions from Sarnath

Ashoka Lions From Sarnath
Ashoka Lions From Sarnath | Source

Interesting Indian Republic Day Facts

  1. Prior to the day the Constitution of India came into force, that is, 26 January 1950, the head of the State was an appointed Governor General. Following this, the President became Head of the State.
  2. The 1st Republic Day parade was held on 26 January 1950 itself, the day the constitution of India came into effect.
  3. Jawaharlal Nehru, the 1st Indian Prime Minister, addressed the nation on the eve of the 1st Republic Day, though from then on, it is the President who does so.
  4. President Sukarno of Indonesia was the 1st Chief Guest on the 1st Republic Day parade.
  5. The peacock was declared as the national bird on Republic day in 1963.
  6. The Lion Head from the Ashoka Pillar in Sarnath was adopted as the National Emblem on this day.
  7. Over 100 aircraft participated in the 1st Republic Day parade.
  8. The first copy of the Indian Constitution was handwritten and calligraphed, not printed, in Hindi and English.
  9. The 1st Republic Day venue was Irwin Stadium, now National Stadium. Rajpath became a permanent feature for the venue from the year 1955.
  10. On 26 January 1950, Hindi was declared as the official language of India.

The 66th Republic Day 2015 Ceremony

Patriotic Song - Aye Watan Aye Watan

Patriotic Song - Mere Desh Ki Dharti

© 2016 Rajan Singh Jolly

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Comments 18 comments

swalia profile image

swalia 10 months ago

Informative hub and at the appropriate time. Nice selection of patriotic songs!


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 10 months ago from london

Beautiful scenes. Powerful celebrations of this Republic Day Celebrations. You've presented the country as strong, both in stateliness and military acumen. Of course the movie industry and music is very much a part of your culture. What a dignified and well-presented Hub!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 10 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@swalia - thank you.

@manatita - yes, music is very much a part of our culture and we have some beautiful patriotic songs sung, the above being the among the top best. Thanks for visiting, Bro.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 10 months ago from london

Yes, Rajan, India's patriotic songs have served to heal, arouse and inspire so many Souls! Spiritual Masters come and bleed for us and Nature. Their lives are a greater sacrifice than their deaths.

So too, your video captures the Spirit of a bleeding, yet loving Mother, embracing Her children with the Joys of Sacrifice and Gratitude. Hari Om!


Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 10 months ago from Hyderabad, India

Very beautiful presentation of the Republic Day ceremony. The songs chosen are the greatest songs which I like too much for their portrayal of our culture and emotions. Nice work done by you.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 10 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ manatita, wonderfully expressed feelings. mother or motherland is one and the same thing and when it's being ruled by others is cause for not only concern but action. This is what the 1st video is about and the film revolves around Bhagat Singh who was hanged during the freedom struggle.

It has been a battle that was fought by peace and as always happens with a lot of people sacrificing everything including their lives.

@Venkatachari M thank you very much. You certainly know how many sacrifices our martyr's have given to liberate our country.


DDE profile image

DDE 10 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

A brilliant approach to this hub. Informative and I had no idea of this day.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 10 months ago from the short journey

Thank you for an interesting look at India's Republic Day. The vastness of India, both its land, its history, and its peoples always intrigue me. Being established as a republic has allowed India to make huge progresses in a short time. The battle to remain a republic never ends.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 10 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@DDE - thanks for the visit.

@RTalloni - I agree with you. Remaining one with so many cultures within is a feat by itself. Thanks for stopping by.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 10 months ago from london

Yes, Rajan. Bhagat Singh is immortal and it does seem that sacrifice is sometimes necessary, or let's say when caught, the tyrannical leaders do what they do best. Same story in Jamaica, Haiti and other Caribbean Islands where slaves created an uprising.

Still, they left us a rich legacy of Spirit.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

I agree with Manatitia...your article is richly informative and presented with the dignity and elegance of culture and history that is India. This is beautiful and inspirational.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 10 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@manatita, the legacy is what is appreciated and remembered by the following generations though it is a different matter how this is used to cater to their benefit by politicians.

@Genna, thanks for appreciating the effort.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 10 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

I learned very much about India's Republic Day in this awesome hub accompanied with great photos and videos. Have you ever gone to New Delhi to witness the festivities? I am sharing this with Hubpage followers and on Facebook.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 10 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Paul, I haven't been to New Delhi to witness the festivities but have seen them being relayed live on television. Thanks for reading this hub and passing it on.


Surabhi Kaura profile image

Surabhi Kaura 10 months ago from Toronto, Canada

A most pertinent hub. Thanks for sharing it, Rajan ji.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 10 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Surabhi, thanks for reading and commenting on the hub.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 9 months ago from USA

I enjoyed reading this, Rajan, as the holiday seems to be an impressive nation event!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 9 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

I'm glad you like the information on our Republic day celebrations. Thank you, Flourish.

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