India got its independence on 15th of August 1947. It was till then governed by the laws made by the British. Free India required a Constitution of its own by which it could govern itself. A Constitution had to be drafted. An assembly was constituted for the purpose. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Dr. Ambedkar and many other eminent persons were involved in drafting the Constitution. The draft was discussed, finalised and approved by the Constituent Assembly constituted for the purpose. The Indian Constitution came into effect on January 26, 1950.
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, have solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; And to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;
The Constitution makes it quite clear in the preamble that we are the citizens of a free secular democratic country. Justice, liberty and equality are enjoyed by all citizens irrespective of caste, religion or sex. That is the unique specialty of our Constitution.
The nation celebrates the Republic Day on 26th of January with pomp and gaiety. It is a national holiday. New Delhi, the capital of our country, is the centre of activities that day. Republic Day parade is a great attraction. The President takes the salute. The three wings of the defence, namely, army, navy and air force, parade their best and latest acquisitions on that day. The Republic Day parade is spectacular to watch. After the army wings come the Territorial Army, Border Security Force, Delhi Police, N.C.C. cadets, Band troupes and Bharat Scouts and Guides.
Then come the elephants, horses and camels, followed by tableaux from various States, which are beautifully decorated. Then come the school children and cultural troupes, dancing and singing. The air force planes perform various feats in the sky. They drop petals from the air. The buildings of all offices and establishments are decorated and lit brightly with bulbs. It is a treat to watch them during nights. Ambassadors of all countries attend the Republic Day parade where India's armed might, culture and pageantry are on show. Greetings are exchanged as is done on the Independence Day. The President hosts a banquet to dignitaries in the evening.
Another important event connected with the Republic Day is conferring of awards - civilian awards such as Padmasree, Bharat Ratna etc., military honours like Vir Chakra, Paramvir Chakra etc., Indian Police medals and Arjun awards for sportsmen and many other awards are announced on that occasion.
Republic day parades on similar lines are held at the capitals of all the States. The Governor unfurls the National Flag, takes the guard of honour and delivers his address. At the district headquarters the collectors take the salute. It is a day of dedication for all.
Functions are held in all educational institutions. Students are asked to take a pledge to maintain unity and integrity of the country and to dedicate themselves to the nation.
Cultural shows follow and continue for three days in the capital. On the third day there is a function called Retreat where various bands display their best. Thus comes to an end the pomp and gaiety of Republic Day celebrations.