What comes to your mind thinking of 26 January? Some of you might get reminded of the tri-color flag while others of the school-days celebration and sweets. But, what is its importance? Why do we celebrate Republic Day? While you may know this as the day when India framed its constitution. Is it enough? Or that India was now the declared Republic? The common definition of ‘Republic’ in India means something when the topmost position should be elected and filled, and which is the President’s position. Moreover, there are rules and procedures for that and which are gotten from our constitution along with the laws and procedures.
Our constitution makes us a democratic republic. 26 January 1950 forever bestowed on India the epithet of a ‘Democratic and republic country’. On 9 December 1946, the constitution started forming and it took a total of 2 years 11 months, and 17 days to make it by Constituent assembly headed by Dr. B.R Ambedkar. This means that our constitution was made on 26 November 1949. What justifies the 2 months delay? The reason is of historical significance. December 1928, the Indian National Congress passed a resolution demanding dominion status and gave the British government one year time for granting that but the British said India was not ready for complete dominion status.
In Dec 1929 Lahore session Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the Indian flag on the Ravi River and declared that we will soon celebrate independence. So, the committee decided that the last Sunday of January 1930 to be celebrated as Purna Swaraj and that day fell to be 26 January 1930. So, to keep this day’s significance this date was kept and thus 2 months were passed this way. 24 Jan 1920 India elected its first President Dr. Rajendra Prasad and two days later our constitution came to power and from this day India became a republic country. Republic day is lavishly spent with parades and tableaus but amid the situation of country crisis which is shares as a world crisis, there are certain changes which are expected and which we will list down today.
No tableaus to be held in Delhi this year
With reference to the recent Nav Bharat times news of Tuesday, 19th January the condition seems as there would be no tableaus this year on Republic day. The central selection committee has not included the previous year’s held tableaus in the Republic day parade. This is yet unsanctioned by the Delhi government but the current rumors somewhat add to this update. The reasons for not including the tableaus are also not open to the public eyes yet. Delhi government was ready to host the tableau on ‘Delhi- city of hopes’ and all the preparations were done, but, Delhi tableau has not yet got the green flag. Previously in the years 2018 and 2020 too the Delhi government was unable to choose for the Delhi tableaus.
Parade at 10:30 a.m
Surprised? Everyone is. Usually every year, the republic day parade is cast on the television right from 10:00 a.m but this year it would be delayed by half an hour. It is happening for the first time in the 75 years of independence. This delay comes half due to the peak of the Covid situation we’ve as a nation fallen into and a half because, before the parade, a tribute would be given to the Kashmir security personnel who laid down their lives at the line of duty. Other rumors relate the situation to a fall in temperature in North India which means less visibility. This delay was announced keeping such a situation in mind.
No chief guest yet again this year
This year, like the year 2020, India would receive no foreign chief guest as a witness of the parade. This can be well understood is because of the surge in Delta and Omicron cases in the country. With a Covid count hitting the past 2 lakh mark, it seems to be a wiser decision from the Indian government. Last year, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was invited as the chief guest but he called it off amid the COVID-19 crisis. In the past, India saw no Republic Day guests in 1952, 1953, and 1966. So, who all would be allowed to witness the grandeur of this auspicious day? It has been reported that only 5000 to 8000 people would be allowed to be an eyewitness of the parade and speeches while on regular times, the count would be half a million. Last year when Republic day was celebrated, it was between the end of the highly affecting Delta wave. This year though, it is falling among the time when the scientists call for concern for the peak of the third wave in India. The people hence are motivated to watch the republic day parade on their Televisions, safe from getting infected.
Auto-rickshaw drivers, sanitization workers, and frontline workers to be invited
A very unique decision comes from the Indian government this time to the rickshaw drivers and frontline workers to come and see the parade at Rajpath. Seats would thus be reserved for different people from different walks of life. This is a special chance for those who technically never get any chance to see Republic day sitting on the seats. For the safety of everyone, only doubly-vaccinated attendees would be allowed to enter with the maintenance of a six feet distance and all other covid protocols. Ten large LED screens have been installed on each side of the Rajpath for guests to have a better view of live performances of the event.
So, the necessary celebrations would not be hampered and as good citizens of this amazing country, we all should definitely invest our time and see the glorious parade which would be telecasted live. Being there physically should not be our only concern as times are hard and we are in the midst of a battle that is taking turns. With a few notable changes, Republic day is yet to be celebrated and we should not let the excitement die. This is as important as Holi, Christmas, Eid, Guru Purnima, or many such festivals. With every independence and republic day, our minds should go back to the past to those sung and unsung heroes who left everything and whose blood is re-spilled every year on these days. So, the party must go on but the crisis should not be neglected.
Enjoy republic day as best as you can. Jai Hind.