Republic Day of India – History, Significance

Republic Day is celebrated to commemorate the day when the country became ‘republic’. The word republic is derived from latin words ‘res publica’ which literally means an entity for the public. It is a form of government in which the supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and has an elected or nominated President rather than a Monarch.

Republic Day of India (Bharat) marks the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect, i.e. on 26 January 1950, as the governing document of India, replacing the colonial ‘Government of India Act (1935)’ adapted from the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Constitution was adopted by the ‘Indian Constituent Assembly’ on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950. ‘Samvidhan Divas’ or the ‘National Law Day’ is celebrated on 26th November every year to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India.

The Constitution of India lays down the framework that demarcates political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions. It also sets out the fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of its Citizens. It is the longest written Constitution of any Country.


History and Celebrations

India celebrates 26th January as the Republic Day. The date of 26 January was chosen as the Republic Day because it was on this day in 1929 when Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) was proclaimed by the Indian National Congress. On 26 January 1950, Rajendra Prasad was elected as the first President of India by the Constituent Assembly.

The Republic Day celebration is held in New Delhi (the national capital of India), at the Rajpath before the President of India. On this day, ceremonious parades take place at the Rajpath – performed as a tribute to India, its unity in diversity, and rich cultural heritage, and showcase the mighty strength of its defence armed forces. The Beating Retreat ceremony is conducted on the evening of 29 January after officially denoting the end of Republic Day festivities.

Preamble to the Constitution of India

The Preamble to the Constitution of India is an introductory statement that presents the key principles of the Constitution, which was adopted on 26 November 1949 by the Constituent Assembly, and came into effect on 26 January 1950.

The original Preamble was amended only once on 18 December 1976, by a Captive Parliament during the Emergency, as the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution of India. The words ‘Sovereign Democratic Republic’ were changed to ‘Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic’, and the words ‘unity of the Nation’ were changed to ‘unity and integrity of the Nation’. The following is the Preamble to the Constitution of India.

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having 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;

Soft copy of the Constitution of India is available online, and can be accessed from the Government of India website –

Edited and Published by Team MandirOnline