10:18 AM - the time that gave India its new identity 69 years ago
10 lesser known facts about Indian Republic Day
At 10:18 am on January 26, 1950, India officially adopted its Constitution to become a Republic country, replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of the nation. Since then, the country has been celebrating Republic Day every year on January 26 to honour the date on which the Constitution came into effect. The day is celebrated with much fervour and a massive parade is organised at Delhi’s Rajpath. But do you know why we chose January 26 as the day to adopt the Constitution? It wasn’t a random selection and the date – January 26 – was chosen with a purpose. But what was that? Below is the answer along with several other lesser known facts about India’s Republic Day.
Lesser known facts about Indian Republic Day:
- The Indian Constituent Assembly had adopted that the Constitution on 26 November 1949. However, it came into effect on January 26, 1950. At 10:18 am on January 26, 1950, India replaced the Government of India Act (1935) with the Constitution and to honour the date, Republic day is celebrated every year.
- The date, 26 January was chosen as the Republic Day because on this day in 1930, the India National Congress had proclaimed the Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) as opposed to the Dominion status offered by British regime.
- Indian Constitution was prepared by Bhimrao Ambedkar in two languages - Hindi and English. It took him and the other members of the Drafting Committee 2 years, 11 months and 18 days to complete the Indian Constitution.
- Both the copies of the constitution were signed by 308 effective members of the Assembly 2 days before the Republic Day on 24th January 1950. After two days, it became effective in the entire country.
- When the Constitution was commenced, it had 395 articles in 22 parts and 8 schedules. However, after 101 amendments, It now consists of 448 Articles.
- The Indian Constitution has many features borrowed from other constitutions of the world. For example, 5-year plan and the idea of fraternity, liberty and equality came from French and USSR (now Russia) Constitutions.
- The original copies of the Constitution are still kept in the helium-filled cases in the Library of Parliament house.
- The celebration of Republic day ends after 3 days with a beating retreat on 29th January. The beating retreat ceremony is held at Vijay Chowk with special performances by the bands of Indian Army and Indian Navy.
- The original copies of the Constitution of India were not printed but calligraphed.
- All the bravery awards such as Veer Chakra, Ashok Chakra and Param Veer Chakra are given on Republic Day.
First Published: Saturday, January 26, 2019 12:55 PM