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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Celebrate 64th Republic Day of India today.....



26TH   January is a very important day for the Nation ‘Republic Day’ of the Nation. Republic is from latin ‘res publica’ which could be translated as ‘a public affair’.   What many may not know is today is the day when the Indian Tricolour was first unfurled in January 1930 at Lahore, by Pt Jawaharlal Nehru and the declaration of an independent Indian National Congress was made.   The seeds had been sown  at the Lahore session of the Indian National Congress at the midnight of 31st December 1929  held under the presidency of Pt. Jawarhar Lal Nehru. Those present in the meeting took a pledge to mark January 26 as "Independence Day" in order to march towards realizing the dream of complete independence from the British. The Lahore Session paved way to the Civil Disobedience movement. It was decided that January 26, 1930 would be observed as the Purna Swaraj (complete Independence) Day.  The transition of that dream was fraught with many hurdles, the declaration of Swaraj made on that day was etched in the memory of all patriotic Indians.

Today, Nation honours the Soldiers who have performed outstanding deeds of bravery and selfless sacrifice by awarding bravery medals: Param Vir Chakra, Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra. Children are also honoured with National Bravery Awards for the highest degree of valour and selfless sacrifice.

In India, Republic Day commemorates the date on which India gave to itself a Constitution replacing the Govt. of India Act of 1935 as the governing document.     After independence, laws were based on modified colonial Govt. Of India Act 1935 – a draft Constitution was prepared by the committee and submitted to the Assembly on November 4, 1947. The Assembly met, in sessions open to public, for 166 days, spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days before adopting the Constitution. After many deliberations and some modifications, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two hand-written copies of the document (one each in Hindi and English) on January 24, 1950. Two days later, the Constitution of India became the law of all the Indian lands. The Constitution of India came into effect only on January 26, 1950. Following elections on January 21, 1950, Rajendra Prasad was elected as the president of India. This was, in fact, a deliberate act, signing the constitution on January 26, to mark and respect the freedom fighters who wanted January 26, 1947 as India's initial Independence day.

Thus on 26th January, 1950 that Republic of India was formed and the Constitution of India came into force. Republic Day is celebrated with much enthusiasm throughout the country. The patriotic fervour of every Indian on this day brings the whole country united. To honour the occasion, a grand celebration is held at New Delhi, the national capital. The celebrations begin with spectacular presentation projecting India's military prowess. The President of India - unfurls the National Flag, followed by the National Anthem. The different regiments of Army, Navy and Air Force march in-synchrony from Rashtrapati Bhavan, along the Rajpath and reach the India Gate saluting the President of India, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces. There will be Parade in all State Capitals and other places too....




The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, addressed the Nation on the eve of the 64th Republic Day.  Here is a small excerpt from the President's address on the occasion:

My Fellow Citizens
On the eve of our 64th Republic Day, I extend warm greetings to all of you in India and abroad. I convey my special greetings to members of our armed forces, paramilitary forces and internal security forces.

India has changed more in last six decades than in six previous centuries. This is neither accidental nor providential; history shifts its pace when touched by vision. The great dream of raising a new India from the ashes of colonialism reached a historic denouement in 1947; more important, independence became a turning point for an equally dramatic narrative, nation-building. The foundations were laid through our Constitution, adopted on 26 January 1950, which we celebrate each year as Republic Day. Its driving principle was a compact between state and citizen, a powerful public-private partnership nourished by justice, liberty and equality.

India's most impregnable asset is self-belief. Each challenge becomes an opportunity to strengthen our resolve to achieve unprecedented economic growth and social stability. Such resolve must be nourished by an avalanche of investment, particularly in better and greater education. Education is the ladder that can help those at the bottom to rise to the pinnacles of professional and social status. Education is the mantra that can transform our economic fortunes and eliminate the gaps that have made our society unequal. So far education has not reached, to the extent desired, to those most in need of this ladder. India can double its growth rate by turning today's disadvantaged into multiple engines of economic development.

On our 64th Republic Day, there may be some reason for concern, but none for despair. If India has changed more in six decades than six previous centuries, then I promise you that it will change more in the next ten years than in the previous sixty. India's enduring vitality is at work.

Even the British sensed that they were leaving a land which was very different from the one they had occupied. At the base of the Jaipur Column in Rashtrapati Bhavan there is an inscription:
"In thought faith...
In word wisdom...
In deed courage...
In life service...
So may India be great "
The spirit of India is written in stone.
JAI HIND!

in the service of motherland – S. Sampathkumar.

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