Though India won freedom in August 1947, she continued to be governed by the constitution which the British had framed. Even before the independence, the constituent assembly had been entrusted with the task of framing a new constitution for India. The constitution was completed in November, 1949. It came into force in January 1950. The new constitution which the people of India framed, declared India a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic. Hence 26th January is known as the republic day.

The republic day is a red letter day in the history of India. It was on this day that India became a complete sovereign nation after centuries of foreign rule. It ushered in an era of self-rule. India got the opportunity now to shape her destiny by herself. She is not to be dictated by any foreign country either in domestic or foreign matters.

Since republic day is of immense significance, it is celebrated all over India with great pomp and show. But in Delhi, the capital of India, it is celebrated with greater grandeur and splendor. The programme begins with the march of the president’s procession from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India gate. Peoples in large numbers flock to the city from various parts of the country to witness the parade. Seats are provided for VIPs including foreigners. At India Gate, the president takes the salute of the three wings of defence forces, i.e. Army, Navy and Air force.

Various awards are presented on this day by the president. Gallantry awards are given to those who distinguish themselves by exceptional deeds of bravery or self-sacrifice in combat against the enemy on land, sea, or in the air and for valour in the fields other than defence. Civilians are honoured with various types of awards for their meritorious services to the country in the field of art literature science and social services. After this the president returns to Rashtrapati Bhavan but the rest of the procession continues its march till it ends at the Red Fort.

The procession is a grand spectacle. It represents India in miniature. It consists of the marching parade by the three wings of the defence forces. Besides, there are N.C.C., A.C.C., Delhi Police and Fire Brigade. Artillery tanks, anti-aircrafts guns, missiles bombers etc. are also exhibited. The tableaux present a view of India in miniature. Aero plane fly overhead in various formation. At night, public buildings are profusely illuminated and the display of fire work provides entertainment and enjoyment to people. The republic day has a great message for us. It reminds us of the sacrifice made by freedom fighters, exhorts us to work hard for the welfare and prosperity of the country and for the territorial integrity. It tells us of how much has been achieved ad how much is to be achieved. it also call upon us to work for the fulfillment of the ideals which free India stands for.