Republic Day and Independence Day are extremely important days in India’s history and they are celebrated every year to commemorate our freedom from British rule. These two days are public holidays and people take time out and participate in the various activities and events taking place on these celebratory occasions. Many individuals think these days are interchangeable and stand for the same thing, however, they both have separate significance. Here is a breakdown of both the national events, why they are important and how they are celebrated nationwide.
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On the stroke of the midnight hour, between 14 and 15 August, 1947, India got independence from British rule. This day is celebrated with nationalistic fervour throughout the country. It reminds us of the courage and grit of freedom fighters who laid down their lives to achieve freedom for the nation from the colonial powers. They fought valiantly, got arrested and sometimes even got slayed, all for the cause of the nation. Independence day is used to remember their bravery and recalls the day we were freed from the brutal imperialist forces.
The elected Prime Minister addresses the nation at the historical monument Red Fort in New Delhi and hoists our tricolour flag. The national flag is hoisted in every state capital, city, village, town and school of the country to show their love for their country.
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India got independence in 1947 from British rule, however, it was not a Republic until 1950, when the constitution of the country was made and the country was declared as a Republic. In 1947, India got separated from the colonies and was recognised as an Independent nation among the comity of nations, but it still followed the British constitution and recognised the British Monarch as its head. It was on January 26, 1950, that India adopted its newly written constitution and became a Republic.
Becoming a Republic was important because it meant that India had a right to opt for its head of state to become the President of the country. This led C Rajagopalachari to become the last Governor General of India, as we could now have our own Presidents and did not need British-appointed heads of state.
Every year, to commemorate the special occasion there is a grand parade including all three wings of our armed forces pass through New Delhi to present to other nations the strength and vigour of our nation. It also involves the procession of colourfully decorated ‘Jhankis’ from every state and union territory to showcase their unique and diverse culture. This parade is telecast live on national television from New Delhi, and every year a head of another country is invited as the Chief Guest to witness the parade. This year, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will be the guest of honour for the Republic Day celebrations.