Republic Day 2018: It took two years and six months after that speech to adopt the Indian Constitution and make it come into effect on 26th January 1950. On that day India was transformed from constitutional monarchy under King George VI to democratic republic, which it celebrates as Republic Day every year.
When Jawaharlal Nehru delivered his “Tryst with Destiny” speech, where he said, “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom”, India was still not a democratic republic. It took two years and six months after that speech to adopt the Indian Constitution and make it come into effect on 26th January 1950. On that day India was transformed from constitutional monarchy under King George VI to democratic republic, which it celebrates as Republic Day every year. On 28 August 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed to draft a permanent constitution, with Dr B R Ambedkar as chairman. While India’s Independence Day celebrates its freedom from British Rule, the Republic Day celebrates the coming into force of its Constitution. During India’s first Republic Day celebrations the Indonesian President Sukarno was the chief guest. The main Republic Day celebration is held in New Delhi, at the Rajpath before the President of India. On this day, ceremonial parades take place at Rajpath, which showcases India’s unity, diversity and rich cultural heritage.
Republic day parade:-
India’s Defence capability, cultural and social Heritage are displayed during the dazzling Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. Commencing from the gates of the Rashtrapati Bhavan (the President’s residence), Raisina Hill on Rajpath past the India Gate, this event is the main attraction of India’s Republic Day Celebrations.
Republic Day Guests:
The tradition of inviting Foreign leaders as guests started from 1950, however, India did not host any foreign guests in 1952 and 1953. Indonesian President Sukarno was the first to attend in 1951 followed by King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah of Nepal what was the guest in 1952. Notably, it was only three times in the history of India, when the country had invited two guests from different countries at a time in the Republic Day celebrations. The details are as followed:-
1. Year 1956 – Guests — Chancellor of the Exchequer R. A. Butler, United Kingdom and Chief Justice Kotaro Tanaka, Japan.
2. Year 1968- Guests — Chairman Alexei Kosygin, Soviet Union and President Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslavia.
3. Year 1974- Guests– President Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslavia and Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Sri Lanka.
Why Republic day 2018 is going to be a historic one?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said Republic Day celebration in 2018 would be “remembered through the ages” because the government for the first time in India’s history would host leaders of 10 ASEAN countries as chief guests on January 26. “On January 26, the arrival of great leaders of 10 nations of the world as a unit is a matter of pride for all Indians,” Modi said. He said January 26 is a historic festival for all Indians but “January 26, 2018, will especially be remembered through the ages”. The ten ASEAN countries include — Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.
1. Joko Widodo, President, Indonesia:- Joko Widodo is the seventh and current President of Indonesia. He assumed the office in 2014. Widodo served as the Mayor of Surakarta from 2005 to 2012 and Governor of Jakarta from 2012 to 2014. He belongs to a political party known as Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P)
2. Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister, Malaysia:- Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak is the sixth and current Prime Minister of Malaysia. He assumed the office on 3 April 2009 by succeeding Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Najib is the eldest son of Abdul Razak Hussein, Malaysia’s second Prime Minister. He served as a Governor at Asian Development Bank and International Monetary Fund.
3. Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President, Philippines: He is the 16th president of the Philippines. Earlier, he served seven terms as mayor of Davao City in the Philippines. Duterte graduated from law school in 1972 and joined the City Prosecution Office of Davao City.
4. Lee Hsien Loong is serving as the prime minister of Singapore since 2004. He is the current chair of ASEAN. He last visited India in 2017. Lee had led his party to victory in the 2006, 2011 and 2015 general elections. He began his current term on 15 January 2016 following the opening of Singapore’s 13th Parliament. Lee is the eldest son of Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew.
5. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister, Thailand: Prayut Chan-o-cha is a retired Royal Thai Army officer who is the head of the National Council for Peace and Order, a military junta, and concurrently serves as the Prime Minister of Thailand. He last visited India in June 2016. PM Modi travelled to Thailand in November 2016.
6. Haji Hassanal, Sultan of Brunei is the 29th and current Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei. He was born to the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III and Raja Isteri (Queen) Pengiran Anak Damit. He is among the richest persons in the world and has been the King since 1967. He last visited India in May 2008. India shared a bilateral trade worth $ 495.54 million in 2016 with Brunei
7. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister, Vietnam: He is the 7th Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. He was elected to the post of the National Assembly, nominated on April 8, 2016 by his predecessor, Nguyen Tan Dung. Phuc became a member of the Communist Party in Vietnam on November 12, 1983.
8. Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister, Lao PDR: Thongloun Sisoulith is the prime minister of Lao PDR since 2016. Earlier, Sisoulith was Deputy Prime Minister from 2001 to 2016. He met PM Modi in 2016 when Lao PDR hosted the ASEAN and East Asia Summits. India had a trade relation worth $ 233.10 million in 2016-17 with this country.
9. Aung San Suu Kyi is the incumbent State Counsellor, a position akin to a Prime Minister in Myanmar. She is also the first woman to serve as Minister for foreign affairs, for the President’s Office, for Electric Power and Energy, and for Education in the country. Suu Kyi holds a special relationship with India. She last visited India in October 2016 before PM Modi’s visit to Myanmar in September 2017.
10. Hun Sen, Prime Minister, Cambodia: Hun Sen is the current Prime Minister of Cambodia. He has served as Prime Minister since 1985, making him the world’s longest-serving prime minister. Sen was 32 years old when he became prime minister, making him at that time the world’s youngest head of government.