61Th Republic Day of India

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26th January 1950 is the day when India became a truly sovereign state. In this day India became a totally republican unit. The country finally realized the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and the numerous freedom fighters who, fought for and sacrificed their lives for the Independence of their country. So, the 26th of January was decreed a national holiday and has been recognized and celebrated as the Republic Day of India, ever since.

How is Republic Day celebrated?

The Prime Minister lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti early in the morning to honor the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the nation. A two minute silence is observed in their memory and the Prime Minister moves ahead to the main dais at Rajpath. The President joins him/her there along with the Chief Guest and other dignitaries. The Chief Guest is usually the Head of State or Government from a foreign nation. The President hoists the flag and soon, the National Anthem is played. This is followed by a 21 gun salute.

To mark the importance of this occasion, a grand parade is held in the capital, New Delhi, from Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s House), along the Rajpath , past India Gate and on to the historic Red Fort. The Parade begins with winners of gallantry awards passing the President in open jeeps. President takes the salute at the grand parade. Soon after, awards are distributed to them by the President. Parade ends by helicopters from the armed forces fly past the parade area showering rose petals on the audience. The military parade is followed by a color full cultural parade.

The displays from all the states are meant to promote the feeling of familiarity, brotherhood and unity among the people of this vast country. Cultural functions are held in different parts of India to mark the occasion. In true sense Republic Day is the celebration of India’s sovereignty and freedom.

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