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January 26, 2016

Everything you need to know about India’s first republic day celebrations

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“Today for the first time in our long and chequered history, we find the whole of this vast land brought together under the jurisdiction of one constitution and one union which takes over responsibility for the welfare of more than 320 million men and women who inhabit it.” – Dr
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Today for the first time in our long and chequered history, we find the whole of this vast land brought together under the jurisdiction of one constitution and one union which takes over responsibility for the welfare of more than 320 million men and women who inhabit it.” – Dr Rajendra Prasad (26th January, 1950)

India gained its independence on August 15th, 1947 but it was on 26th of January, 1950 C. Rajagopalachari, the Governor General, announced India as a Sovereign Democratic Republic. Every year we watch Republic Day celebrations on our television to see colorful jhankis and jets but how about we take a journey and go back 67 years in time.

9. The first and only President Oath Ceremony on Republic Day

The swearing ceremony took place at Rashtrapati Bhawan’s Durbar Hall. Incidentally, this was the first and the last time that a swearing in ceremony of a President on Republic Day took place.

8. 31-gun salute

A 31-gun salute on the 26th of January, 1950 at 10:30 AM took place to celebrate India’s Republic status and to congratulate our first president.

7. The President arrived on his state carriage

There were no bullet-proof cars or luxury cars such as Beamer or Mercedes. The president arrived on his state carriage along with his assistants.

6. The Ashoka pillar replica was placed in the Durbar hall

The Ashoka pillar replica was set near the once used British viceroys’ throne. A statue of Buddha was
also placed behind the throne.

5. Flag ceremony and Parade was held at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium

The first parade was not at Rajpath but at Irwin Amphitheatre. It was attended by 15,000 civilians.

4. Tableau did not form part of the ceremony

Only the armed forces honored the ceremony. Our favorite colorful jhankis and school children performances were not part of the ceremony.

3. All is ‘not‘ Well

Not everyone was happy with the celebrations and in some states there was unrest. Police officers in Calcutta were attacked and an attempt on the life of the Hyderabad Nizam was reported.

2. Republic Day’s first chief guest

Indonesia’s first president, President Sukarno, was the first chief guest to attend Republic Day celebrations.

1. National holiday for 2 Days

Am sure we all want 2 days off!

Don’t forget to tune in this Tuesday, January 26th, 2016, to watch 67th celebrations of Republic Day. Jai Hind.

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