January 26 holds a special place in our calendar. We celebrate this day as our Republic Day.
This year, our country celebrates the completion of 73 years as a republic nation.
Like many of you, January 26 was marked as a day with morning parades followed by patriotic songs and cultural programs in my childhood. In my adulthood, this day becomes just another confirmed holiday to enjoy.
We celebrate this day throughout our country in different ways. But, amidst the celebration, we often forget to focus on the enormous power given to us by this day.
Let’s start a journey to explore this day to its core. I hope, after completing this blog, you will become a more aware citizen of our great nation.
What is the Significance of January 26?
India freed itself from the British dominancy in 1947, but this country needed more time to have emerged as a republic and democratic nation. A committee was working under the leadership of Shri (Dr.) B.R. Ambedkar and the Indian constitution came into effect on January 26, 1950.
That day the country emerged as a republic state and officially known as the Republic of India. Since 1950, the day, January 26, has been celebrated as the Republic Day of India.
The day is a national holiday in Indian Calendar, and we Indian treat this day as a day to remember our freedom fighters, who gave their soul and whole to bring freedom to our nation.
After thinking about the day’s significance, a question lingered in my head while thinking about January 26:
Do we realize the power that this day gave to us as Indian citizens?
I found most of us are unaware of the rights given us by our constitution. You are welcome to this journey for finding out the significance of a Republic nation and the strengths and rights given us by our constitution.
What is the meaning of the word Republic?
Republic is a type of nation where the representative of people controls power and is
monitored by constitutions. The term republic is often interchangeably used with
democracy, but there are some distinct differences between these two concepts.
Firstly, in a republican country, there should always be the head of the state, who represents
the rest of the state’s population, but in democracy, the community of citizens holds
power instead of a single representative.
Secondly, the constitution plays a big role in the republican country as the power of the representative is checked and controlled by the guidelines and specifications of the constitutions, but constitutional control does not constrain the non-republican democracy.
India is a country that believes in the republic system, where the population chooses their representative through a democratic election system. The supreme power of India is elected as per its citizens’ choice and always monitored through constitutional power.
Baba Saheb Ambedkar: A Great National Hero
Our celebration as a republican country would be incomplete without mentioning one of
our most notable national heroes, Shri Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, popularly known as Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
Dr. Ambedkar was the architect of our constitution, who faced the cruelty of untouchability and the class system in his early life as he came from a Dalit family. He was vocal against the inhumanity of the class and caste system throughout his life.
Let\’s have a minute to think about the irony of fate:
A boy deprived of his right due to his caste had risen as the person who engineered the rights of all the citizens of a nation.
It seems that there is no better person than Dr. B.R. Ambedkar for building our constitution.
He is the true rebel of India who fought against all the negativity and adversity of the caste system and showed his citizen the right direction to exercise their rights.
Contrary to popular belief, a rebel doesn\’t only create chaos in a system; a brave rebel like Dr. Ambedkar can also bring order to chaos.
Ten interesting facts about our constitution
Indian constitution is the lengthiest written constitution globally that consists of 470 articles grouped in 25 parts.
Following are ten more interesting random facts about the Indian Constitution:
- It has been amended 105 times from 1950 to 2021. (Here, the amendment means when the constitution was altered as per the country\’s current needs.)
- The first draft of the constitution has been amended more than 2000 times.
- The constitution was signed first time on January 24, 1950.
- The constitution was signed by 283 members of the constitution assembly group.
- Ideas and concepts of the Indian Constitution were taken from the constitution of different countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, United States of America, Canada, Australia, USSR, France, Germany, and Japan, among many other countries.
- The original constitution was handwritten using italic style, and each page was decorated in the art form Shantiniketan.
- Indian constitution was originally written in Hindi and English.
- The handwritten constitution took almost three years to be completed.
- The original copies of the constitution are preserved in Parliament\’s central library.
- The first election of independence of India was held after the enactment of the Indian Constitution.
Do you know your rights?
Our indifference about our constitutional rights always amuses me. While reading this
blog, ask any Indian in front of you about their right as an Indian citizen, and you will find most of them are clueless about this.
Even in this age of information, where any information is just a click away, we, Indian citizens, are not eager to know and explore our constitutional rights.
This year, while celebrating Republic Day, let\’s also learn more about your rights.
The fundamental rights given by the Indian Constitution are documented through article 12 to article 35.
The following section highlights some of the most important articles protecting our fundamental rights.
- Article 12: This article gives the Government of India and its Parliament the supreme power in terms of Executive and Legislative of the union.
- Article 13: This article protects the citizen from the manipulative power of states if any. According to this article, every law created and enacted by the state should align with the individual rights given in the constitution.
- Article 14: This article confirms that every citizen within the Indian territory is equal before the law and must receive equal protection from the law.
- Article 15: This article assures the equal right of every Indian citizen irrespective of religion, race, caste, gender, or place of origin. No discrimination or restriction should be exercised on the Indian citizen based on the above-mentioned criteria.
- Article 16: This article provides equal opportunity to all the citizens in employment under the state.
- Article 19: This article provides freedom of speech and expression to citizens. It confirms that every Indian citizen has the right to express their thoughts through speech and other mediums. It also empowers citizens to assemble and unions peacefully in any part of the country, move freely throughout the Indian territory, and practice any profession.
- Article 21: This article ensures that all the Indian citizens would live with human dignity, and the states would hamper no life or liberty except for the procedures established by law.
- Article 23 and 24: These articles protect Indian citizens from exploitation in the name of employment. The article prohibits the practice of human trafficking, employing child labors, and forced labor in the workplace.
- Article 25, 26, 27, and 28: These articles provide freedom to practice any religious beliefs and rituals. Article 25 ensures that India is a secular country with no state religion. This also confirms that every religion is equal in front of the law.
- Article 29, and 30: These articles protect the cultural rights of the citizens throughout the Indian territory. It ensures that no discrimination can be carried on the Indian citizen based on religion, caste, race, or language. These articles also give power to the minorities to preserve their languages and cultures.
We almost reach the end of our journey that explores the true significance of Republic Day.
This Republic Day let\’s take a pledge to be a more aware Indian who knows what is permissible and non-permissible in the eye of the constitution.
Be a true republic that will not only live a justified life but protest when will see any event that goes against our constitution…………….and make our India a better place!!!!