1950: India becomes a republic. The independent republic of India is officially born, after nearly 100 years of British rule. A public holiday has been declared throughout the country, and millions of people have been celebrated with processions and ceremonies to hoist the new flag of India for the first time.
India has been running her own affairs since the actual transfer of power from British to Indian hands on 15 August 1947.But today’s ceremonies mark the cutting of her last ties to Britain. India’s first president has been sworn in, replacing the King as the country’s head of state, and the new constitution ratified.
In the capital, Delhi, on26th January 1950,the day began with the 34th and last Governor-General of India, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, reading out a proclamation announcing the birth of the Republic of India.
The new President, Dr Rajendra Prasad, then took the oath of office. Dr Prasad was a key campaigner in the nationalist movement of Mahatma Gandhi, along with India’s interim Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
India showcased its military prowess at the 63rd Republic Day parade at Delhi on26-1-2012. On display for the first time in the parade was the nuclear capable Agni IV intermediate range surface-to-surface ballistic missile and the Hercules C-130-J aircraft recently acquired from the US.
Earlier, PM Manmohan Singh and the three service chiefs paid tributes to the ‘Immortal Soldier’ at the Amar Jawan Jyoti. Around 10am, President Pratibha Patil arrived with Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra. She became the fourth Asian leader to be the chief guest at the parade in the last four years.
After the 21-gun salute, followed by the National Anthem, the President presented the Ashok Chakra. After the presentation, four Mi-17 helicopters showered petals on the spectators.
Jaihind! Vandhe madharam!!