26th January, 1950. A day that will forever be remembered as one of the momentous instances in the long and illustrious past that is the India history. Half a century later, we Indians continue to experience the same level of pride and emotion to see the National Tricolor fluttering atop the Red Fort in New Delhi shrouded in the warmth of the morning sun, as would have so many when India was first declared a Republic nation all those years back.
Of course, this bit of national history is well known to young and old alike. However, this special occasion of Republic Day holds within itself morsels of interesting facts that are little known to most.
As the country celebrates 55 years of life as a republic, join me on an informative journey as I present forth interesting facts that shaped the very first Indian Republic Day.
“On this special day, lets promise our Motherland that we will do everything to enrich and preserve our heritage, our ethos, and our treasure”
- 26th January 1950 was the day when the Indian Constitution came into force as the nation earned the status of a Republic
- 26th January 1930 was Purna Swaraj Day, an important event in India’s struggle for Independence. Hence, choosing this date for declaring the nation as a Republic was highly significant
- The India Constitution is the longest one in the world, with an incorporation of 448 Articles spread across 22 Parts, 12 Schedules, and 97 Amendments
- 2 years, 11 months, and 18 days was the time it took Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to draft the Indian Constitution
- The Constitution was prepared as two hand-written copies: one in Hindi and the other in English
- On 24th January 1950, both copies were signed by 308 members of the Assembly. Two days later, it would become effective and come into force across the length and breadth of India
- The Library of Parliament House is where the original hand-written copies are kept, enclosed in Helium-filled cases
- Since its inception, the Indian Constitution has been amended on as many as 94 instances
- Satyamev Jayate (meaning, Truth Alone Prevails) is the motto of the country. It was taken from the Mundaka Upanishad, a part of the Atharvaveda. Abid Ali did the Hindi translation in 1911
- Madan Mohan Malviya was the man who did the honors of selecting the motto of the country
- Jana Gana Mana was originally written in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore. In 1911, Abid Ali translated it into Hindi before being adopted as the National Anthem in 1950
- 52 seconds is the time taken to sing the complete Indian National Anthem
- The Indian Emblem has been adapted from the Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath which dates back to 250 BC
- A farmer from Machilipatnam by the name of Pingali Venkayya designed and conceptualized the Indian Tricolor
- The Tricolor has a width to length ratio of two to three
- Legally bound, the Indian National Flag can be made in only nine specified sizes with khadi being the defined material
- Flying an Indian flag which is made of a material other than khadi is punishable by law. It can attract a penalty amounting to three years in prison as well as a hefty fine
- The Tricolor should never touch water or the ground. It is also disrespectful and illegal to use it as drapery
- On 26th January 1950, Dr. Rajendra Prasad took oath as the first President of Republic India
- As the President of India unfurls the Tricolor atop the Red Fort on Republic Day, a 21 gun salute is fired as a mark of naval and military honor.
Every year on 29th January, a military ceremony known as “Beating the Retreat” is held to mark the end of Republic Day ceremonies. It was at some time during the 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army first started this event. The evening draws to a close on the notes of “Abide With Me.” This was the favorite hymn of Mahatma Gandhi who, symbolically, is known as the Father Of The Nation.