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Republic Day, celebrated on January 26th every year, is one of India’s most important national events. It was on January 26th, 1950 that the constitution of India came into force and India became a truly Sovereign, Democratic and Republic state. It is celebrated every year on January 26, in New Delhi with great pomp and pageant and in capitals of the States, as well as at other headquarters and important places with patriotic fervour.

It was the Lahore Session of the Indian National Congress at midnight of December 31, 1929 – January 1, 1930, that the Tri-Colour Flag was unfurled by the nationalists and a pledge taken that every year on January 26, the “Republic Day” would be celebrated and that the people would unceasingly strive for the establishment of a Sovereign Democratic Republic of India. The professed pledge was successfully redeemed on 26 January, 1950, when the Constitution of India framed by the Constituent Assembly of India came into force, although the Independence from the British rule was achieved on August 15, 1947.

The President of India at New Delhi, on this most colourful day, takes salute of the contingents of Armed Forces. In the States, the Governors take the salute, and in Vilages and administrative headquarters on same procedure is adopted. At Vijay Chowk, New Delhi, three days later (i.e. 29th January of every year) the massed bands of the Armed Forces “Beat the Retreat” in a majestic manner. All Government buildings are illuminated lending the city the atmosphere of a fairyland. This day is celebrated with much zeal and pride all across the nation.

The different regiments of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force march past in all their finery and official decorations. The President of India who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. Floats exhibiting the cultures of the various states and regions of India are in the grand parade, which is broadcast nationwide on television and radio. Also part of the parade are children who win the National Bravery Award for the year. The parade also includes other vibrant displays and floats and traditionally ends with a flypast by Indian Air Force jets.
2010 Republic Celebration can be viewed live from

Every year on the occasion of Republic Day celebrations, India hosts the head of the state to become the honourable chief guest. Here is the list of the Chief Guests on Republic Day in India since 2000.

Chief Guests on Republic Day India

2000: Olusegun Obasanjo, President, Nigeria

2001: Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President, Algeria

2002: Cassam Uteem, President, Mauritius

2003: Mohammed Khatami, President, Iran

2004: Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, President, Brazil

2005: Jigme Singye Wangchuk, King, Bhutan

2006: Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, King, Saudi Arabia

2007: Vladimir Putin, President, Russia

2008: Nicolas Sarkozy, President, France

2009: Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan President

2010: Lee Myung-bak,South Korean President

The essence behind the celebration of Republic day is not only to celebrate India’s secularism and democracy but its also makes us feel proud of our culture, languages, social norms, traditions, customs, religions, communitarian and the individual distinctiveness that makes up India a wonderful multi-cultural country. It is this spirit, which makes us feel proud of our country’s achievements that make the celebration all the more interesting. This is the day when we come together and proudly identify ourselves as true Indians, and not with some particular religion or caste. This feeling for the country is what makes this day a special one from the rest of the day. It is the day, which guarantees the Fundamental rights to the citizens, equality of religion and so on. The rich cultural heritage and tradition of India is reflected on this day.

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