India celebrate Republic Day on every 26 th January which is a commemoration of the day the country formally became a republic in 1950.
- On this day, the Constitution of India came into effect. The Constitution itself had been ratified by the constituent assembly, a group of 299 representatives led by Dr BR Ambedkar selected for the specific task of drafting a new constitution for the newly independent country, in November 1949.
- Before this day on January 26, 1950, India’s head of state was an appointed governor-general, not an (indirectly) elected president. On this day, Dr Rajendra Prasad was elected as the first president of India.
- The first Republic Day parade also took place on January 26, 1950.
- The lion head from Ashoka Pillar in Sarnath was formally adopted as the national emblem on the same day.
- The peacock was declared as the national bird on this day in 1963.
- On that day, four Param Vir Chakras were awarded for gallantry during Jammu and Kashmir operations. Two of them were posthumous awards to Major Somnath Sharma, India’s first PVC winner, and Naik Jadunath Singh. Capt Rama Raghoba Rane, Hawaldar Karam Singh received their Param Vir Chakra awards personally.
- More than 100 aircraft from the Indian Air Force flew past the parade. Harvards, Dakotas, Liberators, Tempests, Spitfires and jet planes participated in the fly past
- The word Royal was dropped from Royal Air Force and it became Indian Air Force on this day.
- Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru addressed the nation on the radio on the eve of the first Republic Day.
- The then Indonesian President Sukarno was the first chief guest at the Republic Day parade in 1950.
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