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From ‘Dominion’ to ‘Republic’ a day to cherish forever

India became independent on 15 August, 1947, it was still governed as per the Government of India Act 1935. Only with the Constitution coming into force on 26 January, 1950 did it become a republic and completely self-ruled.

Akshita | New Delhi |

“We the people of India…”, ever wondered why is there too much emphasis on the starting sentence of our preamble, this very first line describes that India is the abode of millions of people divided into thousands of identities but when it comes to the nature of governance of this country the ultimate power is neither in the hands of a specific person nor a particular group, the power exists in the hands of the people of India, irrespective of any bias.

As we all know, India adopted its constitution on 26th November 1949, we celebrate this day as our Constitution Day every year. If we celebrate 26th November as our Constitution Day, then why do we celebrate 26th January, what is so significant about this day?

The Constitution of India, which made India a sovereign, democratic republic, was adopted on November 26, 1949, and it came into effect on January 26, 1950, which is celebrated as Republic Day. From that day, India was no longer a dominion of the British crown.

The actual significance of this day lies in the question that why 26th January was selected as the day to commence our constitution? To answer this question we have to go back into history and remember the days long before India became independent of British rule, on this particular day of 26th January in the year 1930 the Indian National Congress (INC) proclaimed “Purna Swaraj”, or complete self-rule.

The historic “Purna Swaraj” declaration and the reason why we chose 26th January as the day we become a republic and completely self-ruled country are interconnected.

As Nehru Ji mentioned in his book ‘The Discovery of India’, “When we say Bharat Mata ki Jai, what do we mean by Bharat Mata, we mean by this expression that what counted ultimately were the people of India, people like them and me. who were spread all over this vast land. Bharat Mata — Mother India was essentially these millions of people, and victory to her meant victory to these people.”

This is the 73rd Republic Day for our nation, and the nation is nothing without its people. We have earned this independence, respect, global status on many uncounted sacrifices and several unheard stories of pain and despair. Our forefathers and the makers of the constitution trusted on our bright future and gifted us the most beautiful constitution of contemporary times, it is a moral obligation to all of us to abide by this constitution and establish and maintain the rule of law.