Today the country will witness the celebration of India’s 70th Republic day with much pomp and fervour. Themed around the ‘Father of the Nation’, Mahatma Gandhi, 22 tableaux in total, 16 from the states and Union Territories, and 6 from ministries and Central departments, will be showing us different aspects of his life on Rajpath in New Delhi Today. This day holds great significance in the collective imagining of every Indian who look forward to seeing the annual Republic Day parade every year. The parade is a celebration of India’s diversity, development, and military and economic might. Towns and cities get adorned with the tricolour, something which generates feelings of excitement, pride and patriotism.
The word ‘Republic’comes from a Latin word, ‘Res respublica’, which means ‘A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch’. After two decades of subjugation by the British, India won its Independence in August 15, 1947. Free, however not completely so. The shackles of the constitution which were meant to overpower Indians were left by the British and was continued to be in use even after Independence. The need for a constitution, independent in the true sense, was felt severely. Hence, a drafting committee under the leadership of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar submitted the first draft of the constitution to the Assembly in November 1947. After a few amendments, the constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th January 1950, when India truly became a Republic. Today, India is the largest sovereign nation in the world, with respect to its population. In 1955, Rajpath in New Delhi was chosen as the permanent venue for the annual Republic Day parade.
This year, the Sikkim tableau has been selected for the Republic day parade among the 16 state tableaux. This is a matter of great pride for every Sikkimese. The selection of tableaus for the Republic Day tableaux parade is a long process which involves various stages of elimination. An expert committee is formed for selecting the tableaus of the participating States. This year, from the Northeastern region, tableaux of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Sikkim and Tripura have been selected.
At the state level, the Republic Day parade will be held at Paljor Stadium where various contingents will be participating in the parade. Governor Shri Ganga Prasad will take the salute amidst the melody of the national anthem. It is a matter of great pride and joy for Sikkim, the 22nd state of the Indian Union, to join into the nationwide celebration of Republic day. It is also a good time to reflect on how far we have come since 1975, the year when India first joined the Union.