(bc) The 65th Republic Day was celebrated today all over India. Military parades and cultural functions remembered the memorable day of 26th January 1950 when India’s first constitution became effective after British Raj had ended.
In fact, the Republic Day is a national holiday in India. Nation’s independence from British Raj was achieved on 15th August 1947 already. Nevertheless, it took another two and a half years to proclaim the Republic of India officially.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru became prime minister in 1947, but the British monarch George VI. remained head of the state until 1950 as the „Emperor of India“. Thereafter Rajendra Prasad became India’s first president and marked a memorable day in India’s post-colonial history.
Note: only a few may know that British Queen Elizabeth II. was formally „Queen of Pakistan“ from 1952 to 1956. After independece in 1947 it took Pakistan a couple of years to become a Islamic Republic in 1956.
However, Indian Republic Day is being celebrated amongst other metropolises in India particularly in New Delhi by a large military parade. The parade begins at Raisina Hill in front of Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidental Palace) through Rajpath Alley (see picture) until India Gate. Then, all armed forces march to Lal Qila (Red Fort) in Old Delhi.
The President of India, presently Shri Pranab Mukherjee, is the supreme commander of the armed forces and receives their salut finally. This year, the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe joined Mukherjee as his guest of honour.