India is all set to celebrate its 69th Republic Day in presence of the President, Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers and the who’s who of the political world. But what will make this Republic Day special will be the presence of 10 ASEAN leaders who will be attending this ceremony as a Chief Guest?
To start with, ASEAN stands for Association of South East Nations which mainly comprises of Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam. India’s focus on a strong and multi-dimensional relation with ASEAN countries is a result of the remarkable changes in the political and economic scenario of the world ever since the early 1990s and India’s own initiative towards economic liberalization.
India’s hunt for financial space resulted in the ‘Look East Policy’. The Look East Policy is now matured into a dynamic and action-oriented ‘Act East Policy’. PM Modi inaugurated the ‘Act East Policy’ in November 2014 at the 12th ASEAN – India Summit and the 9th East Asia Summit that was held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
India’s relationship with the ASEAN countries has played a key role in our foreign policy and in maintaining the Act East Policy. The leaders who’ll be present at the Republic Day Ceremony are:-
1) Joko Widodo – The Indonesian President since 2014
2) Lee Hsien Loong – Prime Minister of Singapore since 2004
3) Nguyen Xuan Phuc – Prime Minister of Vietnam since 2016
4) Dato Sri Mohammad Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak – Prime Minister of Malaysia since 2oo9
5) General Prayut Chan – o – cha – Prime Minister of Thailand, also the head of Thailand’s military junta. He rose to power after a military coup in 2014.
6) Aung San Suu Kyi – State Councillor of Myanmar who serves as the de facto leader and has taken office since 2016
7) Hun Sen – Prime Minister of Cambodia since 1985
8) Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzadin Waddaulah – Prime Minister of Brunei who was earlier the Sultan of Brunei
9) Thongloun Sisoulith – Current Prime Minister of Laos
10) Rodrigo Duterte – President of Philippines since 2016
Enough has been said on what is so special about Republic Day this year, but barely some know the importance of Republic Day in our country. So let us delve more into this topic and know how important Republic Day is for the Indians.
Why do we celebrate Republic Day?
Many citizens of India still don’t know the reason for which we celebrate Republic Day every year ever since 1950. So talking about the prominence of 26th January 1950, on this date the Constitution of India came into effect replacing the Government of India Act of 1935 as the governing document of India. On this day, our country became an independent republic.
The Indian Constitution which is a compilation of the Constitutions of many countries and is said to be the lengthiest constitution which is also handwritten. The Constitution was drafted by the Drafting Committee which was headed by Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar. It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November 1949 and came into effect on 26th January 1950.
Why do we celebrate Republic Day on 26th January?
The next question that would arise is that – if the Constitution was prepared and passed by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November 1950, why did the leaders of our country wait for 2 months and formally implement our constitution on 26th January 1950?
This goes long back to 1929 in Congress session of Lahore. Jawahar Lal Nehru was the president of this session. In this, the Congress declared ‘Purna Swaraj’ (Complete Independence) as its ultimate goal. It asked all the Congressmen and nationalists to resign from forthcoming elections. It was decided that 26th January would be observed as Independence Day every year.
Keeping the prominence of this day in mind, the leaders decided 26th January as the day India would become a republic. And this day came to be known as the Republic Day.
How do we celebrate Republic Day?
The main celebration of Republic Day is held in the National Capital of India, New Delhi. The ceremony is held at Rajpath in presence of the President, Prime Minister, Cabinet Minister, Chief Ministers and the public.
On the occasion of Republic Day, glorious parades take place at Rajpath, where all states participate in order to honor the rich culture and heritage of India.
The Indian Army, Airforce, and Navy also participate in the parade. The states also participate in the parade showing their culture and traditions.