26 January 1930 was the day when India (Under Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership) started the Full Independence Movement. However Britishers set India free on 15th August 1947 but 3 years later 26-January in 1950 was intentionally chosen as the day for our constitution to come into effect (the longest written constitution in the world) . This day honors the Purna Swaraj day set up in 1930 and is also called our republic day as our constitution was intentionally made effective this day.
Every Republic day celebration has a chief guest from another country, the first one was Sukarno, The First President of Indonesia. Malik Gulam Mohammed, the First Governor General of Pakistan and was made the chief guest for 26-January-1955. In 1961 it was Queen Elizabeth and this year in 2017 it is Abu Dhabhi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. This is seen as a key relationship builder in various trade, commerce, cultural and other bilateral exchanges.
Republic dayis not a 1 day celebration, rather it carries on for 3 days. On 26th January there is a Gala celebration with colourfulcultural performances.
Christian hymn “Abide by Me” is played during the beating retreat ceremony held on 29th January at Vijay Chowk with performance from the three defence organizations (Army, Navy, AirForce). This christian Hymn was Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite tune. Beating Retreat marks the closing ceremony of the Republic day celebration.