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Celebrating Purma Swaraj, Indian Declaration Of Independence

Thursday, 27th January 2022
This was one of the many companies of soldiers in the march past at the 2022 Republic Day Celebrations

Held every 26thof January, Republic Day Celebrations in India are in honour of the post-independence Constitution which was adopted by the country on 26thJanuary, 1950. This date is doubly significant for freedom in India as an independent and sovereign country because it was on the same day in 1930, that the Party which ushered India to Independence, the Indian National Congress,  promulgated the Declaration of the Independence of India. Known as the PurmaSwaraj,  the Declaration was written by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India and a lawyer, under the guidance of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. It served as a springboard for the Indian struggle for independence whose hallmark was civil disobedience; resulting 17 years later in the independence of the country from British colonialism.

The independence movement was spearheaded by Mahatma Gandhi and was propelled not just by rejection of British political control of India, but also by rejection of its economic exploitation of the country which milked Indian natural resources while killing any local industry in favour of British manufactured goods. The country regained its independence after over one  hundred years of British colonialism on 15thAugust, 1947.

India embarked on a constitution-making exercise soon after independence under the chairmanship of Dr Bhimrao Ram Ambedkar, the renowned Dalit rights activist and Minister of Law and Justice from 1947 to 1951. He brought his experience as a highly educated scholar and researcher in law, economics and political science to good use in the immediate post-independence struggle to establish the law of the land. Under his leadership, the constitutional committee put in place by the post-independence administration started its work of drafting the new constitution, nine days after independence, and handed its final draft to a Constituent Assembly. A new Indian Republic Constitution came into being on 24th January,1950;  with 308 signatures of the Constituent Assembly members endorsing their approval.

Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India was sworn in office on the basis of that Constitution. The President who took the salute at the Republic Day Celebrations yesterday, HE Ram Nath Kovind, is the 14thPresident of India under the Republican Constitution.