The constitution of India came into a legal circulation at 10:18 AM on the 26th of January, 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.
India, which was a British dominion since independence (August 15, 1947) transformed into Republic of India on January 26, 1950.
Even though the constitution was adopted on Nov. 26, 1949, the date of January 26 was selected to commemorate Purna Swaraj, a declaration of Independence of India promulgated by the Indian National Congress on January 26, 1930 for complete self-rule (Home rule) independent of British Empire.
The Constituent Assembly met in sessions open to the public, for 166 days, spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days making 2000 amendments to the Draft prepared by the committee headed by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar before adopting the Constitution
The 308 members of the Assembly signed two copies of the document (one each in Hindi and English) on 24 January 1950. The official cost estimate for developing constitution was Rs. one crore.
India has the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world, containing 448 articles in 25 parts, 12 schedules, 5 appendices and 98 amendments (out of 120 Constitution Amendment Bills).
The original Constitution of India is hand-written with beautiful calligraphy, each page beautified and decorated by artists from Shantiniketan including Beohar Rammanohar Sinha and Nandalal Bose.
The original hand-written copies of the constitution are kept in helium-filled cases in the Library of Parliament House.
The Lion Capital of Ashoka dating back to 250 BC with the inscription of the motto ”Satyameva Jayate” was adopted as national emblem on Jan 26, 1950. The motto (translation: Truth Alone Triumphs), a mantra from the ancient Indian scripture Mundaka Upanishad, was popularized by Pundit Madan Mohan Malaviya
Rabindranath Tagore wroteJana Gana Mana in Bengali first. It was translated by Abid Ali into Hindi, in 1911, and officially adopted as the Indian National Anthem on January 24, 1950. It takes 52 seconds to sing the complete National Anthem.
Rajendra Prasad took oath as India’s first President on January 26, 1950.
Wreaths are placed on republic day by the Prime Minister of India and Chiefs of Armed Forces at ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’ or the flame of the immortal soldier, a structure with reversed rifle capped by war helmet bound by four earns erected under the India Gate, New Delhi.
On Republic Day, a 21-gun salute, the firing of cannons or firearms as military honor, is given to the National Flag and the President, during the Flag Hoisting Ceremony.
India’s major national awards (such as Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan, Chakra – Veer, Shaurya, Ashoka) are awarded during this ceremony.
The Republic Day Celebrations happen over 3 days and it ends on January 29.
The ‘Beating Retreat’, a fanfare sounded by the trumpeters along with pipes, buglers and drum bands, is conducted on the evening of January 29, by the bands of three wings of military at Rajsina Hills and Vijay Chowk in the presence of the chief guest, the president of India. The Christian hymn ‘Abide with me’ is played in this event.