1950 First Repubic Day of India speech by Dr. Rajendra Prasad
"We must re-dedicate ourselves on this day to the peaceful but sure realization of the dream that had inspired the Father of our Nation and the other captains and soldiers of our freedom struggle, the dream of establishing a classless, co-operative, free and happy society in 'his country'. We must remember that this is more a day of dedications than of rejoicing - dedication to the glorious task of making the peasants and workers the toilers and the thinkers fully free, happy and cultured."
Many Indians remain largely unfamiliar with the anniversary that Indians celebrate on 26th January. For most Indians the day has lost its meaning and value. It has become just another day not to go to work or to school. Today nobody realizes the inherent significance of India becoming a republic: that we, the citizens of India, have the power to govern ourselves by choosing our very own government.
The Indian Independence Act, 1947, provided that as from the 15th August, 1947 in place of ‘INDIA’ there would be set-up two independent Dominions to be known as India and Pakistan. The Constituent Assembly of each Dominion was to have unlimited power to frame and adopt or to repeal any Act of British Parliament. The Constituent Assembly of India started the work of drafting a Constitution for India. The salient principles of the proposed Constitution were outlined by the various sub-committees of the Assembly. After a general discussion of the reports of these sub-committees, the Constituent Assembly appointed a drafting committee on 29th August 1947. The drafting committee under the chairmanship of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar drafted the ‘Constitution Of India’ which was published in February 1948. The Constituent Assembly met again to consider the provisions of the draft, clause by clause. After several sessions the Constituent Assembly assembled again on 14th November 1949 for the third reading and finished it on 26th November 1949. On this day the Constitution received the signature of the President of the Constituent Assembly, Dr. Rajendra Prasad and was declared passed.
Certain provisions relating to citizenship, elections, provisional Parliament etc. were given immediate effect i.e. from 26th November, 1949. Political freedom and civil liberty are the keystone of the Indian Constitution. Our Constitution is primarily shaped and moulded for the common man. The essential purpose of our Constitution is to ensure freedom of the individual and dignity of man, and to put basic human rights above the reach of the State and of politicians in power.
Our Constitution ensures that India remains a secular State. People belonging to different religious denominations who are all part of our vibrant society, are guaranteed the freedom to practice their own religions. These rights under our Constitution are available even to those who are not citizens of India.
This anniversary provides an opportunity for every citizen of India to renew the pledge to work for the well-being of our people, for peace and harmony in our society and indeed, the world. So now that you know the reason for the Republic Day India celebrations value that vote of yours and make sure that when there are elections you cast your vote, and help in progressive India!\
PS: On the same date, that is 26th January, Hindi was declared the official language of the country in 1965.