Most of us know that the constitution of India came into effect on 26th January 1950 and hence the day is celebrated as the Republic Day of India, marking India’s becoming a republic.
Also, it must be noted that the constituent assembly had adopted the same on 26th November 1949. The assembly which was given the arduous task of taking into consideration each and every aspect of this vast and widely homogeneous nation and drafting a common constitution which would rule the people of this great nation took 2 years 11 months and 18 days to complete this herculean task.
One must wonder that if it was adopted in the month of November then why did they wait until 26th January to operationalise it? Was there a special reason behind it?
Yes, indeed, but the year was different, it was on 26th January 1930 when the common masses of India came out of their homes, fearless and ready to put their lives at risk. To honour that historic day the members of the assembly decided to mark 26th January 1950 as The Republic Day. Continue reading to learn what led to such a huge movement.
Pre 1930, only a few Indian political parties had demanded a free India, to be ruled by Indians. The All India Home Rule League requested for a home rule, which meant India would not be completely free from the British and it would gain a dominion status within the British Empire, as granted to Australia, Canada, the New Zealand, and South Africa. Even the All India Muslim League favoured dominion status and opposed calls for outright Indian independence. The Indian National Congress was the first one to call for a complete independence or “Poorna Swaraj”
There was a widespread public outrage against British Empire following the 1919 Amritsar Massacre and further, Rowlatt Acts and the exclusion of Indians from the government, and the denial of political and civil freedoms united the nation against the oppressive rule of the British.
In 1928, the British drove the final nail in the coffin by appointing the Simon commission for social and political reforms in India and surprisingly the commission was devoid of any Indian representation.
Before 1930 Indian political brass used to request for their demands and their stance changed completely after a historic moment on 26th January 1930. As a result of all the discriminatory practices, and the negligence towards Indian political parties, all the elements of the Indian National Congress became unified and shared a common desire to oust the British.
The Indian National Congress gave a call to the nation, to the young, the elderly, men and women, rich and poor to come out of their homes and celebrate the day of 26th January 1930 as it gave a declaration for Poorna Swaraj.
The British tried to suppress this movement by threatening action against anyone who came out to support the Congress.But this intensified the public anger. Frequent warnings and even threats to lives of the supporters were made but the nation did not fear the British.
Lakhs and Lakhs of supporters came out and attended this historic day, not caring for their lives and well being.
They didn’t fear being killed by the British army for defying their draconian orders.
This day marked a new beginning in India’s freedom struggle.
To commemorate this day, which is probably one of a kind in human history, a day when people didn’t fear death and were ready to sacrifice their lives for their nation, 26th January 1950 was chosen as the day on which India’s constitution would come into effect.