Independence for a country means that it is free from the rule of another foreign country and has full control over its internal and external matters. It simply means freedom from the control or influence of another country. India got its independence from the British on the 15th of August, 1947, after over 200 years of being a British colony.
Republic refers to a form of government where the power is held by the people through their elected representatives. A republic is ruled by the representatives of its citizens who are elected by the citizens themselves. India became a republic after almost 3 years of independence, India became a republic on the 26th of January, 1950.
Independence Day Vs Republic Day in India
The main difference between Independence Day and Republic Day in India is that they are celebrated on very different dates. Independence Day is celebrated on the 15th of August, whereas, Republic Day is celebrated on the 26th of January every year. Another difference between these two days is that they symbolise different matters. Independence Day marks India's independence from British colonial rule, whereas Republic Day celebrates the Day the Indian Constitution came into effect.
Difference Between Independence Day and Republic Day in Tabular Form
|Parameters of comparison||Independence Day||Republic Day|
|Date of celebration||15th of August||26th of January|
|Purpose of celebration||To mark the independence of India from the British after 200 years of colonial rule.||To mark the day the Indian Constitution came into effect.|
|Location of the main celebration||Red Fort||Kartavya Path|
|Flag hoisting by||The Prime Minister of India||The President of India|
|Elements of the celebration||Flag hoisting by the PM, singing of the national anthem, televised address of the PM to the whole of the nation, highlights of the past year’s achievements, marchpast of Indian Armed Forces and the paramilitary forces, etc.||Flag hoisting by the President, singing of the national anthem, a parade of army regiments and state tableaux from Rashtrapati Bhawan through Kartavya path to India Gate, beating the retreat ceremony, etc.|
What is Independence Day?
Independence Day in India is one of the red-letter days in Indian history. Due to its immense significance, this day is celebrated as a national holiday. Independence Day marks the day when India got independence from the British after over 200 years of rule. This day is celebrated every year on the 15th of August with great pomp and joy. The spirit of nationalism strengthens and the whole country gets tied with a beautiful tricoloured bond of unity and fraternity.
History of Independence Day
The foundation of British rule in India was laid with the Battle of Plassey, between the Nawab of Bengal and the British East India Company, in the year 1757. India officially came under Crown Rule in the year 1858 and became a colony of Great Britain. The following years till 1947 saw many treasons, conspiracies, and deceptions. However, those long and painful decades also saw bravery that chilled the bones, sacrifices that gave one goosebumps, and patriotism that finally led to the independence of the country on the 15th of August, 1947. The ‘Sone Ki Chidiya’ was able to soar freely in the sky once again.
Independence Day holds great significance for the whole country. It not only marks the proud moment of our country getting its long-awaited and well-deserved freedom from the clutches of the British; it also carries with it the memories of all the martyrs who happily laid down their precious lives for the sake of their dear motherland. Independence Day serves as a reminder of the distance India has covered in the path of development since 1947, and it reminds us of all the uncovered path that needs to be trodden on as soon as possible. Independence Day reminds us to celebrate and honour the hard-earned freedom and sovereignty that came after years of struggle, sacrifice, and bloodshed.
Celebration of Independence Day
Independence Day is marked with the hoisting of the national flag, i.e., the Tricolour, singing of the national anthem, drills, and cultural programmes to highlight the freedom struggle in India. The whole country is flushed with a sense of belongingness and pride for their motherland, and the barricades of religion, caste, language, colour, etc. break to give way to a shared identity and bond, one of brotherhood and unity. Independence Day is one of those holidays which is celebrated by every Indian, irrespective of their political, economic, or social background. It is a day when India can be seen in its full diversified glory.
Independence Day is celebrated with full fervour at Red Fort, New Delhi. The celebration starts with the hoisting of the national flag by the Prime Minister. This is followed by the singing of the national anthem. This scene truly brings about goosebumps, seeing and hearing thousands of Indians, having different backgrounds, singing together the glory of their motherland India. This ceremony is then followed by the address of the Prime Minister of India to the whole of the country. At this address, the Prime Minister runs through the achievements of the country and the milestones that the county has achieved in the past year. S/he also expresses her/his concern over the issues still pending and prevalent in the country and devises ways to deal with the same.
The speech is followed by a march-past of different divisions of the Indian Army as well as the paramilitary force. This march-past provides the county’s citizens with glimpses of the freedom struggle and sacrifices of our brave heroes due to whom celebrating this day has been possible. Cultural items are also presented to the public highlighting the rich diversity of Indian culture. Similar proceedings are also held in all 28 states and 9 Union Territories of the country, where the national flag is hoisted by the Chief Minister or the Lieutenant Governor, followed by the singing of the national anthem and the parade followed by cultural pageants.
On this day, patriotic songs that invoke the spirit of nationalism and brother among the Indian population are streamed on music channels on television. In addition to this, patriotic films are also broadcasted on movie channels. The whole country is decked with the spirited colours of saffron, white, and green. The tricolour proudly flutters over many official buildings as well as residential places. Various cultural programmes are held across the country to commemorate the martyrdom of lakhs of Indian heroes who did not hesitate to give up their lives for the sake of their motherland.
Independence Day indeed brings about the unity in diversity of India.
What is Republic Day?
Republic Day, like Independence Day, is one of the 3 national holidays in India. It is yet another significant day that commemorates a relevant event: The Indian Constitution coming into effect. This replaced the Government of India Act of 1935 and turned India into an independent republic, free from the domain of British Rule. Republic Day is a day to remember our Constitution makers, who gave their blood and sweat to draft the perfect constitution for us and left a legacy of democracy and accommodation.
History of Republic Day
India, no doubt became Independent on the 15th of August, 1947. However, India still lacked its government and a constitution to abide by.
To cover this deficit, the Constituent Assembly was elected and held its first meeting on the 9th of December, 1946. Important members of the Constituent Assembly were Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr B. R. Ambedkar, Acharya J. B. Kriplani, Shri Hare Krushna Mahatab, Shri Sarat Chandra Bose, etc. The Constituent Assembly took 2 years 11 months and 17 days to complete drafting our Constitution, giving it a golden place in global history as it became the longest-ever handwritten constitution in the world.
The Constitution of India was adopted on 26 November 1949. However, it came into effect on 26 January 1950. This day to enforce the constitution was chosen to commemorate the “Purna Swaraj” Day when Congress demanded total independence in protest to the Dominion status given to India in 1930.
Thus, Republic Day came to be celebrated on the 26th of January every year since 1950.
Celebration of Republic Day
The main event of Republic Day is held in New Delhi. The procession starts at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The President leaves her residence, accompanied by the chief guest, to proceed to Kartavya Path, through which the parade passes. Prior to this, the Prime Minister pays tributes to the martyred war heroes at India Gate and holds a 2 minutes silence for the same. The parade is opened with the hoisting of the national flag by the President, which is followed immediately by the singing of the national anthem.
Important awards are then bestowed upon army men as well as civilians by the President. Then the official parade finally begins. It is led by the march past of different regiments of the army in perfect synchronisation. It is followed by the march past of personnel belonging to the federal security organizations as well as the Delhi Police. The children who are the recipients of the National Bravery Award also parade across the Kartavya Path in decorated horses and elephants.
The military personnel’s march past is followed by the tableaus of different states and union departments, which represent either a historic moment, heritage, culture, or development of the respective state or department. All these tableaus have groovy tunes playing along as they pass by the spectators in full glory. Following this, children from all over the country present bewitching dance performances showcasing the beauty of our country’s diversity.
The parade ends with a daredevil motorcycle stunt performance and a flypast by the Indian Air force.
The overall Republic Day festivities are concluded with the Beating Retreat Ceremony held on 29 January. Three wings of the Indian Army, the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, perform this ceremony.
Main Differences Between Independence Day and Republic Day of India in Points
- Independence Day in India is celebrated on 15 August every year; whereas, Republic Day in India is celebrated on 26 January every year.
- Independence Day marks the day India gained independence from British colonial rule; whereas, Republic Day marks the day the Indian Constitution came into effect.
- The main celebration for Independence Day is held at Red Fort, New Delhi; whereas, the main celebration for Republic Day is held at Kartavya Path, New Delhi.
- The flag hoisting on Independence Day is done by the Prime Minister of India; whereas, the flag unfurling on Republic Day is done by the President of India.
- Events of the celebration of Independence Day include flag hoisting by the PM, singing of the national anthem, televised address of the PM to the whole of the nation, highlights of the past year’s achievements, marchpast of Indian Armed Forces and the paramilitary forces, etc.; whereas, events of celebration of Republic Day include flag unfurling by the President, singing of the national anthem, a parade of army regiments and state tableaux from Rashtrapati Bhawan through Kartavya path to India Gate, beating the retreat ceremony, etc.
- On Independence Day, the national flag is pulled up to the top of the flag pole and is then hoisted; whereas, on Republic Day, the national flag is already tied to the top of the flag pole and is then opened and unfurled.
Both Independence Day and Republic Day are, no doubt, red-letter days for India. Both these days are national holidays and are celebrated all over the country with great zeal and enthusiasm. The celebrations of these days tie all the Indians with a common thread of brotherhood and shared patriotism for their motherland. People forget the constructs of religion, caste, creed, language, and colour, and come together to honour their brave heroes who gave up their lives with smiles on their faces in the pursuit of their motherland’s freedom; they come together to honour our constitution makers who made it possible to accommodate such a diverse and colourful country like ours under a single constitution and making sure of its unity in the far future as well.
These two days will always be of great significance to Indians, where they get a chance from their materialistic world to think of something beyond work life and money. These days will keep on uniting the country with a shared spirit of belongingness and patriotism.