Dr Rajendra Prasad during his first speech as the President of India.
At a time when it’s difficult to imagine the Republic Day ceremony not operating out of the Rajpath, it might be useful to remember that the Durbar Hall at Government House and not the historic boulevard was the first venue for the festivities after the country got its first President. Herein, India was declared a ‘Sovereign Democratic Republic’ for the first time at exactly 18 minutes past 10 on the morning of January 26, 1950.
73 years have passed since and a lot has changed: our population has trebled, the economy has transformed and we have transformed from a subservient nation into a force to be reckoned with despite all the challenges. For many, January 26, has ceased to be anything more than a date marked in red on a calendar, but for some, it reminds them that our country is much like a phoenix that rose anew.
For those who’d like to remember, here is a glimpse of what our first-ever Republic Day looked like.
The the 34th and last Governor General of India, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari read out a proclamation announcing the birth of the Republic of India. The Constitution of India came into effect, declaring India as a sovereign, democratic and secular state. Dr Rajendra Prasad took the oath as the President of the new republic
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