First Republic Day in Delhi and First President of India

Fauji Akhbar
Glimpses of the First Republic Day Celebrations and India's First President
Editor’s note. This article first appeared in Fauji Akhbar (now renamed Sainik Samachar) February 4, 1950. It was posted as pib.nic.in/archieve/others/2008/jan/r20080124011.pdf

Unforgettable scenes of enthusiasm and rejoicing marked the beginning of a new era in Indian History when the Republic of India was born with the swearing in of Dr. Rajendra Prasad as the as the first President.

At the most solemn ceremony, held in the brilliantly lit and high domes of Durbar Hall at Government House, India was declared a Sovereign Democratic Republic exactly at eighteen minutes past ten on the morning of Thursday, January 26, 1950. Six minutes later, Dr. Rajendra Prasad sworn in as the President.

The birth of Indian Republic and the installation of its first President were announced by a salute of 31 guns shortly after 10-30 a.m.

The simple and yet grand ceremony of the Durbar Hall, the excitement of hundreds of thousands of people lining the five-mile route through which the President drove in state and the spectacularly colourful parade at Irwin Stadium, where the President hoisted the Union Flag and took the salute, will remain in the peoples' memory for long.

First Republic Day in Calcutta

C V Krishnamurthi
Editor’s note: This article is taken from the website of India’s Press Information Bureau, published in 2000. The author is identified as C.V. Krishnamurthi, Senior Journalist, Bangalore. http://pib.nic.in/feature/feyr2000/fapr2000/f060420002.html

Ethereal sense lasts longer only because it is an image of experience. It is an Upanishadic thought. Such a thought flows from living with an objective reality in mind as the great Kanchi Sankaracharya had once explained in a discourse.

The Republic Day in 1950, to me is an image of this. It was a transformation from ‘His Majesty’ to a Republican majesty.

Calcutta, the city of palaces, was my habitat at that time. I was a stringer of Hindustan Standard which closed down three decades ago. A short critique in this paper dwelling on a flash back of the memorable Lahore resolution affirming Republic Day on 26th of January reminds me now after over 50 years of the reality of the growth of the Indian Defence Services. I became nonetheless emotional. The All India Radio gave the commentary and the commentator was none other than Melville de' Mello, the celebrated broadcaster of the bygone era.

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