Birth of a Democracy. On this day, in 1950, the Constitution of India came into force. Although independence from British rule occurred on August 14, 1947, the draft constitution was deliberated by a 308 member Assembly for nearly 3 years in sessions fully open to the public.
Sir Anthony Eden, then British Prime Minister, said, “Of all the experiments in government, which have been attempted since the beginning of time, I believe that the Indian venture into parliamentary government is the most exciting. A vast subcontinent is attempting to apply to its tens and thousands of millions a system of free democracy… It is a brave thing to try to do so. The Indian venture is not a pale imitation of our practice at home, but a magnified and multiplied reproduction on a scale we have never dreamt of. If it succeeds, its influence on Asia is incalculable for good. Whatever the outcome we must honour those who attempt it.”
Republic Day is a national holiday in India. The National Anthem was written by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore in heavily Sanskritized Bengali.