India got independence on 15th august 1947 but its constitution came into effect on 26th January 1950. Republic Day honors the date on which the Constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government Of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India. But why is it that we waited until 26th January, 1950, to declare India a republic?
When India was under the British rule there was an organisation (Congress) that was fighting for India’s independence but surprisingly the organisation leaders main aim was not complete independence from the British. Our leaders were asking for Dominion status in which British Monarch will remain the constitutional head of India.
However in 1927 , Hindustan Republic Association (HRA) started gaining a hold of Indian politics under the leadership of some famous leaders such as Chandrashekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh. Unlike Congress, HRA had the vision of complete independence or Purna Swaraj. This influenced the leaders of congress and they started demanding complete independence as well.
So in December 1928, Congress passed a resolution demanding Purna Swaraj or Complete Independence, and gave the British one year’s time. The British rejected the idea and the angry congress under the leadership of Jawaharal Nehru voted for complete independence on December 1929 in Lahore.
A resolution was passed, fixing the last Sunday of January, 1930, to be celebrated as our Independence day , which incidentally fell on the 26th. On this day , congress hoisted the tricolour on the banks on Ravi in Lahore. The Indians proudly celebrated Independence Day on 26th January, 1930
However when India got its Independence on 15th August, 1947 , Indian constitution was in the making and finally in the honor of the first Independence Day celebrations , India adopted the constitution on 26th January, 1950 .
And that’s how 26th January came to be known as the Republic Day of India.