The making of a republic: Negotiations that led to creation of India as a republic

Updated: Jan 18, 2022, 06:21 PM(IST)

India’s annual Republic Day parade is a flamboyant display of the South Asian nation’s military might and cultural diversity in the heart of the capital, New Delhi.

Let's take a look at the events that led to the creation of India becoming a republic:


India won independence from British rule on August 15, 1947, but it was not until January 26, 1950, that the nation declared itself a sovereign republic state with the adoption of its constitution. On that day, Rajendra Prasad, India’s first president, unfurled the national flag, and thereafter January 26 became a national holiday, Republic Day.


Power of constitution

The Constitution gave the citizens of India the power to choose their own government and paved the way for democracy.

Earlier, the country was dependent on the colonial Government of India Act, 1935 and its head was King George VI.

Apart from laying down the rights and duties of the citizens, the Constitution also explains the political principles that govern the country and the rules and regulations under which the executive, judiciary and legislature should function.


Lahore session of Indian National Congress

The Indian National Congress, on 19 December 1929, passed the historic ‘Purna Swaraj’ (total independence) resolution at its Lahore session. It indicted British rule and succinctly articulated the resulting economic, political and cultural injustice inflicted on Indians.

A public declaration was made on 26 January 1930 – a day which the Congress Party urged Indians to celebrate as ‘Independence Day’. The declaration was passed due to the breakdown of negotiations between leaders of the freedom movement and the British over the question of dominion status for India.


Cabinet Mission Plan

The plan's aim was to devise machinery for making up the Constitution of India. Meanwhile, Britishers made arrangements for an interim government with Indian members.

It also made a provision for empowering the Union of India to deal with the defence foreign affairs and communications.


Meetings of the Indian Constituent Assembly

Indian Constituent Assembly, which was formed as a consequence of the discussions between the Indian leaders and members of the British Cabinet Mission, had its first meeting on December 9, 1946.

The purpose of the assembly was to present India a constitution, which would serve as a lasting principle and hence selected a number of committees to methodically explore an assortment of aspects of the projected constitution.

The recommendations were debated, discussed and revised many times before the Indian Constitution was confirmed and officially adopted three years later on November 26, 1949.


Adoption of Indian constitution

Right after the independence, the Constituent Assembly appointed a drafting committee headed by Dr. Baha Saheb Ambedkar to draft the constitution which would be later passed by the assembly. 

The Assembly then adopted the constitution of India on November 26, 1949, but waited for nearly two months to enforce the constitution to honour the 1930 declaration of 'Purna Swaraj Diwas'.


Read in App