Podcast | Indians Share Stories from First Republic Day

“There was a rumour that Netaji would make an appearance on Republic Day,” PK Prasad reminisces. 

2 min read

India is celebrating its 70th Republic Day on 26 January 1950, but where were you when India celebrated its very first Republic Day in 1950? For the fourth episode of this podcast series, we spoke to four senior citizens to relive their memories of India's first Republic day when the Constitution had come into effect making India a fully functional independent republic.

PK Prasad who was in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur district on 26 January 1950 shared an interesting rumour about Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s appearance that was doing the rounds in his small hometown.

Col Bakshi was one of those lucky spectators who got to watch the entire celebration from Rajpath. He points out that there were fewer contingents in the army around that time.

For youngsters in 1950, there seemed to be a common confusion about the relevance of being a republic. Amiya Kanti Ray who was in Delhi to witness the first Republic Day parade recalls that there were pro-independence slogans but he was quite not sure what republic meant.

Like AK Ray, Sushma Priyadarshini was also in Delhi. She talks about watching the procession pass by from her friend’s house. She says the celebrations were not as grand as the recent ones but adds that it was an exciting affair for the youngsters nonetheless.

While collecting personal narratives of the first Republic Day for this podcast, we also spoke to Swapna Liddle a historian, who had some interesting details to share about the parade and the constitution. Listen to the podcast for more!

Click here to check out the entire playlist.

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