On 26th January 2010, India celebrates 60 years of Republic.
What is a Republic?
Few months ago, I was sitting with a group of five to six young engineers who have graduated from colleges located in urban areas of India. I asked them what makes India Republic, and none of them could answer it. So, I went ahead and started asking the same question to many other people. Most of them didn’t know what made India republic. Some thought that republic meant the same as being independent; some said that we got a new constitution that day. Some said that we have our own army. And so on. Most of them couldn’t actually answer it right.
India is a republic because India elects its supreme head. They elect the President of India who is the supreme head of India. Though the President is indirectly elected through people’s representatives, it is still considered a republic.
England is not a republic because the supreme head of that country is a Queen who is not elected by the people. In the same way, many European countries are not republic – Denmark, Sweden, Spain, etc, continue to have a king or queen. Though these supreme heads are purely ceremonial and do not have the same power as elected leaders, still they are not considered republics. In India also, the elected President is mostly ceremonial and does not have the same power as elected leaders.