India's Republic Day: Jan 25, 1950

Rohit Khare (
Tue, 26 Jan 1999 13:31:20 -0800

"brightest names in the British Empire"? harumpf.
At least the Times, in typical fashion, includes a welter of completely
irrelevant details at the end. And the swipe at Indian engineers is
precious -- I wonder if they're still there...



India a Republic, Prasad President
Jan 25, 1950

Proclamation and Induction Implement Sovereignty
and Sever Ties
With British

Two-Day National Holiday

By Robert Trumbull
Special to The New York Times

New Delhi, Jan. 25 -- The proclamation of
Republic of India and the induction of the
President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, will be
marked by
a two-day national holiday.

At the moment the office of Governor General
ceases, a
line of forty-nine occupants, going back to Warren
Hastings, will end. The Governors General have
some of the brightest names in the British Empire's


The event also significantly alters the complexion
of the
Commonwealth, whose largest member, with about
one-sixth of the earth's population, will no longer

recognize the King of Great Britain as its
sovereign. The
Republic of India will, however, continue to accept
King as the symbolic head of the Commonwealth of

British Insignias Removed

The British arms and the royal crown have already
removed from the public buildings, except the two
crowns that tower over the immense secretariat
buildings opposite Government House on New Delhi's
highest eminence. How to dislodge these ornaments,
weighing two tons each, without the risk that they
crash through the secretariat roof, has baffled
engineers. The other crowns have been replaced by a

symbolic Asoka pillar.

The pillar of Asoka, recalling the great Buddhist
whose reign began in 274 B. C., will replace the
crown on
police and service flags and on uniform insignia.
At the
same time the prefix "royal" will be dropped from
designations of the Indian army, navy and air
force. New
currency and stamps of Indian design will be

Assumption of the status of a "sovereign democratic

republic" brings in to force the new Constitution,
abolishes untouchability and includes the most
document of fundamental rights of any constitution.
present laws in conflict with the Constitution are
automatically repealed.

India's nine Governors' Provinces, eleven Chief
Commissioners' Provinces and eight Princely States
Unions, will be known as States under the new

A Governor will continue to be called His
Excellency, and
a Maharajah His Highness, although the Chief of
will be addressed simply as Mr. President. But no
titles may be accepted by Indian nationals except
in cases
of hereditary princes whose honors are guaranteed
by a
covenant with the Central Government.

Jan. 26 was chosen for the inauguration of the
republic because on that date twenty
years ago the Indian National Congress, now the
governing party, issued a pledge that
India must become completely free and independent
of British rule.

Dr. Prasad, four times president of the Congress,
will be head of state until the first
general elections are held. These are tentatively
scheduled for next winter. Meanwhile,
the present assembly will be a provisional
Parliament and will hold its first meeting as
such on Saturday when the President will read his
first formal message.

Territorial readjustments between the various units
that will constitute the Indian
Republic were announced today.

There are hundreds of small enclaves consisting of
villages, towns and forest areas
belonging to one unit but situated in a neighboring
territory, thus creating serious
administrative difficulties. The States Ministry
announcement said that all such bits of
land would be absorbed by the unit in which they
are situated. For instance, these
adjustments will involve the merger of 110
Hyderabad State villages with Bombay
Province and the taking over of ninety-three Bombay
Province villages by the
Hyderabad Government.

There are about 1,600 enclaves, ranging in area
from a few square yards to several
square miles.


Rohit Khare -- UC Irvine -- 4K Associates -- +1-(626) 806-7574 --