The Real Meaning of Republic A photo feature tracing key events that let to the creation of the Indian Republic

26, Jan 2019 | CJP Team

These images tell the story of how our Indian Republic came into being. Some are known, but many stories are either less known or completely untold. We invite you to take a walk through history.


The Santhal Rebellion also known as the Santhal Hool, was an uprising of India’s indigenous people or Adivasis against the British and their Zamindari system. One of the first battles of the Indian freedom struggle was also a part of the larger land rights movement, a movement for Jal-Jungle-Zameen.  It started on June 30, 1855. Source: Wikimedia Commons.


Jhalkari Bai was a Dalit woman and a brave warrior who disguised herself a Rani Laxmi Bai and fought the British, allowing the real queen to escape, when General Hugh Rose attacked Jhansi and Dhula Ju, who was incharge of the gates of Jhansi, betrayed the Queen by opening them after he entered into a pact with the British. Help from Nana Sahib was yet to arrive and Tantya Tope had already been defeated. It was Jhalkari’s sacrifice that helped the forces escape first and then attack with renewed vigour. Image source: Wikimedia Commons


The Champaran Satyagrah of 1917 was a peaceful uprising by farmers of Champaran district in Bihar against the British rule. The farmers were protesting having to forcibly grow indigo, but because they were inspired by Gandhi, the protest was peaceful. Image source: PIB


In 1925, even as Bardoli in Gujarat suffered from flood, famine and low agricultural output, the British levied a 30 percent tax on the farmers who barely had enough to eat. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel led this satyagrah and said, “Fight if you feel that you must resist oppression and injustice. Do not take the plunge lightly. If you miserably fail, you will not rise again for several years. But if you succeed you will have done much to lay the foundation of Swaraj.” Image Source: Asian Voice


On March 20, 1927 Dr BR Ambedkar led a historic satyagrah to demand the right of people from oppressed castes, then termed “untouchable” by dominant caste people, to draw and drink water from a public tank in Mahad, in Raigarh District of Maharashtra. “We are not going to Chavdar Tank to merely drink its water. We are going to assert that we too are human being like others. It must be clear that this meeting has been called to set up the norm of equality,” said Dr BR Ambedkar. Image source: Forward Press


Rani Gaidinliu was a Rongmei Naga spiritual and political leader who who led a rebellion against the British. She joined the struggle at just 13 years of age and was arrested and jailed in 1932 when she was just 16 years old! Picture source: Twitter


The Salt Satyagraha took place to protest the steep tax the British levied on salt. Though the march began with only 78 volunteers, by the time they reached their final destination thousands had joined Mahatma Gandhi. The 384 kms long march began on March 12, 1930 from Sabarmati and ended on April 6, 1930 and Dandi in Gujarat. Image source:


Dr. Rajendra Prasad at the first Republic Day parade. According to Heritage Lab, from 1950 to 1954, the celebrations were organised at different venues including Irwin Stadium, Kingsway, Red Fort and Ramlila Grounds. It was only after the parade in 1955 that Rajpath became the permanent venue. Source: The Heritage Lab


Also read:

The Republic of Memory Lost

Your Vote: A Right and A Duty


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