South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to be chief guest at Republic Day celebrations 2019

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be the chief guest at India’s 70th Republic Day celebrations on 26 January 2019. Mr. Ramaphosa was invited to be a chief guest by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when two leaders met on sidelines of G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The announcement comes a month after US President Donald Trump declined India’s invitation to be the chief guest. The reason cited was “scheduling constraints” of President.

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Background

  • It honors a date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.
  • Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949 and came into effect on 26 January 1950, completing the country’s transition towards becoming an independent republic.
  • 26 January was chosen as Republic day because it was on this day in 1930 when Purna Swaraj (Declaration of Indian Independence) was proclaimed by Indian National Congress (INC) at Lahore session 1929 as opposed to Dominion status offered by British Regime.

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