How We Covered India’s First Republic Day

On January 26, 1950, the newly formed Constitution of India came into effect. Adopted by the Constituent Assembly some time earlier, on 26 November 1949, it was hailed as the beginning of a new era. And as the country left some of the final vestiges of the British reign behind, the Free Press Journal had a front row seat to history.

The front page of the publication did not say much beyond the name of the publication and the date. Instead of text, the newly adopted State Emblem of India was featured with a sketch of an Individual standing atop the country on a globe with the national flag in his hands.


The subsequent pages contained quotes from many of the well known architects of the Constitution as well as editorial viewpoints. “”It is not the shedding of blood alone but all forms of human suffering that we should seek to avoid. The only way to bring about peace is through a world-government to arrange for the disposal of every dispute through peaceful trial by the appropriate tribunals and to accept their decisions right or wrong as final even as we reconcile ourselves to the results of war though often grievously wrong,” reads an excerpt attributed to C. Rajagopalachariar, India’s Governor General.

But beyond this being Republic Day, 1950 also marked two years of freedom from British rule. And as such, the FPJ took a walk down memory lane with a series of pictures.

Interestingly, a large number of the advertisements in the publication are also a nod to the historic occasion. Be it the full page advert for a new name in the ‘Indian motion picture industry’ or a promotion of Swiss Radio Phone Agencies – many of the posters and adverts appear to have been tailored for the momentous occasion.


Source: Free Press Journal