72 years passed: What makes India a Republic
By Shreya Verma
Our constitution declared India to be a 'democratic republic' but before we start as to what makes India a republic let's understand what is meant by the word Republic. Derived from the Latin word res publica, which means ‘public affairs’, republic means that form of government in which the state is ruled by representatives of the citizen body. Is different from direct democracy which is like in direct democracy citizens do not government State directly rather in a Republic, citizens are governed by their representatives whom they elect through direct or indirect elections.
The concept of Republic is not new however its meaning though have evolved. Is Defined by the French political philosopher Jean Bodin in his work " six books of the Commonwealth" as, "the rightly ordered government of a number of families, and of those things which are their common concern, bieng a sovereign power." this definition however changed when in 17th century the American Revolution (1775 - 83) and the French Revolution (1787-89) a resistence was made to the absolutist regimes and Republic got the meaning as a form of government, distinguished from a monarchy, where the leader is appointed under the constitution. But it got popularity only in 20th century when monarchy was finally given up by most of the nations worldwide. As defined now, “republic is a form of government in which representatives are entitled to act on behalf of the people whom they represent.” A total number of 159 worlds Sovereign states use the word Republic as part of their official names. Like the People's Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Saka Republic, Republic of Congo, however, not each of them adheres to the strict meaning of the word Republic in a sense of being governed by an elected government.
A republic is a form of government generally defined by three characteristics:
The power of government is held by the people;
The people give power to leaders by electing the officials who represent them and serve their interests; and
Citizens and their representatives are to work cooperatively to promote the common good rather than their own interests.
Now, let's find out as to what makes India a Republic-
India on 26 January, 1950 adopted and enacted its constitution and by way of it, it declared itself to be a democratic republic. Democratic Republic is that form of government where the state functions on the principles of republics as well as democracies, meaning thereby, it refers to that form of Government where people directly participate in the decisions that affect the way the country works. India is called a republic as the representatives are elected by the people of the country. The representatives elected by citizens have the power to take decisions on our behalf. In India there exist an elected head of state, i.e., the President.
In India, the President is the elected head of state. It is called a Republic because the people of the country elect their representatives. And these representatives have the power to make decisions on the behalf of those people, thus making India an amalgamation of Republic and democracy.