Happy Republic Day, India

On January 26, 1950, the newly independent nation of India marked a major milestone, as its new constitution went into effect, making it the largest democracy in the world. Following the turbulence and tragedy of partition, India developed a way to right itself into the economic and geopolitical powerhouse it is today, 66 years later.

To commemorate Republic Day 2016, Indian celebrations pulled out all the stops. Traditional dance, music, motorbike stunts, athletic displays, cultural performances, giant depictions of Hindu deities and of tribal women were all part of the festivities.

If there’s one thing India knows how to do, it’s how to create spectacle.

The occasion also renewed calls for India to have a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. With the subcontinent’s population — now at 1.3 billion — on track to surpass China’s by 2025, the argument does seem to have merit.

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At top, a taxi carries a message of welcome outside Gaya Junction. (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro)

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