This speech guideline will benefit all students and teachers looking for guidelines on how to write a great speech on India’s Republic Day.
But first, ask yourself two questions.
When was the last time YOU heard a speech?
If yes, what do you remember from that speech?
Chances are you won’t be able to remember the last speech you heard, let alone remember any highlights from that speech.
If you don’t want the same to happen to your speech, follow the draft below and you will end up drafting a speech people will remember.
Who is this speech for?
If you are a student in school or college, you want to make an immediate impact on your colleagues with facts, anecdotes, and a strong message they will remember. However, you need to keep in mind, some will pay attention to what you are speaking, some will not be very attentive, and others may not bother to hear at all.
What is the main message you wish to communicate?
Its India’s Republic Day celebration and so, you must aim to:
Recall: Quickly run through some facts we have mentioned below so students and even teachers can recall or refresh historical facts.
Inspire: Mention one or two incidents that trigger a strong patriotic sentiment. The Jallianwala Bagh incident in Amritsar is one such example or the fatal lathi-charge on Lala Lajpat Rai. You could research some other incident if you will that will have the maximum impact. Remember, we ALL love to hear short stories and anecdotes. It will help get attention.
Motivate: Try and connect the sacrifices of our freedom fighters to the fight all students must resolve to undertake in building India into a nation we wish to see.
Celebrations: Speak about how India celebrates its Republic Day parade with the arrival of the chief guest, the military parade along with the equipment display, fly past, school children’s participation, and finally, the state tableau presentation. Speak about the anticipation and excitement around the Air Force helicopters and planes that fly at the end of the ceremony. Then speak about the significance of the Beating Retreat ceremony.
Don’t spend too much time explaining what each part of the parade is as everyone has watched the parade and is most familiar. Your speech must describe the excitement people feel with each part of the parade.
Pledge: Conclude your speech with a Pledge. Ask the students whether they love their country. You will typically get a soft, hesitating response or a vociferous YES! So, ask again and say you want to hear a louder YES! Now, ask them if they are ready to take the Pledge with you.
End your speech with this: Read out a short Pledge of commitment to be a better citizen, to respect and care for those around us, to be tolerant and inclusive of everybody, irrespective of religion, caste, or creed.
Your last words must be a loud Jai Hind (with a raised fist!)
Timing your speech is important
Based on the time made available to you, plan the speech break-up into five parts:
- Introduction and recall
- Sacrifices our forefathers made to attain a hard-fought freedom
- What we can learn from the past so we can contribute to building a better nation tomorrow
- Brief mention of the parade and the Beating Retreat ceremony
- Invoke the Pledge and conclude
Once you have written the speech, time yourself as you read out each part and then see if you are within the total time allotted. Great speakers always finish at the allotted time. Once you are sure you are within the time, rehearse for:
Vocabulary: Select a few words, not too commonly used in everyday conversation, and include in your speech. Ensure the correct grammar and placement around those words.
Clarity: Ensure your speech is clear and without breaks trying to recall words from your speech. At any time, if you forget, do not hesitate. Keep speaking as you move on to the next point. But keep the flow going.
Tone: The greatest speakers in history have been those who have used tone to great effect. Words without tone will put anybody to sleep. Highlight the words you wish to stress upon and then practice the flow as you speak.
Body Language: In school, hand gestures may or may not be encouraged, but you could use it at times to stress certain points and moments in history. You must use hand gestures during the emotive moments as you recall any incident which evokes emotion like the Jallianwala Bagh incident. Use it at the end when you read the Pledge to conclude your speech. A fist can be an expression of confident assertion and commitment of intent. Use it.
Organising the facts about India’s Republic Day
Research each aspect of Republic Day and double-check the facts.
Why is Republic Day celebrated?
Explain the difference between Independence Day (15 August) and Republic Day (26 August) and why India celebrates both.
What is the significance of 26 January?
Tell them about the first call for Independence (Purna Swaraj resolution) by the Indian National Conference on 26 January 1929, and then, speak of the Constitution of India coming into force on this day in 1950.
What do the three colours and the wheel in the Indian flag represent?
Briefly touch upon the significance of the three colours of the flag and also tell them what the Ashok Chakra is and what it represents. Tell them to recall the meaning of the flag each time they wave it when India plays or wherever they hold it.
What is the format of the Republic Day parade?
Briefly explain the following format of the Republic Day parade ceremony:
- Homage to the Martyrs at India Gate
- The arrival of the Chief Guest along with the President of India
- The Helicopter floral welcome
- The Defence forces smart march and display of India’s military might
- Colourful performances of the school children from different parts of India
- The state Tableaus
- The closing ceremony and departure of the Chief Guest and the President of India
What is the significance of the Beating of the Retreat ceremony?
Tell them about the military tradition of ceasefire during a battle at the sound of the Bugle, at sunset. And how the ceremony started in the early 50s in India and is followed every year on 29 January at Vijay Chowk, where military bands from all three services perform.
The entire parade description should be very brief and must not sound like a narrative but an exciting visualisation of the ceremony in very few words.
Why do we need to remember the history and what kind of a nation do we wish to build in the future?
Speak about the need to know and understand our past, so we don’t repeat the mistakes in the future.
Renew our pledge to the flag and the country.
The following sample may help in drafting your Pledge.
“I would like to conclude my address on Republic Day with a question: (loudly) Do you love your country? (When everyone shouts yes, then ask): Are you ready to take a Pledge today with me? (Wait for them to say YES)
Please repeat after me:
We, the students of [your school name] solemnly pledge today, to uphold the values of our school and country, in serving the nation with honesty, sincerity, and integrity. We pledge to be model citizens of the nation and society, so we can inspire others, at school and home, to join us, as we march forward together. Jai Hind!”