“January 26th commemorates one of the most important and defining moments in Indian history. On that day in 1950, the world’s largest democracy became a fully-independent republic when the Constitution of India came into force, replacing the Government of India Act as the country’s governing document.
“Today, almost 65 years later, Republic Day is one of three national holidays in India, and it continues to be a source of pride and occasion for celebration for the people of India.
“While the main celebration is a massive parade in the Indian capital, New Delhi, citizens throughout India come together for a day of parades and festivities that pay tribute to India’s great democracy. Flag-raising ceremonies and other celebrations also take place outside India in countries with large Indian communities, including Canada.
“For over a century, Canadians of Indian heritage have made vital contributions to Canada, in every area of Canadian life. Today, well over a million people of Indian origin live in Canada. And with India perennially being among Canada’s top source countries for immigrants, Indo-Canadians will continue to help shape our national story.
“As Minister for Multiculturalism, I extend my best wishes for a happy Republic Day to everyone celebrating the day in India, here in Canada, and around the world.”