The first Prime Minister of Independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru, declared on the evening of August 15, 1947, “At the stroke of midnight, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom,” which perfectly encapsulated the struggle and joy of the country as it finally managed to break free from British rule.
Jawaharlal Nehru raised the Indian flag above the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort in Delhi to commemorate the historic occasion. This became a symbolic act, and it still happens on 15th August Independence Day, when India celebrates its Independence Day. The Indian National Anthem is sung as part of drills, flag-hoisting ceremonies, cultural events, and general celebrations of the day across the nation. Let’s examine the background and significance of this day as the nation marks its 75th anniversary of independence this year.
Since 1947, when the British departed India permanently, August 15 has been designated as Indian Independence Day. But do we actually understand why this day was picked exactly, or why Independence Day is honoured on August 15? Learn everything in this article.
The day, January 26, was chosen in 1929 to achieve emancipation from the British chains as a result of the Congress President’s appeal for complete independence. In actuality, Congress kept observing this day as Independence Day beginning in 1930. On January 26, 1950, the nation was proclaimed a Republic after India gained independence on August 15, 1947. Since that time, India has been a sovereign nation, free from British Dominion status.
Lord Mountbatten was given the go-ahead by the British Parliament to transfer the power to India on June 30, 1948. The power would not have been left to be handed as per Rajgopalachari if Lord Mountbatten had waited till 1948. August 1947 was chosen as the new date by Mountbatten.
He asserted at the time that moving the date would result in less violence and unrest. Mountbatten was entirely in error. The worst kind of riots started. When defending himself, Mountbatten said that colonial control had always ended in violence. The dates were chosen based on Mountbatten’s suggestions regarding the circumstances in India.
On July 4, 1947, immediately following Mountbatten’s review, the Indian Independence Bill was presented to the British House of Commons.
In less than two weeks, it was passed. On August 15, 1947, it called for the end of British authority in India and the foundation of the Dominions of India and Pakistan, which were given permission to leave the British Commonwealth.
The date I selected, according to Mountbatten, “came out of the blue. I selected it in response to a query. I was adamant that I would prove that I was the event’s master. I knew it had to be soon when they inquired about our planned date. I didn’t figure it out precisely at the time; I assumed it had to be around August or September, so I left on the 15th of August. Why? due to the fact that it was the anniversary of Japan’s surrender.
The Indian Independence Bill designated August 15 as the day both nations would become independent. The date of Pakistan’s independence, August 15, was mentioned on the country’s first stamp.
Jinnah declared, “August 15 marks the birthday of the independent and sovereign state of Pakistan,” in a speech commemorating Pakistan’s first Independence Day. It signifies the accomplishment of the Muslim nation’s destiny, for which it has recently made significant sacrifices in order to obtain its country. Pakistan declared August 14 to be its Independence Day in 1948.
Independence Day is noteworthy because it honours the bravery and passion of the people who battled to free their country from British tyranny. Every year, Prime Ministers raise the flag and address the public from the Red Fort to mark the day as one of pride and honour for the nation. The president of the nation gives a televised “Address to the Nation” the day before Independence Day.
While the day is observed nationwide with cultural events, parades, and flag-raising ceremonies, this year’s and previous year’s celebrations will be limited because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is suggested to follow all safety and social distance rules while honouring the spirit of this historic day.
How Indians celebrate Independence Day
All the proud Indians do Independence Day celebrations on this day each year. Everywhere in the nation, the 15th of August is commemorated as a national holiday. Even though local governments hold flag-hoisting ceremonies all throughout India, the primary celebration takes place at the Red Fort in the nation’s capital, New Delhi. Every year, the ceremony begins with the nation’s Prime Minister raising the tricolour flag, which is followed by a broadcast address. The address generally summarises the state of the country today, as well as its accomplishments in the previous year and its development goals for the future. The Prime Minister even made the day a national holiday as a homage to India’s liberation heroes.
One of the biggest activity for Independence Day after the flag-hoisting ceremony are patriotic performances by students from schools located in various states. Kite flying is also celebrated as an Independence Day tradition in certain of India’s northern and central cities. Using national flags of various sizes, people express their patriotism for the nation. The tricolour flag is used to adorn their clothing, automobiles, homes, and other items. With parades and pageants, Indians all around the world also commemorate Independence Day. Several American communities have proclaimed August 15 as “India Day.”
On August 15, almost all schools, colleges, universities, and government agencies raise the flag. Many housing complexes, clubs, societies, groups of friends, etc. now easily, joyfully, and honestly observe the flag-hoisting on Independence Day. This merely demonstrates the unity of Indians, who never fail to honour their predecessors who gave their lives in sacrifice for the sake of the nation.