India’s Independence Day “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new… India discovers herself again. ” – Jawaharlal Nehru After more than two hundred years of British rule, India finally won back its freedom on 15th August, 1947. All the patriotic hearts rejoiced at seeing India becoming a sovereign nation and the triumph of hundreds and thousands of martyred souls. It was a birth of a new nation and a new beginning.
The only fact that marred the happiness of the fruits by the blood of martyrs was the fact that the country was divided into India and Pakistan and the violent communal riots took away a number of lives. It was on the eve of 15th of August, 1947 that India tricolor flag was unfurled by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, on the ramparts the Red Fort, Delhi. History In 1947, after the World War II, Britain could see that it no longer could hold its power over India. It was becoming increasingly difficult and Indian freedom fighters were in no mood to give up.
With the international support also coming to an end, Britain decided to relive India from their power but not before June 1948. However, the impending independence more so enhanced the violence between Hindus and Muslims in the provinces of Punjab and Bengal. The communal violence grew so large that it became impossible for new viceroy Lord Mountbatten to control it and as such, he advanced the date for the transfer of power, allowing less than six months for a mutually agreed plan for independence. Thus, India gained its independence on August 15, 1947 but not without paying a heavy price.
Partition was done and a separate state for the Muslims was formed, with Muhammad Ali Jinnah being sworn in as Pakistan’s first Governor General in Karachi. On the midnight of August 15, 1947 India was sworn in as an independent country with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as the prime minister and viceroy then as Lord Mountbatten. The official ceremony took place in Delhi. Great leaders and freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Abul Kalam Azad Jinnah, B. R. Ambedkar and Master Tara Singh are few of the many to whom India owes its freedom. Celebrations
The day is celebrated to commemorate the birth of the world’s biggest democracy as a national holiday. All the schools and colleges across nation hoist the national flag on the rooftops and the buildings to symbolize the stature of the national flag as nation’s pride. Not only the educational institutions but also offices and business areas celebrate this day. Since it is declared a national holiday by the government of India, all the institutions, government or otherwise, have holiday. People only go to offices to attend the flag hoisting ceremony.
The Prime Minister addresses the Nation after the flag has been unfurled recounting the country’s achievements of the year, discussing current major issues and future plans for the progress of the country. Kite-flying has also become a tradition on this day and people can be seen flying numerous kites of all colors, sizes and shapes symbolizing the freedom. Independence Day is celebrated throughout India and every corner of the country on 15th August every year. Independence Day is celebrated by every citizen of India irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
It is amazing to see how apart from the normal government offices and educational institutions the day is celebrated even in small colonies and associations. There are costume parties and people, old or young, men or women, dress up in a nationalistic way. There are many documentaries aired and grave of martyrs are paid respect. Every citizen does something or the other to mark this day of freedom. Media is not far behind as most of the channels telecast latest or classic films based on the independence theme. Also, there are patriotic programs that are organized and broadcasted.
In short, every person in the country revels in the nationalistic pride. August 15, 1947, a red-letter day for the Indians, is celebrated with great fanfare and show, across the length and breadth of India. The day, which is a national holiday, is dedicated to all those brave freedom fighters who fetched India her due respect and the much desired independence from the British rule. People in the country honor them, for sacrificing their lives for the freedom of their motherland. The day is celebrated by hoisting national flag, flying kites and organizing cultural activities in educational institutions.
If you want to know all about the history of Independence Day, then go through the following lines. History of Independence Day Before the 18th century, India’s relationship with the West had been predominantly trade-related. All this changed, when the forces of the East India Company defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Calcutta. That signaled the arrival of the British as rulers. Until the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, the East India Company, with the Governor General as its head, ruled the subcontinent.
After that, the Crown took over the administration, with the Viceroy served as its representative. In the 20th century, the country witnessed the rise of many leaders such as Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Banded under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and his doctrine of non-violence, the freedom struggle moved ahead with new vigor. Milestones like the Quit India Movement, Non-Cooperation Movement, Khilafat Movement and Gandhi’s Dandi March brought the inevitable freedom closer.
At the stroke of midnight, as India moved into August 15, 1947, India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, read out the decisive speech, proclaiming India’s independence from the British Empire. The moment ended three centuries of British rule over India. The land was no longer the summer retreat of British sahibs, who sneaked into the nation to fancy spices, shikar, elephants and snake-charmers, and ultimately ended up getting a stranglehold over the nation and torturing the natives in every possible way.
Independence Day remained the sole national festival until India declared itself a republic in 1950. Independence was also the end of nearly a century of struggle for freedom, battles, betrayals and sacrifices. It also created a situation, where we were responsible for ourselves. However, it wasn’t a period of unqualified joy. For many people, in spite of a new era promised by independence, partition between India and Pakistan was a painful reality and so was the bloodshed that accompanied it. That was six decades ago.
Much has changed over the years – today the freedom struggle finds its place in history books and memoirs, and on the tombstones of valiant martyrs. Politics has undergone a personality change from fiery idealism to a pragmatic cynicism. Karma drives the nation on its way forward, and population has crossed the billion mark. Nonetheless, come August 15 and you will find the people forgetting the drudgery of everyday life for a while, and coming together to pay homage to the brave heroes of the freedom struggle and standing up for the National Anthem.
Along with the soaring cadences of the anthem, the hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow are renewed in political speeches and replays of the deeds of those, who earned us our freedom. Independence Day is an occasion to rejoice in our freedom and to pay collective homage to all those people, who sacrificed their lives to the cause. The day also marks the coming together of the states into one nation – India. This was probably our biggest diplomatic success.