1 . Celebration
15 August is celebrated as the Independence Day of India. On 15 August 1947, India got its independence from the British rule and was declared as a sovereign nation. The day is celebrated throughout the country commemorating Indias independence from the British. The independence was achieved following a massive independence movement mostly noted for peaceful non violent resistance and civil disobedience movements led by the Indian National Congress. After the independence of India the partition took place in which the British Indian Empire was divided along religious lines into two new nations India and Pakistan.In 1757, after the British victory in the Battle of Plassey, the rule of East India Company started in India. By 1858, the British Crown had assumed control of India. The situation after World War I was marked suppressive and exploitative laws by the British. This led to revolutionary calls for independence rule and sparked the phase of non violent and non cooperation movements followed by civil disobedience.
The enduring leader and a national symbol for all these movements was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi the Father of the Nation. The next decades were marked with constant struggles between the Indians and the British for freedom. Many movements and acts were carried out by the Indian National Congress, freedom fighters and the people of India. An upsurge of all these events finally led to the independence of India in 1947.
CelebrationThe Independence Day is celebrated in all states and union territories of India. On the eve of Independence Day, the President of India delivers the Address to the Nation speech which is broadcasted nationally. On 15 August, the Prime Minister of India hoists the Indian flag on the historical Red Fort site in Delhi. 21 gun shots are fired in honor of the occasion. The Prime Minister then delivers a speech highlighting the achievements of government during the past year, raises important issues and puts forth further plans for development. He also pays tribute to the freedom struggle leaders.The Indian national anthem is sung after the speech. The divisions of Indian Army and paramilitary forces perform a parade, followed by pageants showcasing different events from the independence struggle and cultural traditions of the India. In other state capitals similar type of events take place where the Chief Minister of that particular state unfurls the national flag and celebrations follow. Various government and non government institutions, schools and colleges across India conduct flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programmes within their premises.In northern and central cities of India, kite flying is a celebrated as an event associated with Independence Day. People symbolize their patriotism towards the country with the use of national flags of different sizes. They decorate their cloths, cars, household, etc with the tri color flag. The Indians in various parts of the world also celebrate the Independence Day with parades and pageants. Several cities in the United States have declared 15 August as India Day.
2 . Different types of celebrations on Independence Day
Children have a different perspective. They like this day because they get sweets and holiday after flag hoisting in their schools. The National Flag is hoisted by the Prime Minister of India on the ramparts of the Red Fort, Delhi after which his speech is followed. Other politicians hoist the flag in their constituencies. Not only this, private organizations celebrate Independence Day where the seniour official hoists the flag and everyone present there sings the National Anthem.Families and friends meet and have dinner together or go out to have fun and enjoyment that day. Almost all movie channels entertain their viewers with old and new patriotic movies and classics. People celebrate this auspicious and significant day in their own way. There was a time when Indians were not aware of the problems going on in the country and the society. But today, the younger generation of India has come forward and many raise their voice against the drawbacks of the society.
The government organizations have a declared national holiday this day. Also, the educational institutes and many private organizations also declare holiday on Independence Day. Everywhere there is a scene of joy, pride and rejoice. No rituals but only festivities are to be seen.Some people fly kites to express their feeling for the freedom that we have received from the British Rule. You can see hundreds of colourful kites in the sky that day and some of them in the colour of the National Flag. Some people and celebrities leave balloons of saffron, white and green colours, the colours of the Indian Tricolour, in the air.
3 . Why do we celebrate Independence Day
Everyone in India knows that India got freedom from the 300 years of British Rule at the stroke of midnight as India moved towards August 15, 1947. Many of us know even the stories of struggle for independence as well. There have been millions of lives that sacrificed for this freedom and many of them are not even known or remembered.The most important thing is that we remember and pay homage to these legends on this auspicious day. It is important for all Indian to think and pay respect to those who died for the country. There are virtually many reasons and ways of celebrating Independence Day. Varieties of contests, promotions and cultural programs are organized.
4 . Achievements since Independence
When we talk about the achievements since independence, we need to mention advancement in science and technology in various fields. Today India is independent in manufacturing and producing many technical and industrial goods. We can take pride in the space technology and development in this field. There has been development and improvement in the infrastructure when we compare India before and after more than 60 years of independence.However, all these things matter less until the people below poverty line are uplifted in the real sense. It is our social responsibility to help these people come out of the pathetic situation and attain basic necessities of life.
5 . Why 1947
The awakening of masses by Gandhi and the activities of Bose behind the scenes (of strengthening Indian National Army) which had intensified during 1940s were already a cause of concern for the British.By the time the World War II had come to an end in 1945, the British were financially weak (sources indicate they were in the verge of bankruptcy) and were struggling to rule their own country, let alone their colonies. The victory of Labour party in the Britain elections of 1945 was received very well by our freedom fighters because the Labour party had promised to work on granting independence to English colonies including India.
Lord Wavell initiated talks with Indian leaders for Indian Independence and inspite of several disagreements and disruptions, it was gaining momentum and in Feb 1947, Lord Mountbatten was appointed as the last viceroy of India to oversee the transfer of power.The plan initially was to transfer power from Britain to India by June 1948. Immediately after assuming power in Feb 1947, Lord Mountbatten had begun a series of talks with Indian leaders for a consensus. But things were not so simple especially due to conflicts between Jinnah & Nehru on the matter of partition. Jinnah
6 . Why 15th Aug
It was Lord Mountbatten who had personally decided the date of Aug 15 because he had considered that date to be very lucky for his career. During the World War II, it was on Aug 15, 1945 (Japan timezone) that the Japanese Army had surrendered before him (Lord Mountbatten was the commander of the allied forces).
7 . Why midnight
When the date of independence was decided in June 3 plan and announced to public, there was an outrage among astrologers across the country because 15 Aug 1947 was an unfortunate & unholy date according to astrological calculations. Alternative dates were suggested but Lord Mountbatten was adamant on Aug 15 (since it was his lucky date). As a workaround, the astrologers suggested the midnight hour between Aug 14 and 15 due to the simple reason that the day according to English starts at 12 AM, but according to Hindu calendar, starts at sunrise.
The astrologers had insisted that the speech of acknowledgement of transfer of power be done within the 48 minutes window (referred to as Abhijeet Muhurta) which lasted between 24 minutes before and after 12:15am i.e between 11:51pm & 12:39am. Nehru had to deliver a speech only within that timeframe and an additional constraint was that the speech had to end by 12 AM, so that the holy conch (Shanka) be blown to herald the birth of a new nation at the stroke of midnight hour, and the rest is history.
8 . 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 Pakistans 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.
9 . Celebrations this day
The day is celebrated to commemorate the birth of the worlds 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 nations 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 countrys 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.
10 . Cultural programs
The Independence Day in India is celebrated every year on the 15th of August in honor of the birthday of the nation. On 15th August 1947, India achieved her independence from British rule and became a sovereign nation.On the eve of 15th August 1947, India tricolor (saffron, green and white) flag was first hoisted by Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, at the Red Fort of Delhi.Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we will redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. 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, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance…. We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again.