On August 15, 1947, India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, hoisted the Indian country’s flag above the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort at Delhi. It is a custom that each and every prime minister has continued since then, accompanied by a message to the nation. The tricolour flag will be fluttering higher in the air, indicating that we currently reside in a Swatantra Bharath or Independent India.
So, why exactly was August 15 picked as India’s Independence Day? After so many months and years of battle, suffering, and nonviolent activities throughout the liberation movement, the British parliament finally gave Lord Mountbatten a responsibility to transfer control by June 30, 1948. Mountbatten, on the other hand, pushed the date back to August 15, 1947. C Rajagopalachari, the first Indian Governor General of independent India, stated that the idea to postpone the very day was taken because Mountbatten wanted to make certain that there wouldn’t be any violence or rioting.
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The law, which aimed for the conclusion of British control in India as well as the division of the nation into India and Pakistan, was carried out in a fortnight. On August 15, 1947, the terms of the Indian Independence Act 1947, which ceded legislative power to the Indian Constituent Assembly, were put into effect.
As cited in Freedom at Midnight, Lord Mountbatten Freedom described how he picked August 15 as India’s Independence Day.
“The date I chose came out of the blue. I chose it in reply to a question. I was determined to show I was the master of the whole event. When they asked if we had set a date, I knew it had to be soon. I hadn’t worked it out exactly then — I thought it had to be about August or September and I then went out on the 15th of August. Why? Because it was the second anniversary of Japan’s surrender [in World War II]“ stated Lord Mountbatten Freedom.
Now, let’s take a look at some important facts and key points to know before celebrating the 75th Independence day.
● The Sepoy Mutiny or Indian Rebellion of 1857 began the very first fight for an independent India in 1857. It eventually inspired the people and spread all over the country, where the colonial rule was met with major protests and independent Indian chants.
● The Bombay session of the All-India Congress Party, under Mahatma Gandhi, launched the August Movement, also known as the Quit India Movement, on August 8, 1942. It was meant to be a peaceful movement. Nonetheless, Gandhi gave the citizens of India the phrase “Do or Die,” pressing the British rulers to declare India independence.
● On July 22, 1947, the constituent Assembly approved the Indian flag as the officially recognized national flag.
● On August 7, 1906, the very first national flag of India, with three parts of green, yellow, as well as red, was raised in Parsee Bagan Square in Kolkata.
● India did not have an official national anthem after gaining independence. Rabindra Nath Tagore’s 1911 song ‘Bharoto Bhagya Bidhata’ was changed to ‘Jan Gan Man.’ On January 24, 1950, the constitutional parliament declared it the officially recognized National anthem of India.
● The national anthem ‘Vande Mataram’ was included in Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s work ‘Anandamath’ in the 1880s. On January 24, 1950, the constituent parliament officially approved the national song of India.
● The national flag’s width to length ratio is supposed to be 2:3, and the primary colour stripes must all be the same length and width.
● The Indian Army raised the world’s biggest tiranga on the celebration of Army Day in Jaisalmer on January 15, 2022.
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