15th August, Independence Day

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What is the significance of 15th August in India

The republic of India gained its independence from the rule of the British on 15th August, 1947. Since then, this date of 15th August is celebrated as the Independence Day in India to commemorate its freedom from the 200 year old British government.

For India, 15th August is a day of her re-birth, a new start. At the midnight of 15th August, 1947, the British rulers handed the country back to its Indian leaders, ending a remarkable struggle that lasted years. It was 15th August, 1947, the historic date on which sovereign India's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru unfolded the tricolor flag of the nation on the glorious Red Fort. The day is significant in the history of India as bringing end to the British colonial rule in India.

How 15th August became significant in India

In the year 1946 the Labour government, the exchequer of Britain thought of ending their rule over India because of their exhaustion of capital post World War II. British Government announced, during the early 1947, that they intend to transfer power to the Indians by the month of June, 1948. This approaching independence could not decrease the Hindu-Muslim violence in Bengal and Punjab. This led to Louis Mountbatten, the then viceroy of India to propone the power hand-over date owing to the fact that the unprepared British army could not cope with the increased violence in the country. In the month of June in 1947, prominent Indian leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Abul Kalam Azad, Master Tara Singh and B. R. Ambedkar agreed for a partition of India along religious outline. The Sikh and Hindu areas were marked as India and Muslim area as Pakistan.

Millions of people belonging to the different religious groups tramped across that newly drawn border to find places to reside. This took away around 250,000 to 500,000 lives. Finally, at midnight of 15th August, 1947, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru proclaimed India's independence by reading out his famous speech known as "Tryst with destiny". During this speech, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said "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."

How 15th August is celebrated in India

Every year India's Independence Day is celebrated by all proud Indians. The day is observed as a national holiday for the country. Though, local governments conduct the ceremony of flag hoisting all over India, the venue of main celebration is the Red Fort in the capital city New Delhi in India. The celebration starts every year with the unfurling of the tri-coloured national flag by the Prime Minister of the nation followed by a televised speech. The speech generally reflects the present condition of the nation along with the achievements in the previous year and the future development plans. A tribute is even paid by the Prime Minister to freedom fighters of India by declaring the day as national holiday. Post the flag hoisting ceremony, patriotic programs by children from schools based in different states is one of the main attractions. Delhi's sky gets sprinkled with thousands kites coloured in the same tri-colour as that of the national flag.

Similar celebration is done in all the states of India where the flag is hoisted by the Governor of the states. Besides this, almost every school, colleges, universities, government organizations hoist the national flag on 15th August by their most senior official. Nowadays, many housing complexes, clubs, societies, group of friends even observe the flag hoisting ceremony within their premises with ease, joy and honesty. This just shows the togetherness of Indians, who never forget to pay a tribute to their ancestors who sacrificed their life for the betterment of the country.

Nehru's Speech on Independence Day

Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, was a man, who could influence the masses with his oration. He was an immensely learned man and could feel the pulse of the masses. Nehru's Message to the Nation on the Independence Day was delivered on the brink of midnight of the 14th of August, 1947. More Details...

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