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August 12, 2011
What is the Significance of Independence Day in India?
Independence Day in India celebrated on August 15th signifies the day India gained freedom from the 200 year old British rule. On the midnight of 15th August 1947 the British Rulers handed the country back to the Indian leaders; it was on this historic day the tricolour was hoisted by India's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru at Delhi's monumental Red Fort and read to the nation his famous speech called "Tryst with Destiny". This day is very important in Indian history as it signifies the re-birth of India moving towards a brand new future.
In 1946, the Labour Party, the exchequer of Britain considered ending their rule over India as they had exhausted most of their capital after World War 2. Early in 1947 the British Government announced that they intended to transfer power to India by June 1948, but this upcoming independence did not decrease the intense Hindu-Muslim riots taking place in Punjab and Bengal. It were these violent riots that prompted Lord Mountbatten, the then Viceroy of India, to prepone the handing over of power; owing to the fact that the unprepared British army could not deal with the growing violence in the country.
In June 1947 prominent Indian leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Abul Kalam Azad, Master Tara Singh and B.R Ambedkar decided on a partition of India along religious lines. India was to be the area marked for Hindus and Sikhs and the newly formed country of Pakistan was to be the area of Muslims. 1947 saw millions of people trudge across this newly formed border and the loss of around 500,000 lives.
During his famous speech at the Red Fort Pandit Nehru said
How is 15th August Celebrated in India?
15th August is a national holiday in India and the streets of the national capital, Delhi are decorated with colourful national flags. Flag hoisting ceremonies take place all across the country in schools, offices and government organizations, followed by the singing of the national anthem. Nowadays many housing societies also have a flag hoisting ceremony, followed by a small get-together. In Delhi the Prime Minister hoists the tricolor at the Red Fort, followed by a 21 gun salute and then proceeds to address the nation with a speech, while paying tribute to the freedom fighters who played a great role in gaining independence for India, while congratulating Indian's on the achievements of the country in the past year and the proposed steps for future growth. This is also when the skies of India are dotted with several colourful kites, as kite flying competitions take place adding to the festive spirit.
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