India and its citizens are all geared up with a feeling of patriotic exhilaration to celebrate their 74th Independence Day. Independence Day is celebrated with great pomp and show throughout the country every year on August 15. This big day is a reminder for every citizen of India of the beginning of a new era of liberation from the British colonialism that lasted for about 200 years.
The Indian struggle for independence was a lengthy and an exhausting one. Independence Day is undoubtedly an emotional day for the Indians as homage is paid to those people who contributed their sweat and blood to make India an independent country. People with diverse cultural and religious backgrounds residing in every nook and cranny of the nation come together to celebrate this important day.
So, on the occasion of India’s 74th Independence Day, we have come up with some interesting facts about India and its independence which are listed below:
1. India had no national anthem when it became an independent country on 15th August, 1947. It was adopted as India’s national anthem later in the 1950s. The Bengali version of Jana Gana Mana was written by Rabindranath Tagore in 1911 which was first sung during the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress.
2. Independent India lacked in having a structured government. There was no president or prime minister heading the country. The political framework developed much later in India when it became a republic.
3.The Governor General was the only and the most authoritative person in India at the time of independence.
4. Although India became independent on July 18, 1947, Lord Mountbatten declared 15th August as the date of Independence because this date observed the second anniversary of the surrendering of Japan to the Allied Forces during World War II.
5. The National Flag was first hoisted at the Parsee Bagan Square in Calcutta on August 7, 1906. The flag had three horizontal strips of red, yellow and green color. The red strip at the top consisted of 8 white lotuses imprinted on the flag in a line. On the yellow strip, Vande Mataram was written in Hindi. There was a white sun on the left and a white crescent and star on the right imprinted on the green strip.
6. The contemporary Indian national flag is a tri-colored flag with an Ashok Chakra in the middle. The top-most saffron strip signifies sacrifice and bravery; the middle white strip stands for truth, peace, and purity; and the green color means fertility, faith, and valor. The Ashok Chakra implies righteousness.
7. The first variant of the national flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya in 1921. It consisted of two colors-red and green which represented the two significant communities. But Gandhiji later recommended to add a white strip in the middle with a spinning wheel. The white color represented the remaining Indian communities and the spinning wheel signified the progress of the country.
8. Our country got its name ‘India’ from the River Indus, a place which was a home to the country’s first inhabitants.
9. India is known as Bharat Ganarajya in Sanskrit. That is why the country is popularly called Bharat in Hindi.
10. No country had ever been invaded by India in the last thousand centuries of its history.
11. India shares its Independence Day with five more countries on August 15, but with different years. The countries are Bahrain, North Korea, South Korea, Congo, and Liechtenstein.
12. India had 562 princely states or kingdoms when it became independent. Sardar Vallabhai Patel along with other leaders implemented different techniques to adjoin these princely states to form India. Out of the 562 princely states, the three princely states, Jammu & Kashmir, Hyderabad, and Junagarh decided to stay out of the Union. These states neither wanted to be a part of India or Pakistan.
13. Even after India became independent in 1947, Goa still remained a Portuguese colony. Portugal made amendments in its constitution stating Goa as a Portuguese state. It was made a part of India in 1961 after Indian troops annexed the state to India.
14. Independence Day is celebrated by the Indian Government at the Red Fort in New Delhi. The Prime Minister addresses the whole nation by giving a speech that is broadcasted all throughout the country.
15. The Khadi Development and Village Industries Commission is the only licenced company engaged in the production and supply of Indian flag. The Karnataka Khadi Gramodyog Samyukta Sangha located in Dharwad is the only manufacturer of the flag made with cotton.
16. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, featured on the famous Vogue magazine because of his unique dressing sense. His jacket became a popular fashion trend in the West and came to be known as the ‘Nehru jacket’.
17. Mahatma Gandhi was absent from the celebrations of the country’s first Independence Day. He was there to be a part of a hunger strike that was conducted to impede the communal killings that were triggered due to partition.
18. Cyril John Radcliffe was given the task of drawing the borders of the Independent India. Despite the fact that he had never come to India, he was given this task of division of the country.
19. Hindi was declared as the official language of India on 14th September, 1949. It is not the national language of the country. Article 343 of the Indian Constitution mentions Hindi in Devnagari script as the official language of India.
20. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, hoisted the national flag 17 times from the fortification of the Red Fort on the Independence Day.
21. There was a controversy relating to the Indian national anthem, Jana Gana Mana that it was written by Rabindranath Tagore for the British emperor. He refused these claims on the basis that the song talked about the victory of Bhagya Vidhata of India and not of the British king.
22. Although the plan of Partition was declared on June 3, 1947, it was executed on August 14, 1947, the date on which Pakistan was formed. On August 15, 1947, the Independent Sovereign Republic of India came into being.
23. The price of 10 grams of gold was Rs 88.62 at the time of independence.