On the 15th of August 1947, the government of UK passed the Indian Independence Act thereby granting sovereignty to the Indian Constituent Assembly. The never-ending struggle for independence finally came to an end with this act, and overnight India became a free country, free from the leashes of the British Empire. The Indian Independence Day is commemorated and celebrated every year on the 15th of August from thereon after.
On the 15th of August in 1947 the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru raised the Indian National Flag, above the Lahori Gate in Red Fort in Delhi. To follow up this tradition, every year Independence Day is celebrated nationwide, by hoisting flags, and through several cultural events and parades. 4
Events leading up to Independence
1946 was the year before independence, which was a rather crucial year in the history of India. Due to heavy losses suffered post World War II, the British Empire realised that they neither had the resources nor international support so as to continue to control India, which by then was becoming more and more relentless and restless, trying to break free.
Taking into consideration these matters, the Prime Minister of Britain, Clement Attlee declared that India would be granted self-governance by 1948. However, the date of Independence was advanced by the new viceroy of the British colony in India, Lord Mountbatten. On the 3rd of June 1947, the British government accepting the idea of partitioning the India into two independent states, India and Pakistan.
The Indian Independence Act 1947 of the Parliament of the United Kingdom partitioned British India into the two new independent dominions of India and Pakistan with effect from 15 August 1947, and granted complete legislative authority to the new countries. This Act received royal acceptance from the Queen of England, on 18 July 1947.
The Constituent Assembly of India met for its fifth session at 11 pm on 14 August in the Constitution Hall in New Delhi. The session was chaired by the then president of the assembly, Rajendra Prasad. In this session, the Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, delivered the Tryst with Destiny speech proclaiming India’s independence. This speech which made its mark in history, he said the following words:
Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall 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. It is fitting that at this solemn moment, we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.
India became an independent country from the 15th of August 1947. Official ceremonies took place in New Delhi to begin the county’s rule as an independent nation by Nehru assuming office as the first prime minister, while the viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, continued as its first governor general.
Mahatma Gandhi however restrained from taking any part in these political events. Instead, he conducted a 24-hour fast on that same day. During this fasting session, Gandhi addressed a crowd in Calcutta, he spoke about communal harmony and religious tolerance throughout the nation and encouraged peace between the Hindus and Muslims.
Celebration of Independence Day in India
Independence Day in India is celebrated as one of the three national holidays in the country, through various joyous events happening all over the nation. Parades, flag hoisting ceremonies, and cultural events adorn the heart of the country on the 15th of August every day as the citizens celebrate one more year of freedom and sovereignty.
On 15 August, the Prime Minister hoists the Indian flag at the historical site of Red Fort in Delhi where in 1947 the first Prime Minister, Nehru, had introduced this tradition. Twenty-one gun shots are fired in honour of the occasion and the various sacrifices made by patriots of the country to achieve this independence.
The Prime Minister in his speech, highlights the past year’s achievements, he also addresses various other important issues and aims towards the progress and development of the nation. The Prime Minister pays tribute to the freedom fighters, the civilians and soldiers who lost their lives during the struggle against The British and the leaders of the Indian independence movement.
Then Indian national anthem, “Jana Gana Mana”, is sung in unison, standing in an upright posture with hands laid out on either sides. The speech is followed by march past of divisions of the Indian Armed Forces and paramilitary forces. In the states similar events take place, lead by the Chief Ministers of each state. Celebrations take place through wide ranges of cultural events and parades featuring the struggle for freedom and independence.
Independence Day celebrations 2019
2019 commemorated the 73rd Independence Day in India. Independence Day in India was fervently celebrated all throughout the nation. This year too, the celebrations were remarkable and there were various special highlights of the celebration which made it a memorable event.
Highlights of the 73rd Independence Day Celebrations
On this auspicious occasion the Panchayat Heads of the Bhartiya Janata Party in Jammu and Kashmir hoisted the Tricoloured flag in their houses. This was the first ever Independence day of Jammu and Kashmir after the revoking of article 370 and the states becoming a Union Territory. On 73rd Independence Day of India, for the first time Indian Flag was displayed at several locations in Jammu & Kashmir amid grand celebrations. After revoking Article 370, the state of Jammu & Kashmir celebrated its first biggest National Festival ever.
The Indian state of Chhattisgarh set a new world record by unfurling world’s longest Tri-Colour flag of about 15 km length on 11th of August 2019 supported by a chain of thousands of people in Raipur.
President Ramnath Kovind and three service chiefs paid tribute to the war heroes at National War Memorial.Former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, social activist Nanaji Deshmukh and singer, lyricist Bhupen Hazarika (posthumously) were felicitated with the Bharat Ratna which is the highest civil honour in India in an event at the President House on 8th August 2019.
Recently acquired the status of Lieutenant colonel and former Indian Cricket Player Mahendra Singh Dhoni unfurled Indian Nation Flag in Leh on 73rd Independence Day of India. Dhoni officially took his retirement from International Cricket to serve as a colonel in the Indian Army in Ladakh.
Wing-commander Abhinandan Varthaman was awarded Veer Chakra on 73rd Independence Day for his brilliant display of courage after landing in Pakistan while conducting a surgical attack through air when his Mig 27 aircraft crashed on the Pakistan side of the Radcliff border.
Due to the withdrawal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir the Indian intelligence agency has issued high alert in 6 states of India, Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in view of the increasing terrorist threat.
The Government honoured 5 brave Indian pilots involved in the Balakot air strike, namely wing commander Amit Ranjan, Squadron leader Rahul Basoya, Pankaj Bhujde, B.K.N. Reddy and Shashank Singh.
President of Russia, Vladimir Putin congratulated President Kovind and Prime Minister Modi on Independence Day.
In a major announcement, the Prime Minister indicated the creation of a post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), who would head all the three defence forces of India.
The Prime Minister also announced in his speech “Jal-Jeevan Mission” – an approximately 3.5 lakh Crores project to provide clean drinking water to every household.
Prime Minister stressed on the need for water conservation through methods like rainwater harvesting.
Prime Minister expressed the government’s willingness to tap the huge tourism potential of the country.
Prime Minister also announced an investment of Rs. 100 Trillion for the infrastructure development in rural India.
132 personnel of Armed Forces and Paramilitary Forces were conferred with various gallantry awards on Independence Day. Twitter launched an emoji of Ashok Chakra on Wednesday (14th August) celebrating 73rd Independence Day of India. This emoji will be live till 18th August and in several languages which are English, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali and Oriya.
These were the major highlights of the 73rd Indian Independence Day 2019. Celebrations also took place in various schools, educational institutions, offices and universities, where employees and students hoisted the national flag , sang the national anthem and conducted various enjoyable cultural events. Through these events the country along with all its citizens saluted the brave patriots, soldiers and their leaders who was a part of the struggle for freedom and for whom India succeeded in gaining independence.