Independence Day 2022: On August 15, 1947, India achieved independence from British colonisation. The day holds national pride and honour in the heart of every Indian citizen living in India and abroad as on this day, the nation secured full autonomy from the British.
Marking the historic day in 1947, was the first Prime Minister of Independent India Jawaharlal Nehru, who delivered a speech saying, “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” Hoisting the Indian national flag on the Lahori Gate of Red Fort in Delhi, these words aptly captured the struggle and happiness of newly-independent India as it finally managed to free itself from the clutches of British rule.
Since then, every year, August 15 is celebrated with much fervour throughout the country with flag-hoisting ceremonies, drills, cultural events, and the singing of the Indian National Anthem. This year, as the country celebrates its 75th Independence day, let us take a look at its history and significance.
India suffered oppression by British colonisers for 200 years as they took control over the country in 1757, following their victory at the Battle of Plassey. The East India Company ruled India for 100 years after which it was replaced by direct British rule in the wake of the Indian rebellion of 1857.
The British rule led to widespread resentment and revolts in the country. Since then, Indian history has been marked by several retaliations and independence movements that eventually drove the British out of the country.
Lord Mountbatten had been given a mandate by the British Parliament to transfer the power by June 30, 1948. If he had waited till June 1948, in C Rajagopalachari’s memorable words, “there would have been no power left to transfer.” Mountbatten thus advanced the date to August 1947.
Independence Day also marks the partition of India and Pakistan wherein widespread bloodshed, mass migration, and violence followed.
Independence Day is significant as it commemorates the valour and spirit of the freedom fighters who fought for the independence of the nation. Keeping the tradition since 1947 alive, the prime minister hoists the flag and addresses the country from the Red Fort every year. A day prior to Independence Day, the president delivers a televised ‘Address to the Nation.’