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Happy Independence Day 2021: India’s Independence Day reminds the country’s citizens of all the sacrifices the freedom fighters have made to secure the country’s future. Since its independence, India has made stellar progress in every field, including education, military and space programmes. Indians across the nation will be commemorating India’s independence from British rule by celebrating its 75th Independence Day on August 15, 2021, but with a slight twist. Owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there will be no social gatherings, instead, all states and government offices have been asked to webcast their events and celebrations.
Even the gathering at the Red Fort, where the flag is hoisted every Independence Day, will be limited. In lieu of the precautions taken, there will not be any grand performances with the military bands, either. Ideally, the citizens across the country sing and dance on patriotic songs, hoist the tricolour flag and enthusiastically recite poems remembering the sacrifices of India’s freedom fighters.
When Is Independence Day!
The Independence Day is celebrated on August 15 every year to commemorate India’s freedom from the British rule in 1947. After independence, India became the world’s largest democracy after the UK Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act, 1947, transferring legislative sovereignty to the Indian Constituent Assembly. The Independence Day also marks the anniversary of undivided India’s partition into India and Pakistan. On the eve of India’s independence, Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime minister, had said in his ‘Tryst with destiny’ speech: “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” Also known as ‘I-Day’, this public holiday marks the date in 1947, when India became an independent country. This holiday is a dry day in India, when the sale of alcohol is not permitted.
Independence Day In Our Lifestyle
Seventy-four years since then, the day has come to be recognised as that of national pride and honour, with subsequent Prime Ministers hoisting the flag and addressing the country from the Red Fort every year. Independence Day is one of the three national holidays — the other two being Republic Day and Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary. A day prior to Independence Day, the President of the country delivers a televised ‘Address to the Nation’.
As mentioned earlier, the day is usually dotted with cultural programmes, competitions, flag-hoisting ceremonies, and parades. This year, because of the pandemic, many restrictions are already in place. It is, therefore, advised that you observe the day and revel in patriotism from the safety of your house, maintain all social distancing and safety guidelines, and keep yourself and your community safe. That would be the true spirit of Independence Day 2020.
What Happens on Independence Day?
Every year, the Prime Minister of India hoists the national flag at Delhi’s Red Fort and makes an address to the nation, which is followed by a military parade. The President of India also delivers the ‘address to the nation’ speech. In honour of the occasion, twenty-one gun shots are fired. This day is observed as a national holiday across India, with offices, banks and post offices remaining closed. Independence Day is observed with flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades and cultural events in all Indian states and Union Territories.
Preparations for the Independence Day start a month in advance. Schools and colleges organise cultural events, competitions, debates, speeches, and quiz competitions. Indian Independence Day is always celebrated on August 15th. It is the National Day of India.
History of Indian Independence Day
For 200 years, Indians suffered domination of the British colonisers beginning in 1757. Their control over the country was gained by the victory of English East India Company at the Battle of Plassey. The British established their first outpost on the Indian Subcontinent in 1619 at Surat on the northwestern coast. By the end of that century, the East India Company had opened three more permanent trading stations at Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta. The British continued to expand their influence in the region until, by the mid nineteenth century, they had control over most of what is present-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. In 1857, a rebellion in northern India by mutinous Indian soldiers, led the British Government to transfer all political power from the East India Company to the Crown. The British began controlling most of India directly while administering the rest through treaties with local rulers.
In the late Nineteenth Century, the initial moves were taken toward self-government in British India by the appointment of Indian councilors to advise the British viceroy and the establishment of provincial councils with Indian members.
Indian history is rid with famous events of retaliation and uprisings which eventually drove the Britishers out and forced former viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, to free India on August 15, 1947 after giving the mandate to transfer the power to Indians. The day also marked the partition of British-ruled India into two countries, India and Pakistan.
The British were successful with their divide and rule policy, which led to violence between Muslims and Hindus. Owing to this unrest, a separate country was formed on the eve of August 14, 1947 after violent riots, mass casualties and the displacement of nearly 15 million people.
In 1920, Indian leader Mohandas K. Gandhi transformed the Indian National Congress political party into a mass movement to campaign against the British colonial rule. The party used both parliamentary and nonviolent resistance and non-cooperation to achieve independence. Other leaders, notably Subhash Chandra Bose, also adopted a military approach to the movement.
The movement culminated in the independence of the subcontinent from the British Empire and the formation of India and Pakistan.
After the signing of the Independence Bill, it was agreed colonial India would be divided into two separate states – one with a Muslim majority (Pakistan) and the other with a Hindu majority (India). The two countries celebrate on different days because Lord Mountbatten, had to attend the Pakistan celebration on 14 August and then travel to Delhi for India’s first Independence Day on 15 August. The partition saw over 14 million people displaced and led to the death of up to two million, creating one of the biggest refugee crises in history and a hostile relationship between the divided nations. Riots and fighting were rife, particularly in the western region of Punjab, as it was cut in two by the border.
Thus, on August 15th 1947, India became a dominion within the Commonwealth. Friction between Hindus and Muslims led the British to partition British India, creating East and West Pakistan. India became a republic within the Commonwealth after promulgating its constitution on 26 January 1950, which is now the Republic Day holiday.
Indian rule was then passed to the British who ruled our country till India got its independence. Our nation faced a long campaign to gain independence. Britain then began to weaken after two world wars and India was finally free. India’s freedom struggle has always been an inspiration to the work as it was the most non-violent campaign in the world.
National Flag of India
The Indian national flag is a horizontal tricolour of saffron, white and green. The wheel in the centre is a representation of the chakra, which appears on the abacus of Ashoka’s pillar. The flag was approved on July 22nd 1947 and presented to the Indian nation on August 15th 1947 when Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, raised the flag at Lahore Gate of the Red Fort in Delhi. The colour, saffron, represents courage, sacrifice, and renunciation. The white denotes truth and purity and the green stands for life, faith, and chivalry. The wheel symbolizes unceasing motion and progress.
Facts about Independence Day:
- India has been independent for 74 years.
- India is named after the river Indus.
- India has had 14 Prime Ministers out of which one has been a female Prime Minister.
- India has had 13 full-time Presidents, out of which only one has been a woman.
- India’s national anthem was adopted three years of post-independence.
- At the time of independence, India had no official National Anthem. While Jana Gana Mana was written in 1911, it was officially adopted as the Indian national anthem on 24 January 1950.
- India has a population of almost 1.3 billion. That’s more than the entire Western Hemisphere of Earth.
- Chess was invented in Eastern India between 280-550 AD. The pieces were made up of infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariots.
- Indian Flag Was First Hoisted in 1906.
- Lord Mountbatten Chose 15th August as Indian Independence Day.
- Our National Song ‘Vande Mataram’ Was Part of a Novel.
- The Radcliffe Line Was Officially Published on 17th August 1947.
- Rabindranath Tagore Penned the National Anthem of Bangladesh.
- M Karunanidhi Wrote to the PM Asking CMs to Unfurl the Flag on Independence Day.
- The Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha (KKGSS), located in Dharwad, Karnataka, has the authority to manufacture and supply the Indian flag.
- Pakistan’s Independence Day should be on the same day, but lord Mountbatten being the last Viceroy of undivided British India had to be present at both the ceremonies in Delhi and Karachi. Hence, Pakistan’s independence day was celebrated on 14 August.
- The Indian national flag is based on the Swaraj flag, a flag of the Indian National Congress. It was designed by Pingali Venkayya, a freedom fighter and an agriculturist from Machilipatnam.
- Mahatma Gandhi, was not part of the Independence Day celebrations. He was fasting at the time as part of a protest against Hindu-Muslim riots that were taking place in Bengal.
- India has the largest democracy in the world.
- India has a population of almost 1.3 billion. That’s more than the entire Western Hemisphere of Earth.
- Children’s Day is celebrated on November 14th. It is exactly nine months after Valentine’s Day.
- The Kumbh Mela is the world’s largest festival, containing 100 million people.
- 70% of all of the world’s spices come from India.
- There are more mobile phones in India than toilets.
- India has the lowest meat consumption per person in the world.
- There is no such thing as curry in India – the Southern Indian word kari simply means ‘fried’ or ‘sauce.
- Indian housewives hold 11% of all of the world’s gold. That is more than the reserves of Switzerland, Germany, the IMF, and the US combined.
The Independence Day of India, which is celebrated religiously throughout the Country on the 15th of August every year, holds tremendous ground in the list of national days. Since it reminds every Indian about the dawn of a new beginning, the beginning of an era of deliverance from the clutches of British colonialism of more than 200 years. It was on 15th August 1947 that India was declared independent of British colonialism, and the reins of control were handed over to the leaders of the Country. India’s gaining of independence was a tryst with destiny, as the struggle for freedom was a long and tiresome one, witnessing the sacrifices of many freedom fighters, who laid down their lives on the line.