Independence day of India : The historic Event

Independence Day is one of the three National holidays in India. The other two are the Republic Day on 26 January and Mahatma Gandhi's birthday on 2 October. It is observed on August 15 every year in all Indian states and union territories.

This day commemorates the nation's independence from the United Kingdom on 15 August 1947. On this day, the UK Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act 1947 transferring legislative sovereignty to the Indian Constituent Assembly. The first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru raised the Indian national flag above the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort in Delhi on August 15, 1947.

European traders and the British East India Company had established themselves in the Indian Subcontinent by the 18th century. Post this, Indian National Congress was formed in 1885. The period after World War I, witnessed various non-violence movement by Mahatma Gandhi. 

The Indian National Congress held a session in Lahore in 1929 where the Purna Swaraj declaration, or "Declaration of the Independence of India" was promulgated and 15 August was declared as Independence Day. The congress party instructed the people to follow their instructions time to time until India attains complete independence. Later, Congress observed 26 January as the Independence Day between 1930 and 1946.

Due to the continuous contention between the Congress and the Muslim League which might lead to a collapse of the British government, on February 20, 1947, Prime Minister Clement Attlee announced that the British government would grant full self-governance to British India by June 1948. He chose the second anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II, 15 August, as the date of power transfer. 

Later, on June 03, 1947, the British government announced that it had accepted the idea of partitioning British India into two states. 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. The act also granted complete legislative authority upon the respective constituent assemblies of the new countries.

The borders divided the Sikh regions in two halves, following massive bloodshed. Millions of Muslim, Sikh and Hindu refugees were separated. Many people died on both sides of the new borders due to violence. On 14 August 1947, the Independence Day of Pakistan, the new Dominion of Pakistan has been declared.

The Constituent Assembly of India had a fifth session at 11 pm on 14 August in the Constitution Hall in New Delhi, chaired by the President Rajendra Prasad. The members of the Assembly took the pledge to serve the country. A group of women, representing the women of India, formally presented the national flag to the assembly.

From that day, the Independence Day is celebrated with pride and enthusiam. On the evening of Independence Day, the President of India delivers the "Address to the Nation". The Prime Minister hoists the Indian flag on the ramparts of the historical site of Red Fort in Delhi. Twenty-one gun shots are fired in honour of this occassion. The national anthem, "Jana Gana Mana", is sung.  Then the Prime Minister gives the speech and  highlights the past year's achievements, raises important issues and tells the plans for further development. He pays tribute to the leaders of the Indian independence movement. The entire event is broadcasted by Doordarshan channel, India's national broadcaster. The ceremony usually begins with the shehnai music of Ustad Bismillah Khan.

All over the country, flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programmes take place in governmental and non-governmental institutions. Schools and colleges also conducts flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural events. 


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