Good Morning to all. As we all know that Independence Day is an annual holiday in India. It is celebrated on August 15th every year. This public holiday is very significant as it marks the end of British colonial rule in India, and the emergence of India as an independent nation. India first gained its independence on August 15th 1947, which is why Indians continue to celebrate independence on this day every year.
Between 1858 and 1947, the British colonized the Indian subcontinent. This era is known as the era of the British Raj.
British colonial rule in India began when the trading company known as the East India Company handed over the lands and goods it had seized in India to Queen Victoria, making them property of the Crown.
The East India Company was formed by Royal Charter under Elizabeth I in 1600 and though its main aim was ostensibly trade it became a force for colonization. When the East India Company handed over its land and goods to the Crown, much of the Indian subcontinent became part of the British Empire officially. The people dwelling in the subcontinent at the time were then British colonial subjects of Queen Victoria and the monarchs who succeeded her.
Indian independence was gained through long and sustained effort. One of the most important figures of this effort to gain independence from British rule was Gandhi. Gandhi and his numerous followers, who believed in non violence, did not oppose British colonial rule with armed fighting. Instead, they began a campaign of non violent resistance, which included civil disobedience and hunger strikes. This momentous effort eventually led to the end of British rule in India (sometimes also referred to as the ‘British administration of India’).
The seeds of Indian self governance were sown a century or so before India gained independence, however. In the nineteenth century, Indian councillors began to be appointed in advisory roles. Their role was to support and advise the British viceroys, who were still the rulers over large sections of India. in 1892 a law called the Indian Councils Act cemented the power of these councillors. Nevertheless, this was by no means full Indian independence: the councillors and other Indian officials remained under the rule of British rulers and they still struggled to fight through prejudice to reach the top jobs.
Sometime between midnight on August 14th and daytime in August 15th 1947, the Indian declaration of independence was signed. At this time, the king of Britain was George VI and the British prime minister was Clement Attlee. The Prime Minister of India was Jawarlahal Nehru. This declaration gave India power to rule itself as an independent nation. At the same time, Britain relinquished its power over India – the British crown no longer had a say in how Indian affairs were run.
The declaration of independence was actually written almost two decades earlier, in 1929. When it was disseminated in 1929, the declaration was accompanied by Gandhi and other prominent figures raising the Indian flag. In 1940, Gandhi stated that he was the author of the declaration. The Indian declaration of independence is also known as Purna Swaraj. It is important to note that though the declaration was signed in 1947, it was not until 1950 that India’s new independent constitution officially came into effect so there was something of a transition period for those three intervening years.
Independence day in India is of huge significance. This is because this day represents the culmination of years of struggle under an oppressive regime. It represents the success of non violent resistance against colonial violence. It also represents the uniqueness of India as a self-governing nation, with its own culture, its own legal system, its own philosophies, and so on.
Celebrations occur all across the country – and beyond. The Indian diaspora is the largest diaspora in the world, so actually Independence day is a global phenomenon. Celebrations begin on the 14th of August, when on the eve of this holiday the current President of India will address the nation. On independence day itself, the Indian armed forces perform an official March Past parade. The national anthem of India, Jana Gana Mana, is sung. On the Red Fort in Delhi, the Prime Minister hoists the Indian flag aloft and 21 gunshots ring out. This recreates the moment in 1947 when Nehru marked Indian independence by standing on the Red Fort and raising the tricolor flag of India, an independent nation. In state capitals, school classrooms and even individual households, similar celebrations which involve raising the flag, political speeches paying tribute to the Indian independence movement, and singing. Houses, schools, and civic centers are also adorned with lights. Individual citizens and officials alike will often adorn their garments and homes with the tricolor colors of the Indian flag. Independence Day is one of only three public holidays that take place in India every year. The others are Gandhi’s birthday on October 2nd and Republic Day on January 26th.
Independence Day is an annual national holiday occurring on August 15th, though celebrations begin on August 14th. This holiday is celebrated throughout the country – and beyond. It commemorates the moment in 1947 when, after many decades – indeed centuries – of struggle, India gained independence from British colonial rule. Let us all try to become a good citizen of India.