India achieved independence from British rule on 15 August 1947. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the culmination of our freedom struggle. As we commemorate the occasion, let us take a look at the history and significance of this date.
History of Independence Day:
The British had ruled over India for almost two centuries, starting from 1757. But the Indian independence movement had gained strength for years, with the demand of poorna swaraj or complete independence from colonial rule echoing in the streets.
The emergence of leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose gave power to the freedom struggle. Finally, the British decided to leave India, transferring power back to the country.
Lord Mountbatten, the Viceroy of India, had been given a mandate to finish the transfer of power by June 1948. However, Mountbatten decided that the British would leave early.
The Indian Independence Bill was introduced in the British House of Commons on 4 July, 1947 and passed two week later. The Bill declared that British rule of India would end on 15 August 1947. It also led to the establishment of India and Pakistan as independent nations.
Significance of Independence Day:
On 15 August 1947, as India transitioned into an independent nation, the first Prime Minister of the country, Jawaharlal Nehru addressed the nation and unfurled the Indian tricolour at the Red Fort. Since then, the tradition has continued.
Celebrations this year:
This year, the theme of the celebrations would be 'Nation First, Always First'. Prime Minister Narendra Modi would continue the tradition of addressing the nation from the Red Fort. The Olympians who won medals at the Tokyo Olympics would get special invites for the event.
However, celebrations would kept toned down due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.