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75 Years Of Independence – How was August 15 chosen as India’s Independence Day?

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75 Years Of Independence - How was August 15 chosen as India's Independence Day?

15th August is a day special for all Indians. On this day, we got independence from the colonial rule which was controlling our nation for two decades. 

 

On August 15, 2022, India will celebrate its 75th Independence Day. 

 

Well, have you ever wondered why we celebrate Independence day on 15th August only? 

You will be shocked to know that before 1947, 15th August was not decided as the date for Independence. January 26 was observed as India’s Independence Day from 1930 until 1947. The date was altered in 1947 to August 15.

 

Indian Independence Day’s Historical Context

 

India was under British control for almost 200 years. It has been a long journey from being under control to taking back control of our own country. 1929 was a pivotal year in the nation’s independence.

 

In 1929, the Indian National Congress met in Lahore, Pakistan, and adopted the “Purna Swaraj” resolution. The INC then changed its demand, which was a departure from the previous dominion status, to total independence.

 

As talks between Lord Irwin and the Indian delegates broke down, the resolution was passed. India was to be given dominion status by the British. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, and Tej Bahadur Sapru were the representatives of Indians who demanded total independence.

 

The INC decided to demand only total independence and designated January 26, 1930, as the first “Independence Day” because the delegates were unable to come to a consensus.

 

Nehru raised the national flag on the banks of the Ravi in Lahore on December 29, 1929, following the INC’s adoption of the resolution. He declared that Congress would make a significant advancement in the struggle for the nation’s freedom during this crucial session.

 

India has been celebrating January 26 as Independence Day ever since, up until 1947. It was the same day that India ratified its Constitution and became a republic in 1950. Today, we observe the day as Republic Day.

 

India’s Independence Day is observed on August 15 for what reason?

 

After years of conflict, the Indians forced the British to relinquish control of the nation. Lord Mountbatten was then given the order by the British parliament to hand over power to India by June 30, 1948. The final British governor-general of India was Mountbatten.

 

Indian independence fighters protested the holding up of India’s independence.

 

Mountbatten decided to move the deadline up to August 15, 1947. He gave the excuse that he did not want violence or riots.

 

Mountbatten chose August 15 as the date of the Indian independence to also mark the second anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War 2.

 

As stated by Mountbatten in his own words, which were taken from Freedom at Midnight, “The date I chose came out of the blue. I chose it in reply to a question. I was determined to show I was the master of the whole event. When they asked if we had set a date, I knew it had to be soon. I had not worked it out exactly then — I thought it had to be about August or September, and I then went out on August 15. Why? Because it was the second anniversary of Japan’s surrender.”

 

On August 15, 1945, Hirohito, the emperor of Japan, announced the capitulation in a speech to his people. Japan was the last of the axis powers to submit, having suffered significant damage because of the nuclear bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, respectively.

 

Following Mountbatten’s decision, the British House of Commons approved the Indian Independence Bill on July 4, 1947. It was decided to divide Pakistan and India into two independent nations.

 

Does Pakistan celebrate its Independence Day on August 14?

 

The Indian Independence Act mandated that both Pakistan and India should observe August 15 as their respective independence days. The date of independence was printed on even Pakistan’s very first stamp: August 15.

 

Jinnah stated, according to The Indian Express, “The independent and sovereign state of Pakistan celebrates its birthday on August 15. It represents the fulfilment of the destiny of the Muslim nation, which has made significant sacrifices in recent years to have a homeland.”

 

Pakistan issued its first commemorative stamps in July 1948, commemorating its independence on August 15, 1947. The date was later changed to August 14, however.

 

The Day of Utmost Pride and Patriotism

 

We got independence after a long struggle and 15th August has to be celebrated with utmost joy and feeling of Patriotism. Everybody should know the contribution of freedom fighters and the struggle behind getting independence


Also published on Medium.

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