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Independence Day of India

When does India celebrate its Independence Day ?
The Republic of India celebrates its Independence Day on August 15 each year. In 1947 India gained independence from British colonial rule after a long and bitter struggle. On July 18, 1947, the Indian Independence Act received the assent of the British monarch. It was then agreed that the Indian subcontinent would be partitioned. Pakistan would be formed on August 14. On August 15, 1947, India gained independence and became a sovereign nation.

How is the Independence Day celebrated in India ?
Independence Day is a day of celebration, mirth and much cheer in India. Shops, offices, and private buildings are all decorated and adorned with lights. State and central government buildings are also illuminated. Public and private businesses, schools, colleges, and most establishments remain closed on the Independence Day.

The day usually begins with President delivering a fervent address to the nation from Red Fort in New Delhi, the capital of India. The presidential address is usually followed by hoisting of the national flag and a speech by the Prime Minister. The Indian tricolor is unfurled at the Red Fort each year because the country's first Prime, Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, hoisted the national flag of free India for the first time at the Red Fort. Educational institutions and other establishments are allowed to hoist the national flag as well but are required to follow constitutional protocols. The political speeches are followed by cultural performances. Over the years kite-flying has become an Independence Day tradition in India These kites are representative of the free spirit of India.

Why is Independence Day significant in the history of India ?
The British traders from East India Company first landed on the Indian shores in the early 1600s. What started off with trade gradually culminated into colonial rule with the decline of the reigning Mughal dynasty in the mid-1700s. Through the next half of the century British began consolidating their control over India.

While the various Indian states made dissociated attempts to resist being taken over, an organized struggle for independence has its seeds in the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. As a fallout of the mutiny, the British provinces of India came under direct control of British Crown. The major development in the Indian struggle for freedom was the formation of Indian National Congress in 1885, and the emergence of many important leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, and Muhammed Ali Jinnah in the 1920s. By the early 1940s, the leaders of the All-India Muslim League had become vociferous in their demand for a separate Islamic nation. Thus, in 1947 when the British crown granted assent to the Indian Independence Act, it was decreed that British India would be partitioned into the dominions of India and Pakistan based on religious demographics. India chose to remain secular and on August 15, 1947, the sun dawned on an independent India with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as the first prime minister of the country. This was the culmination of over two centuries of valiant struggle. The Independence Day marked the victory of the patriotic spirit of the land. Later, in 1950, India became a republic.

What does the flag of India represent ?
The national flag of India is a horizontal tricolor flag. The top band is saffron in color; the middle band is white; and the bottom band is white in color. The ratio of length to width is two to three. In the center of the flag is a navy blue wheel with 24 spokes. The wheel is known as the "Ashoka Chakra." This chakra is adopted from the emblem of Buddhism dating back to 2000 BC. The 24 spokes in the Chakra show that there is life in movement, and death in stagnation. It depicts the industry and progress of the people of India.

The three colors of the flag have special significance. Saffron color in the flag represents courage and the spirit of sacrifice, white symbolizes purity and truth, and the green signifies fecundity, fertility, and faith. The present day flag was adopted on July 22, 1947. According to strict flag traditions followed in the country, the Indian national flag is made of hand-spun cloth known as khadi.

Who wrote the national anthem of India ?
Jana-Gana-Mana (Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people) is the national anthem of India. The famous Indian poet and Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, originally penned the lyrics in Bengali, and it was adopted as the national anthem in its Hindi form (translated by Abid Ali) by the Constituent Assembly of India in 1950. Tagore had also set the song to tune. The song was sung for the first time on December 27, 1911 in the Calcutta Session of Indian National Congress. A formal rendition of India's national anthem takes 52 seconds.

Last Updated Date: August 13, 2016


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