India’s Independence Day is commemorated on 15th August every year nationwide.
Also known as “Swatantrata Diwas”, it is declared a statutory holiday in India so schools and businesses remain closed. Independence Day marks the end of the long British colonialism that lasted more than 200 years.
Independence Day History
British rule began in India in 1757 with the British’s victory at the Battle of Plassey and the reign of the English East India Company. However, the fight for India’s Independence started in 1857 with the Sepoy Mutiny in Meerut. Later in the 19th century, several political bodies and the Indian National Congress, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, held a national independence movement.
Independence Day celebrates India’s Independence from the United Kingdom on August 15, 1947. At 11 pm on 14th August 1947, the Constituent Assembly, which was to receive power, celebrated India’s Independence.
India finally gained its much-awaited liberty at midnight on August 15, 1947. On this day, the Indian Independence Act came into effect. It transferred legislative sovereignty to the Indian Constituent Assembly.
The reins were eventually handed over to the leaders of the country. The first prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, gave his speech. It is said that India’s win of Independence was a “tryst with destiny”, which was a result of long and tiresome struggles and sacrifices of many people and freedom fighters.
Post-Independence, India went on to become the world’s largest democracy as the UK parliament finally passed the 1947 Indian Independence Act. This day also marks India’s partition into two nations- India and Pakistan.
Indian Independence Day Celebration at Red Fort
2023 marks the 76th Independence Day of the nation. The Official Independence Day celebration takes place in Red Fort, New Delhi. The Prime Minister hoists the Indian Flag (tiranga or three colors: saffron at the top, white in the middle with the navy blue Ashoka chakra, and green at the bottom) on the ramparts of Red Fort.
This is followed by the Prime Minister’s speech, where he addresses the country’s past achievements, raises important issues, and announces plans for further development of the nation. He pays tribute to all the freedom fighters who fought and sacrificed for the country’s freedom.
India’s national anthem, ‘Jana Gana Mana’, is played and sung by everyone present in the official celebration along with the Prime minister. The Indian Armed forces perform march past along with parades and pageants by other paramilitary forces. Similar celebrations are held in each state capital by the respective Chief Ministers.
Independence Day Public Celebration
All public sectors and government bodies have a national holiday. Major government buildings, schools, and Universities are illuminated with strings of tri-color lights. Almost every houses and apartments hoist the national flag.
Indians pay homage to the freedom fighters. Newspapers, broadcasts, media, print, etc., have special programs, articles, and contests to promote this day. Channels telecast movies about India’s Independence.
Schools and Universities hold a flag-hoisting ceremony and speech on independence. Students sing the national anthem and dance, sing and read out poetry on this day. After the celebrations are over, family and friends come together to have lunch at home, restaurants, or picnic. Patriotic songs are played everywhere.