On 15th August 2022, India celebrated its 76th Independence Day. It means that it has been 75 years since India gained its freedom from the colonial rule of Britishers. The Indian Government gave the slogan of ‘Azadi ka Amarit Mahotsav’, to mark the 75 years of Indian Independence. This year the celebration for Independence Day started in advance in every corner of the country. Be it a government department or private companies, every organization started celebrating Independence Day as one grand festival. Being a responsible citizen of India, you might be curious to learn more about Independence Day, that is why, read this article to quench your curiosity regarding what is so special about Indian Independence Day.
The British men entered into India through Surat, Gujarat in 1619 for the purpose of trading in spices and other products. The British company East India Company was given the Charter by British Queen to trade in goods from India. Over time their ambitions changed and after the victory of the East India Company in Battle of Plassey in 1757, they started their rule over the parts of India. During the same time, other countries were also trading in India, like Portugese, Dutch and others. However, slowly and gradually British controlled the vast lands of India and ruled for over 200 years. Various wars were fought like Ramosi Uprising, Revolt of 1857, Munda Rebellion and others. But these were scattered attacks on the powerful and well-equipped British administration.
With the arrival of Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi, the India struggle got the much needed direction and strategy to oust the Britishers from India. At the same time, legendary freedom fighters and leaders like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekar Azad, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and others dedicated their lives to see India as a free nation.
Constant struggle of Indian leaders and the weaking of the British government due to World Wars forced the British government to give Independence to India from its suppressing colonial rule. Consequently, Indian Independence Act, 1947 was passed by the British government to transfer power to the Dominion of India by June 30, 1948. However, Lord Mountbatten, who was the Governor-General of India, advanced the process to August 1947.
India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru raised the Indian National Flag above the Lahori Gate of Red Fort in Delhi on August 15, 1947. Since then, it is the tradition followed by the incumbent Prime Minister to raise the flag at the Red Fort and address the Nation. This year also, the incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the celebrations and this is his ninth address as the Prime Minister.
Interesting Fact about Indian Flag
- The first Indian National Flag was hoisted on August 7, 1906 at Parsee Bagan Square in Kolkata. It had three horizontal stripes of green, yellow and red color. Vande Mataram was written on the middle stripe.
- The second Indian Flag was raised by Madame Bhikaji Cama in Paris in 1907. It has orange, yellow and green colour with Vande Mataram written on middle strip.
- The third Indian Flag was raised by Lokmanya Tilak and Dr, Annie Besant in 1917 during the Home rule Movement.
- The fourth Indian Flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya in 1921. It had two colors, red and green signifying two main communities of India – Hindus and Muslims. However, Gandhi recommended addition of a white strip and a charka to represent other communities and development of the country respectively.
- In 1931, a resolution was approved to accept the tricolor flag as our National Flag. It had three stripes – saffron, white and green. The middle strip had spinning wheel.
- On 22nd July 1947, the Constituent Assembly embraced the Indian Flag with three strips and Ashok Chakra in the middle. Ashok Chakra has 24 spokes and is blue in colour. It is a representation of constant movement and progress.
- Indian National Flag is to be made by Khadi – hand spun wool/cotton/silk. The Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha is the only unit in India which is accredited to supply and manufacture the flag in India.
- The largest India Flag is hoisted at Indo-Pak Attari Border.
Other Interesting Facts
- Five other countries celebrate their Independence Day on August 15. These are:
- North Korea
- South Korea
- Even after India’s Independence from British rule, there were certain regions which were still under the control of other European powers. Like French had control over Puducherry. The French transferred the territories under its control to India on 1st November 1954.
- Goa was annexed by Indian Army in 1961. It was the last state to join Indian territory.
- National song ‘Vande Mataram’ is taken from the Bengali Novel, Anandmath. It was written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. It was announced as the national song on 24th January,1950.
- The end to British rule in India was demanded for the first time during Quit India Movement, 1942.