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Independence Day observed annually on 15 August, is a national holiday in India .
11. Public life
Independence Day is a gazetted holiday in India on August 15 each year. National, state and local government offices, post offices and banks are closed on this day. Stores and other businesses and organizations may be closed or have reduced opening hours.Public transport is usually unaffected as many locals travel for celebrations but there may be heavy traffic and increased security in areas where there are celebrations. Independence Day flag raising ceremonies may cause some disruption to traffic, particularly in Dehli and capital cities in Indias states.
The struggle for Indias Independence began in 1857 with the Sepoy Mutiny in Meerut. Later, in the 20th century, the Indian National Congress and other political organizations, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, launched a countrywide independence movement. Colonial powers were transferred to India on August 15, 1947.The Constituent Assembly, to who power was to be transferred, met to celebrate Indias independence at 11pm on August 14, 1947. India gained its liberty and became a free country at midnight between August 14 and August 15, 1947. It was then that the free Indias first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru gave his famous Tryst with Destiny speech. People across India are reminded of the meaning of this event that it marked the start of a new era of deliverance from the British colonialism that took place in India for more than 200 years.
The sport of kite flying symbolizes Independence Day. The skies are dotted with countless kites flown from rooftops and fields to symbolize Indias free spirit of India. Kites of various styles, sizes and shades, including the tricolor are available in the marketplaces. The Red Fort in Dehli is also an important Independence Day symbol in India as it is where Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru unveiled Indias flag on August 15, 1947.Indias national flag is a horizontal tricolor of deep saffron (kesaria) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. The ratio of the flags width to its length is two to three. A navy blue wheel in the center of the white band represents the chakra. Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. Its diameter approximates to the white bands width and it has 24 spokes.
14. What do people do
Independence Day is a day when people in India pay homage to their leaders and those who fought for Indias freedom in the past. The period leading up to Independence Day is a time when major government buildings are illuminated with strings of lights and the tricolor flutters from homes and other buildings. Broadcast, print and online media may have special contests, programs, and articles to promote the day. Movies about Indias freedom fighters are also shown on television.The president delivers the Address to the Nation on the eve of Independence Day. Indias prime minister unfurls Indias flag and holds a speech at the Red Fort in Old Dehli. Flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programs are held in the state capitals and often involve many schools and organizations.Many people spend the day with family members or close friends. They may eat a picnic in a park or private garden, go to a film or eat lunch or dinner at home or in a restaurant. Other people go kite flying or sing or listen to patriotic songs.
15. The Voice of Freedom from the archive
Awake to freedom Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially.Jawaharlal NehruAt the stroke of midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, then an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.
At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her successes and her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again.The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future.Freedom and power bring responsibility. That responsibility rests upon this assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of India. Before the birth of freedom we have endured all the pains of labour and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrow. Some of those pains continue even now.
Nevertheless, the past is over and it is the future that beckons to us now.That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we might fulfill the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us but so long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.And so we have to labor and to work, and work hard, to give reality to our dreams. Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for any one of them to imagines that it can live apart. Peace has been said to be indivisible, so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this one world that can no longer be split into isolated fragments.To the people of India whose representatives we are, we make appeal to join us with faith and confidence in this great adventure. This is no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for ill will or blaming others. We have to build the noble mansion of free India where all her children may dwell.
16. National Song
Designated as the National Song of India, Vande Mataram had three great minds working over it. It required the genius of Bankimchandra Chattyopaddhay to pen the beautiful verses of Vande Mataram, the flair of Rabindranath Tagore to set it to a glorious tune and the skill of Shri Aurobindo Ghosh to render it in English with the essence of the song intact. Go over the Sanskrit lyrics of Vande Mataram, as well as its English translation. Read the inspiring lines of the pathbreaking composition out of which India received the philosophy of new Nationalism.
17. As the Freedom Dawns
he countdown had started much earlier. It was on February 26, 1947, when the British Government made an important announcement of policy. It declared, its intention to quit India by June, 1948, and appointed Lord Mountbatten Viceroy of India to arrange for the transfer of authority from British to Indian hands. This momentous declaration had already evoked hearty enthusiasm all over India. Mountbatten assumed office on 24th March, 1947, and on 3rd June broadcast the famous declaration laying down the method by which the power will be transferred.So, the groundwork was already done. It was only an waiting for the formal announcement.As the midnight approached on August 14, 1947, the whole nation had geared up to greet the glorious moment of their nations history. And with the last stroke of midnight the waiting was over. India put her first step out of the 300 years of British colonial rule as an Independent nation.
The pangs of heavy losses was there, though . For, the much sought after freedom had come after so many sacrifices and loss of lives that it left a deep scar on the soul of the nation. Yet, indeed, it was a moment of celebration for all Indians.A special session of the Constituent Assembly was held in New Delhi on the 14 15 August, 1947.The Independence meeting began at the Council Chamber of Parliament building in New Delhi at 11 p.m. on August 14th, 1947. The session was chaired by the resident of the Constituent Assembly, Dr Rajendra Prasad. The opening song, Vande Mataram, was sung by Mrs Sucheta Kripalani at 11.05 p.m.Jawaharlal Nehru moved the resolution on behalf of the Congress, seconded by Chaudhuri Khaliq uz Ziman, leader of the Muslim League Party. It was resolved that After the last stroke of midnight, all members of the Constituent Assembly dedicate themselves to the service of India and he people.
Finally, the resolution was moved to take the Oath of the Dedication. The text of the ran: At this solemn moment when the people of India, by their suffering and sacrifice have secured freedom and become martyrs of their destiny I am a member of Constituent Assembly of India, do dedicate myself to the service of India and her people to the end that this ancient land attain its rightful and honoured place in the world and make its full willing contribution to the promotion of the world peace and welfare of mankind. All the members took the oath standing.The resolution was carried out unanimously. This was followed by the historic speech of Mr. Nehru , the first prime minister of Independent India.It solemnly declared the Independence and the continuance of India as a part of the British Commonwealth. Lord Mountbatten was appointed as the first Governor General of new Indian Dominion.As the 15th dawned on the subcontinent, India woke up to freedom. A red letter day was born for the nation. It was time to celebrate. To celebrate the triumph of numerous martyred souls. Indeed, it was a day of fulfillment, the day of a new beginning, a birth of a sovereign nation.The dawn of Independence day began at 8:30 a.m, with the swearing in ceremony at the Viceregal Lodge (now known as the Rashtrapati Bhawan). The new Government was sworn in the central hall (now Durbar Hall). Two large size National Flags along with the Governor Generals flag in deep blue with the Star of India were majestically hung in the backdrop on the wall of the hall facing the distinguished gathering. The Tricolor proudly went up for the first time against a free sky of Independent India on the flag mast of the Council House at 10:30 a.m.
The first Prime Minister of the India unfurled the tricolor against a clear warm sky, symbolically marking the end of the British colonial rule. And a new journey had began.
Read more at http://www.theholidayspot.com/indian_independence_day/freedawn.htm#BHwt2RtlKmYuOdQ7.99
18. Immediate background
In 1946, the Labour government in Britain, its exchequer exhausted by the recently concluded World War II, realised that it had neither the mandate at home, the international support, nor the reliability of native forces for continuing to control an increasingly restless India In February 1947, Prime Minister Clement Attlee announced that the British government would grant full self governance to British India by June 1948 at the latest. The new viceroy, Louis Mountbatten, advanced the date for the transfer of power, believing the continuous contention between the Congress and the Muslim League might lead to a collapse of the interim government. He chose the second anniversary of Japans surrender in World War II, 15 August, as the date of power transfer. The British government announced on 3 June 1947 that it had accepted the idea of partitioning British India into two states the successor governments would be given dominion status and would have an implicit right to secede from the British Commonwealth. The Indian Independence Act 1947 (10 & 11 Geo 6 c. 30) of the Parliament of the United Kingdom partitioned British India into the two new independent dominions of India and Pakistan (including what is now Bangladesh) with effect from 15 August 1947, and granted complete legislative authority upon the respective constituent assemblies of the new countries. The Act received royal assent on 18 July 1947.
19. Partition and independence
Millions of Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu refugees trekked across the newly drawn borders in the months surrounding independence. In Punjab, where the borders divided the Sikh regions in halves, massive bloodshed followed; in Bengal and Bihar, where Mahatma Gandhis presence assuaged communal tempers, the violence was mitigated. In all, between 250,000 and 1,000,000 people on both sides of the new borders died in the violence. While the entire nation was celebrating the Independence Day, Gandhi stayed in Calcutta in an attempt to stem the carnage. On 14 August 1947, the Independence Day of Pakistan, the new Dominion of Pakistan came into being; Muhammad Ali Jinnah was sworn in as its first Governor General in Karachi.The Constituent Assembly of India met for its fifth session at 11 pm on 14 August in the Constitution Hall in New Delhi. The session was chaired by the president Rajendra Prasad. In this session, Jawaharlal Nehru delivered the Tryst with Destiny speech proclaiming Indias independence.
20. Security threats
As early as three years after independence, the Naga National Council called for a boycott of Independence Day in the northeast. Separatist protests in this region intensified in the 1980s; calls for boycotts and terrorist attacks by insurgent organisations such as the United Liberation Front of Assam and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, marred celebrations. With increasing insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir from the late 1980s, separatist protesters boycotted Independence Day there with bandh (strikes), use of black flags and by flag burning. terrorist outfits such as Lashkar e Taiba, the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Jaish e Mohammed have issued threats, and have carried out attacks around Independence Day. Boycotting of the celebration has also been advocated by insurgent Maoist rebel organisations.In anticipation of terrorist attacks, particularly from militants, security measures are intensified, especially in major cities such as Delhi and Mumbai and in troubled states such as Jammu and Kashmir. The airspace around the Red Fort is declared a no fly zone to prevent aerial attacks and additional police forces are deployed in other cities.
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