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Independence Day: The Glorious day of the year

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Spirituality

Independence Day: The Glorious day of the year

History

“Who lives if India dies?” – Jawaharlal Nehru

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. At the stroke of the 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 – when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppresses, finds utterance. At this solemn moment, we should take the pledge of dedication to the service of India, and her people and the still larger cause of humanity.
At the dawn of history, India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with the striving and the grandeur of her success and her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which give her strength
.”

These were probably the first words spoken in Independent India by the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru in the Indian Constituent Assembly at the midnight of 14th August 1947.

This speech has a historical significance in the 20th Century. The speech described India’s struggle and how it overcame every hurdle to stand on the winning side.

The British landed on Indian Subcontinent at the port of Surat on 24th August 1608 for trade and just in 7 years they got the Royal order to establish a factory at Surat under the leadership of Sir Thomas Rue. 

Well, this was the first time for Britishers, but even before this, the Dutch, Portuguese had set foot in India.

Road to Freedom and Independence.

“Better remain silent, better not even think, if you are not prepared to act.”– Annie Besant

1857 – The great Indian Revolt

1905 – The 2nd Swadeshi movement and partition of Bengal

1915Gandhiji returned to India from South Africa and joined the Indian National Congress

1916 – The INC, the Muslim League formed in 1906 formulated a Lucknow pact

1919 – The Rowlatt Act and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre

1920 – The Non-Cooperation Movement

1925Gandhiji and others were leading the non-violent movement against the British

1928 – The Simon Commission arrived and a protest took place.

1929 – The Indian National Congress started the Civil Disobedience Movement

1930Gandhiji led the Satyagraha Movement starting from Dandi for 400 km

1935 – Government of India Act, passed by British which gave Indians political rights

1941 – Subhash Chandra Bose Quit INC

1942 – He formed the Indian National Army in 1942

1947Lord Mountbatten proposed the Indian Independence Law and at the stroke of midnight India gained freedom.

How much did the freedom cost?

“Don’t see others doing better than you, beat your own records every day, because
success is a fight between you and yourself.” – Chandrashekar Azad

Though it is impossible to account the cost of freedom either quantitatively or qualitatively. Although some aspects may be enough for us to realise the cost of freedom.

  1. Lives of martyrs and freedom fighters
  2. The career of the people of that era.
  3. Untold suffering, unheard cries and unrecorded deaths due to partition.
  4. Economical loss due to warfare.
  5. Around 15 million refugees due to partition.
  6. Persisting enmity between the Hindus and Muslims of India and Pakistan.

How and why was 15th August chosen as the day of Independence?

“One individual may die, but that idea will after his death, incarnate itself
in a thousand lives.” – S.C. Bose

The British Parliament commanded Lord Mountbatten to transfer the powers to Indian leaders by 30th June 1948. But Mountbatten preponed the date to August 1947, because by then no powers would have been left to transfer. He also feared riot and bloodshed because the end of a Colonial Rule was never peaceful.

The British Government presented the Indian Independence Bill in the British House of Commons on July 4, 1947, and the bill was approved within a fortnight, thus ending the British Rule on India.

Mountbatten chose the date of 15th August and he said it came out of the blue, but later he said that he chose that particular date to declare India’s Independence because it was the 2nd Anniversary of Japan’s surrender to Britain.

Celebration

“May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy and
more lovely than our country.” – Bhagat Singh

Although celebrations take place throughout the country but the ceremony of Red Fort is above all. On the eve of 15th August, the President delivers an address to the nation from his office that is broadcasted nationally. The morning celebration kicks off by the arrival of Prime Minister who receives a Guard of Honour consisting of representatives from the Indian Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air) and the Delhi police.

The main events begin by hoisting of the national flag by the prime minister synchronised by the 21 honorary gunshots followed by ‘Jana Gana Mana’ the National Anthem. Patriotic Parades, Honouring Freedom Fighters, March by the Armed Forces, performances by Schoolchildren are some of the highlights of the event.

Red Fort is the epicentre of National celebration and likewise, the State Capitals become the epicentre of the state celebration. Chief Minister of the respective state unfurls the flag followed by a national anthem. Government Institutions, Organisations, Schools, Colleges, Housing societies also actively host the programme and celebrate this glorious day.

The air is filled with patriotic music, roads are filled with tricolours, the sky is full with kites and the hearts are filled with patriotism.

Some less-known facts

“Bombs and pistols do not make a revolution. The sword of revolution is sharpened
on the whetting-stone of ideas.” – Bhagat Singh

  1. The present national anthem was drafted by R. Tagore to pay homage to King George V and was declared as the national anthem of India in 1950.
  2. Sardar Patel won the Prime Ministry elections but later Jawaharlal Nehru was elected. Sardar Patel also played a crucial role in integrating 500+ princely states to the Republic of India. Goa became part of India in 1961.
  3. Peacemaker India has never invaded any country in the last 100000 years.
  4. Mahatma Gandhi did not take part in the 1st Independence Day celebration because he was on a hunger strike so that people stop killing each other.
  5. John Radcliffe was given the job of carving out the border between India and Pakistan who had never been to India and he was so hurt by the destruction that he refused his hefty salary.

Ask yourself?

“There is no dream, and if there is, there is only one and that is to see my children struggling for the same and for which I am expected to be finished.” – Ashfaqullah Khan

Indian freedom fighters fought more than 200 years for the freedom of India. Millions of freedom fighters sacrificed their lives to ensure that their progeny must breathe in an Independent India. They had a vision of wonderful India – the best of places and no doubt it is.

But, just ask yourself, are we ensuring to maintain an India worth their sacrifices, does the present face of India resembles their vision?

I don’t need to answer, you are well aware of it and also let me know your opinions in the comment box.

Corruption, Unemployment, Poverty, Illiteracy, Poor Health Facilities, Genocide exists in India. We need to accept it, only then we can be a part of the revolution for the change.

We have chronicles from the history how one man has revolutionised the whole world? Just look around us, we are 1.4 Billion, Why can’t we just revolutionise India with development?

There is a ray of hope when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India will be Poverty-free and Corruption free by the end of 2022.
https://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/poverty-free-corruption-free-new-india-by-2022-modi-govts-vision-document-for-75th-independence-day/629885

This Independence Day let us take a pledge to make India a better place. Let’s take a pledge to put in a fraction of effort as compared to our freedom fighters for the revival of India.

Conclusion

“Stop living for only yourself and start working for the welfare of the country.”

Wish you a very Happy Independence Day.

This is the same message we get on our WhatsApp and Facebook on every Independence Day. We participate in the flag hoisting ceremony in our locality, watch the Ceremony at the Red Fort, celebrate with our close ones, Enjoy the holiday, but wait a moment – What change does this routine bring in us and how we add values to our nation?

I think no change is observed and no value is added. Let us break the chain this time and take a pledge to contribute for the development of the nation and sacrifice one habit that does not bring any good to the nation (Tip- You may start from the standing against corruption.)

Happy Independence Day.

Thank you for reading.

Share if you like. And wish everyone a glorious Independence Day by sharing this article with your friends and family.

References

  1. https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/interesting-indian-independence-day-information-for-kids/
  2. https://www.mansworldindia.com/more/news/politics/10-little-known-facts-about-indias-first-independence-day/
  3. https://www.floweraura.com/blog/7-unknown-facts-about-indian-independence
  4. https://yourstory.com/2017/08/indian-army-cost-of-freedom?utm_pageloadtype=scroll
  5. https://monibasu.com/freedom-at-midnight-indian-independence-came-at-a-high-cost
  6. https://theconversation.com/global/topics/india-independence-day-41885
  7. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/15/indian-independence-day-everything-need-know-partition-india/
  8. https://theculturetrip.com/asia/india/articles/how-india-celebrates-independence-day/
  9. https://www.fabhotels.com/blog/indian-holiday-calendar/independence-day/
  10. https://www.quora.com/What-did-independence-cost-India

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