Essay on Independence Day
Independence Day is celebrated every year on August 15 in India. It is a remarkable day in Indian history because India gained Independence from the British. This day is a national holiday. People throughout the Nation express their joy by celebrating and hoisting national flags and playing patriotic songs for those martyrs who sacrificed their lives fighting the British. The British ruled India for over a hundred years.
On August 15 1947, the first Prime Minister of Independent India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru hoisted the National Flag above Lahori Gate at Red Fort. This tradition of hosting the National Flag on August 15 at Red Fort by the Prime Minister of India is still practised along with a speech.
The entire session is broadcasted on Doordarshan, starting with the music of Ustad Bismillah Khan. This period is usually celebrated by holding parades, March past, and other cultural programs.
The European established them in the Indian country in the 17th century. However, the East India Company annexed local kingdoms because of their Military Strength and became supreme by the 18th century. The English gained direct control over the Indian nation under, The Government of India Act (1858).
Civic society gradually began to emerge in India in the following decades, most notably the Indian National Congress Party, founded in 1885. The years following World War I saw the passage of the unpopular Rowlatt Act, demands for Indian self-rule, and colonial reforms like the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms. During this period Mahatma Gandhi's movements like non-violent, non-cooperation and civil disobedience movements gained interest among common people.
The British gradually passed the reform law in the 1930s, and Congress won the ensuing elections. The next ten years saw a lot of political unrest due to the All-India Muslim League's Muslim nationalism upsurge, Indian involvement in World War II, and Congress's final push for non-cooperation.
The 1947 declaration of Independence put an end to the rising political tension. However, it created another massacre. The partition of India and Pakistan wasn't peaceful rather the partition led to the loss of many livelihoods.
Independence Day before Independence
The Indian National Congress declared independence at a meeting held on January 26 1930. Since then this day was celebrated as Independence Day and the Purna Swaraj declaration was promulgated. In order to support the Purna Swaraj, Congress requested citizens to follow their order for complete independence.
The idea behind celebrating such a holiday was to promote nationalism among Indians and pressure the British government to consider granting Independence.
Between 1930 and 1946, the Congress celebrated January 26 as Independence Day. Meetings where participants took the "pledge of independence" marked the occasion. According to Jawaharlal Nehru's autobiography, such meetings were quiet, solemn, and "without any speeches or exhortations."
According to Mahatma Gandhi, apart from the meeting, there would be some constructive work like the reunion of Hindus and Muslims. Following India's declaration of Independence in 1947, the Indian Constitution took effect on January 26, 1950, and has been recognized as Republic Day.
The British Labour government realized in 1946 that it lacked the domestic support, international backing, and the dependability of indigenous forces to maintain control in a restless India because the recently ended World War II had depleted its exchequer. Clement Attlee, the British government's prime minister, declared on February 20 that British India would have full autonomy by June 1948.
On June 3, 1947, the British government declared that it had agreed to divide British India into two states, with the successor governments receiving dominion status and an implicit right to leave the British Commonwealth. Lord Mountbatten, the new viceroy, moved up the transfer of power date because he thought the ongoing conflict between Congress and the Muslim League might bring down the interim administration. He decided to transfer power on August 15, the second anniversary of Japan's World War II surrender.
Partition and Independence
The partition of India and Pakistan caused severe damage and loss of livelihood for millions. Many Muslims, Sikhs and Hindu refugees crossed the border during Independence. After the separation of the two dominions, the Punjab border saw massive bloodshed. A large number of people died due to the violence caused on both sides of the border. In Bengal and Bihar situation was under control due to the presence of Mahatma Gandhi.
During the fifth session of the Indian Constituent Assembly held in the Constitution Hall in New Delhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru delivered the Tryst with Destiny speech proclaiming India's Independence. The first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, chaired the session. The members took the pledge to serve the Nation with the right attitude. A group of women were also present to represent the whole women's community and presented the national flag to the assembly.
India became an independent country, and many official ceremonies took place in Delhi. Jawahar Lal Nehru took the PM office for the first time, while Lord Mountbatten was the first governor-general of Independent India. Gandhi took no part in any official ceremony. Rather, he was on a 24-hour fast and addressed the public with a speech in Kolkata about the brotherhood between Hindus and Muslims.
Independence is one of the three National holidays of India apart from Republic Day and the birthday of the Father of our nation i.e. Mahatma Gandhi. These three occasions take place throughout the country and it's not just celebrated as a memory but more like a festival.
Address to the Nation is delivered by the President and flag hoisting is done by the Prime Minister at Red Fort. Twenty-one gunshots are fired to pay respect to this beautiful occasion.
The Prime Minister of India also delivers a speech where he addresses achievements of the past year, things which are in progress and the government's plans to take the Nation to the next level. The PM even pays tribute to the leaders who were part of India's Independence movement. National Anthem' Jana Gana Mana' is also sung, followed by the march past of Indian Army, including armed forces and paramilitary forces. Dramatic plays also take place, showing India's struggle for freedom and promoting its culture and tradition.
In every state and union territory of the Indian subcontinent, a flag hoisting ceremony is performed by the Chief Minister.
The same process is observed in all the individual states and national territories where the Chief Minister of states hoists the National flag. Until 1973, the Governor used to hoist the national flag of the respective states. In 1974, the CM of Tamil Nadu talked about the flag hoisting ceremony to Indira Gandhi, where he addressed that the Chief Minister should be given the honour of hoisting the national flag at the state level on Independence Day. Since then, the Chief Ministers of respective states have been allowed to unfurl the national flag.
The flag hoisting ceremony occurs in all places, such as schools, localities, and governmental and non-governmental institutions, which are accompanied by cultural programs and various kinds of events. Places are decorated with balloons, ribbons, flowers, and portraits of freedom fighters. Some buildings are even lit up with a string of lights. Independence Day is the occasion to fly kites in Kolkata, Delhi and some other cities. People all over the country try to look very nationalistic by wearing ethnic wear along with tri-colour wrist bands, carrying a national flag with them, placing flags on bicycles and motorbikes and various activities. Independence Day in India is no longer an occasion. It's like one of the most important festivals in the country.
In various localities of New York, August 15 is celebrated as India Day among the locals and overseas Indians. The celebration is done in such parts where the number of immigrants is slightly higher. The overseas Indians also celebrate Independence Day with parades and cultural activities.
The neighboring country of India, i.e. Pakistan, is very much involved in terrorist activities and carries various terrorist plans to harm India, especially on such a historical day. To overcome these issues, very intense security measures are taken all over the country, especially in Mumbai, Jammu, Kashmir, and Red Fort in Delhi. The airspace near the Red Fort area is declared a flying zone to prevent any aerial attacks, and a large force is deployed around this area.
Several terrorist organization has been threatening India and also has carried out attacks on the occasion of Independence Day. Several organizations from the North also boycott the celebration of this special occasion.
Separatists also protest during Indian Independence day by carrying out strikes and burning flags. Separatist are those group of people who wants Jammu and Kashmir to be recognized as a separate country. They are against being part of either India or Pakistan.
On national occasions like Republic Day or Independence Day, patriotic songs and movies remarking India's struggle for freedom are broadcast on radio and television. The Doordarshan National channel broadcasts a live show of all activities at Red Fort.
According to some reports, this broadcasting culture is slowly degrading because the audience is getting oversaturated with patriotic movies and shows.
Some people often combine this national occasion with their culture during the celebration of Independence Day. Some examples of such blending are clothes dyed with colours of tri-colour or food served in such a way that it seems nationalistic.
As August 15 is observed much more like a festival so people are likely to be happier, and a happy person doesn't regret spending. Many shops run commercial advertisements to promote their sales on this occasion. However, this type of commercialization has been criticized by various news reports.
The Indian Postal Service issues stamps or various themes to depict the leaders involved in India's struggle for freedom.
India's struggle for Independence inspires many kinds of art and literature worldwide. Such works focus primarily on the human cost of division, only briefly mentioning the holiday.
Midnight's Children is a novel written by Salman Rushdie where the author takes the reference of Independence Day and mentions the abilities of the kids born between the Midnight of 14 to August 15 in 1947.
Freedom at Midnight is a non-fiction book written by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre which depicts the celebration and events held on the first Independence Day celebration.
There are various movies which focus on the moment of Independence but more primarily, they focus on the partition and its effects. In the online world, Google has celebrated India's Independence Day with a doodle on the home page of Google's search engine since 2003.