India celebrates Independence Day on August 15 each year. India became an independent nation on August 15, 1947, so a gazetted holiday is held annually to remember this date.
India attained independence following an Independence Movement noted for largely nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience led by the Indian National Congress (INC).
On each subsequent Independence Day, the prime minister has raised the flag and given a speech. The holiday is observed throughout India with flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades and cultural events. There is a national holiday and schools and government offices distribute sweets but no official work is done.
On 15 August, the prime minister hoists the Indian flag on the ramparts of the historical site Red Fort in Delhi.Twenty-one gun shots are fired in honour of the solemn occasion. In his speech, the prime minister highlights the past year’s achievements, raises important issues and calls for further development. He pays tribute to the leaders of the Indian independence movement.
The Indian national anthem, “Jana Gana Mana” is sung. The speech is followed by march past of divisions of the Indian Armed Forces and paramilitary forces. Parades and pageants showcase scenes from the independence struggle and India’s diverse cultural traditions. Similar events take place in state capitals where the Chief Ministers of individual states unfurl the national flag, followed by parades and pageants.
What People Do:
Independence Day is a day when people in India pay homage to their leaders and those who fought for India’s 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 India’s freedom fighters are also shown on television.
The president delivers the ‘”Address to the Nation” on the eve of Independence Day. India’s prime minister unfurls India’s 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.
Background Of Independence Day :
The struggle for India’s 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 India’s 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 India’s 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.
Read about Gandhi Jayanti.